A Kentucky clerk who stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples – gay or straight – after the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage now faces a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU-Kentucky Thursday.
The challengers in the suit – two gay couples and two straight couples – say Rowan County Clerk Kimberly Davis violated their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and ask that Davis be compelled to begin issuing the licenses again, in addition to seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
They also brought the complaint on behalf of the individuals who are otherwise qualified to be married in Rowan county, but can no longer do so because of Davis’ refusal to grant licenses.
“We have been citizens of Rowan County since the beginning of our relationship and love being members of this community,” Aaron Skaggs, one of the challengers, said in ACLU’s statement announcing the suit. “So, it only makes sense that we would want and should be granted our right to be recognized as a loving couple having freedom to marry here at home.”
Davis is one of a number of clerks who stopped issuing marriage licenses entirely after last week’s Supreme Court ruling out of religious objections to same-sex marriage.
Davis previously told WKYT, “It is my deep conviction and belief that God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. I can’t be a part of this.” Dozens of demonstrators protested her decision outside the Rowan County Courthouse Tuesday morning, WKYT reported.
In the ACLU statement, Laura Landenwich, ACLU-Kentucky’s cooperating attorney, said, “Ms. Davis has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs.”