ACLU Files to Hold Kentucky County Clerk Accountable for Refusing Marriage Licenses

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Allison Steinberg, ACLU national, 212-549-2540, asteinberg@aclu.org

Amber Duke, ACLU of Kentucky, 502-581-9746, amber@aclu-ky.org

ACLU Files to Hold Kentucky County Clerk Accountable for Refusing Marriage Licenses

Rowan County Clerk Must Carry Out Duties as a Public Official and Marry all Couples

NEW YORK, NY - The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky today filed two motions with a Kentucky district court to hold Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis accountable for her continuing refusal to issue marriage licenses to couples in the case Miller v. Davis.

The motions ask the court to hold Davis in contempt of court for failing to comply with its previous ruling and to clarify that Davis must issue marriage licenses to everybody, not just the four named couples in the case. The court set a contempt hearing for this Thursday, at which Davis will be required to answer to the judge for her violation of the order and could face steep fines.

Last night, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis’ request for an emergency stay of the district court’s order pending an appeal. Davis, thus, has no legal basis to avoid performing her duties as government clerk, which include issuing marriage licenses to same-sex and opposite sex couples following the historic and sweeping marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges this June.

The following comment may be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“It is unfortunate that we’ve been compelled to take further action today to ensure that the people of Rowan County can obtain the marriage licenses they’re entitled to receive from their County Clerk’s office. The law is clear and the courts have spoken. The duty of public officials is to enforce the law, not place themselves above it.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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