Kim Davis might have started a new trend among county clerks–as other county clerks decide they’ve had enough over gay marriage.
Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who attracted nationwide attention when she refused to issue marriage licenses and was jailed for being in contempt of court, returns to work this week. As an elected official, she can’t be fired–she can only be voted out of office at the next election.
But, even as Davis plans to take back her office, other elected officials nationwide are doing everything they can to thwart the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“In North Carolina, all four magistrates in rural McDowell County have recused themselves from performing civil wedding ceremonies for any couples. The moves are allowed under a state law passed in June that allows certain public officials to avoid marriage duties if they have religious objections. So far, 32 magistrates across the state—about 5% of the total—have done so, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
“As a result of the void in McDowell County, magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County have been driving in to perform ceremonies three days a week, during reduced hours. Tonia Hampton, the McDowell County register of deeds, whose office issues marriage licenses, said the documents continue to be available during regular hours. ‘It’s business as usual for us,’ she said.”
Many county clerks–mostly in states where gay marriage was illegal until the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hobbes decision in June–are objecting to issuing marriage licenses because of religious grounds.
It remains to be see what impact, if any, anti-gay marriage warriors in government like Davis will have on the national legalization–but it makes it clear this fight is far from over.