7 September 2015 - Kentucky clerk refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Uneasy Truce on Gay Marriage Is Shaken by Kentucky Clerk’s Defiance
Sheryl Gay Stolberg (The New York Times)
Kim Davis did more than register a protest when she went to jail last week after defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Ms. Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Ky., also helped unravel an uneasy détente in the nation’s culture wars that had prevailed since the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in June.
Some Republican presidential aspirants rushed to the defense of Ms. Davis, a Democrat, and other public employees who say sanctioning same-sex marriage undermines their religious freedom. Her resistance seems certain to generate a burst of new legislation aimed at carving out exemptions for such employees, and it could spur others to risk jail in states like Alabama, where religious objections are strong.
Held in contempt
Ed Payne (CNN)
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who's refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, has appealed the contempt of court ruling that landed her in jail last week, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
"While most Americans are enjoying the extended holiday weekend with family and friends, Kim Davis sits in isolation for the fourth day in jail," her attorney, Mat Staver, said in a statement Sunday. "We are working through the holiday to secure Kim's freedom."
Davis had refused to give licenses to same-sex couples after June's Supreme Court decision on grounds that issuing the licenses would violate her Christian convictions against same-sex marriage.
A federal judge ordered her to jail Thursday, ruling she was in contempt of court for refusing to issue the licenses and not allowing her deputies to distribute them for her.
Not an isolated incident
Andrew Wolfson and Mike Wynn (USA Today)
The Kentucky county clerk refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses isn't the only local official in the United States using religion as a basis for denying licenses to gay couples.
A federal judge jailed Kim Davis for contempt of court Thursday after she again refused to issue marriage licenses to gays in Rowan County, Ky., pursuant to the Supreme Court decision earlier this year. Most Republican presidential candidates are backing Davis, saying her imprisonment is an attack on religious liberty.
Despite the Supreme Court's 5-4 landmark ruling in the same-sex marriage case, many other local officials across the country are not giving up the fight.
A symbol of resistance
Associated Press in Morehead, Kentucky (The Guardian)
As a defiant Kentucky clerk sat in jail Friday, choosing indefinite imprisonment over licensing gay marriages, her lawyers approached the microphones outside and compared her to Dr Martin Luther King.
Around the country, other supporters reached for biblical heroes, comparing her to Silas and Daniel, imprisoned for their faith and rescued by God.
It’s precisely the narrative gay rights advocates had hoped to avoid. But as Davis’ mugshot rocketed around the internet, it became clear that the gay rights movement must battle this idea that Christianity is under siege, said Kenneth Upton, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, a law firm specializing in LGBT issues.
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"7 September 2015 - Kentucky clerk refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juillet 2015. Consulté le 21/09/2023. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/7-september-2015-kentucky-clerk-refuses-to-issue-same-sex-marriage-licenses