Kentucky Gov Beshear: Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples Or Quit
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear ordered clerk Casey Davis to comply with the law and issue a marriage license to same-sex couples or leave his post, news said.
Davis is among the three clerks in Kentucky that refused to issue marriage licenses for religious reasons and sat down in a meeting with the governor following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling favoring same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The governor stood firm in abiding by the law and urged Davis to perform his duties despite personal beliefs. After the meeting, Davis repeated the Governor’s line.
“Issue marriage licenses or resign—those were the words,” Davis said and added, “I can’t quit. . . I have a mortgage to pay.”
In a statement released after the meeting, Gov Beshear said he reminded Davis about the oath he took when he started his position as a county clerk.
“One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender. Mr. Davis’ own county attorney has advised him that his oath requires him to do so,” the governor wrote.
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He also said that in the latest ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court when it comes to the issue marriages, the “Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place.”
While Beshear confirmed there are two or three county clerks who remain stubborn and refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, “the rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs.”
He also said there will be no special sessions held to tackle the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples as such would only cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Any proposal about the process of issuing marriage licenses that meets the standards of the Supreme Court ruling should be carefully thought out and could be considered in the regular session in 2016,” the statement concluded.