Kentucky marriage licenses may ‘not be valid’ without clerk
The name of jailed Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been missing from same-sex marriage licenses issued since her arrest.
While Davis sits in jail, her clerks have started issuing licenses to same-sex couples – making her entire tantrum seemingly pointless.
However – according to state law – marriage licenses must be “issued by the clerk for the county in which they are issued.”
As a result, members of staff – and even a couple who obtained a marriage license – questioned whether the licenses were valid.
“Her name is not on there? Does that mean it’s not valid?” Robbie Blankenship and Jesse Cruz told BuzzFeed.
In the field where Davis’ name usually appears, her staff substituted it with the words “Rowan County”.
Brian Mason – the deputy clerk who issued the license to the couple – said that Davis’ name had indeed appeared in all licenses issued before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision in June.
“Her name goes there, yeah,” Mason said. “But she is not here. I don’t have her permission. I don’t have her consent.”
Although he would not comment on who instructed him to replace Davis’ name, another clerk said that as “a group we [the clerk’s office] decided to issue [the licenses] from Rowan County.”
A lawyer for Davis – Mat Staver – responded on Friday by saying that the licenses issued without her consent are void.
Mason said that in Thursday’s hearing, Judge David Bunning acknowledged it was unclear if licenses issued without Davis’s authority were valid.
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“That is why the judge said marriage licenses may not be valid,” Mason said. “We don’t know. No one could give us an answer.”
After she ignored successive rulings from courts ordering her to stop discriminating against same-sex couples, Davis – who has been married four times but claims “God” doesn’t want her letting gays marry – was jailed for contempt of court.
In a radio interview yesterday, Staver – of the Liberty Counsel – likened the case to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
He said: “It is outrageous and the worst sort of hyberbole for anyone to draw comparisons between Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to grant marriage licenses in defiance of American court rulings and the systematised persecution of European Jews during World War II.”
Since her arrest, hundreds of people have taken to social media to mock Davis’ incarceration – with even Presidential hopeful Donald Trump admitting she had “broke the law of the land.”