Kentucky Clerk says Governor Told Him to Issue Licenses or Resign

Jul 9, 2015

Casey County Clerk Casey Davis
Credit wtvq.com

A Kentucky county clerk said the state's Democratic governor told him he should either issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or resign from office.

Casey Davis met with Governor Steve Beshear Thursday.  Following the meeting, Beshear issued a statement saying he respected Davis' personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriage.

"However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place," wrote Beshear.  "While there are two or three county court clerks still refusing to perform their duties, the rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs. The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest."

Davis said he would go to jail before he resigned and vowed he would not issue any marriage licenses in Casey County after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in all 50 states.

Davis is one of several local officials across the country that have refused to comply with the court's decision, citing religious objections. The American Civil Liberties Union has already sued Rowan County Clerk of Court Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments in that case on Monday.