You may recall Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, whom I have been writing about because she refused to let her office issue all marriage licenses because she objected to doing so for same-sex couples since, of course, Jesus told her she would be a bad girl if she did so. Naturally she was taken to court and just today, US District Judge David Bunning, who is described as a “conservative judge who was appointed by President George W. Bush”, ruled that she had to comply. Despite that, a couple said that they had been turned away again this morning.
Unfortunately I have not been able to find the actual text of the ruling and have had to rely on second-hand accounts. In the course of his ruling, Bunning quite reasonably said that he could not see how Davis’s religious rights had been infringed upon.
“Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do,” Bunning wrote. “However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.”
The judge rejected Davis’s argument that people who wanted a license could simply go to the next county and get one, saying there was no reason that they should have to and for some it would be a hardship.
Davis’s attorneys are, of course, are going to ask for a stay of the ruling since they are planning an appeal but this just seems like postponing the inevitable since this case seems pretty straightforward in the light of the Supreme Court ruing. The Sixth Circuit Appeals Court is very likely to uphold the ruling and that will be it as far as legal options go.
But Davis and her supporters will cry about being persecuted and their wailing and gnashing of teeth will only increase if she is held in contempt and fined or sent to jail for neither resigning nor doing her job.