Same-sex couples throughout Kentucky are getting an early wedding present as the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision approaches: Kim Davis has finally stopped trying to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses, NBC News reports.
In court papers, Davis’ lawyers asked to dismiss an appeal of a court decision requiring her office to issue licenses because of a newly-instituted state law, signed by Gov. Matt Bevin (R), which removes all clerks’ names from marriage licenses. Davis’ lawyers argue that that law makes her objections to having her name included on the licenses of same-sex couples moot.
For the past year, Davis had requested a religious accommodation because of her personal opposition to same-sex marriage. When she was not granted one, she refused to issue licenses to any couple in Rowan County — gay or straight. Even when her deputies agreed to issue the licenses in her stead, she refused to allow them to do so, because her name and official title appeared on the license form. As a result, she was briefly thrown in jail for contempt of court, turning her into a conservative darling.
“I am pleased that I can continue to serve my community as the Rowan County Clerk without having to sacrifice my religious convictions and conscience,” Davis said in a statement.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had sued Davis on behalf of two opposite-sex couples and two same-sex couples who were unable to obtain licenses after Davis’ office stopped issuing them, released its own statement on the motion before the court.
“We agree that Kim Davis’ appeals should be dismissed,” James Esseks, the director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, said. “Once the new Kentucky law becomes effective, all loving couples seeking to obtain marriage licenses will be able to do so on an equal basis.”
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