Metro Weekly

Conservative darling Kim Davis campaigns against gay marriage in Romania

Kentucky clerk styles herself a martyr as she urges Romanians to ban same-sex marriage in their constitution

Kim Davis – Photo: Fox News

Just when you thought she was out of the public spotlight, Kentucky’s Kim Davis has once again re-emerged to oppose same-sex unions, this time taking her campaign to Romania.

Davis, the Rowan County Clerk, and Harry Mihet, the vice president of legal affairs and chief litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, which once represented Davis, have been visiting Romania to discuss the threat that same-sex marriage poses to religious liberty and freedom of conscience, according to a Liberty Counsel press release.

Davis’ visit comes at a time when Romania is embroiled in a national debate over same-sex marriage. More than 3 million Romanians have signed a petition seeking a nationwide referendum to define marriage in the country’s constitution as a union between one man and one woman. That petition was unanimously approved by Romania’s Constitutional Court and is awaiting final approval in the Senate before a vote can be held.

Davis and Mihet, who was born and raised in Romania, have been traveling the country, meeting with religious leaders in the Orthodox Church, civic leaders, and members of Parliament, while giving TV and radio interviews aimed at spreading their message.

According to a press release from Liberty Counsel, that message is: “Same-sex ‘marriage’ and freedom of conscience are mutually exclusive, because those who promote the former have zero tolerance for the latter.”

“I am so glad for this amazing opportunity to finally introduce Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis personally to my Romanian people,” Mihet said in a statement. “Her story resonates loudly with them, and they are receiving her tearfully and very warmly, because they can still remember the not-so-long-ago days when they were themselves persecuted and imprisoned for their conscience. The freedom of conscience transcends national, cultural, religious and denominational lines, and Romanians are determined to prevent such injustice from ever happening again in their country.”

Davis’ fame stems from her willingness to go to jail after defying a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in keeping with the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage equality. Davis objected to the practice, citing her religious beliefs opposing homosexuality. Afraid of being accused of discriminating against gay and lesbian couples, she then issued a decree to her deputies that the county would not issue any marriage licenses until her name was removed from all marriage certificates in Rowan County.

After Davis went to jail for five days, after which she was released on condition that she not interfere with those deputies who were willing to issue marriage licenses. Kentucky lawmakers later changed the law to remove all county clerks’ names from marriage licenses, a measure that Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law. Davis, who had since appealed the judge’s decision in the marriage license dispute to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, then dropped her appeal. The appeals court agreed to dismiss the appeal, but kept the contempt ruling against her in place.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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