U.S. Supreme Court Denies Kentucky County Clerk's Request to Continue Refusing Marriage Licenses

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Crystal Cooper, ACLU national, 212-519-7894, ccooper@aclu.org
Amber Duke, ACLU of Kentucky, 502-581-9746, amber@aclu-ky.org

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Kentucky County Clerk's Request to Continue Refusing Marriage Licenses

Religious Beliefs Do Not Allow Rowan County Clerk to ‘Opt Out’ Of Duties as a Public Official

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied, without dissent, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis her request for a stay of an order from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that required her to issue marriage licenses immediately to couples in the case Miller v. Davis.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic and sweeping marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to any couple based on religious beliefs about marriage for same-sex couples. 

On August 12, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that plaintiffs in this case must be able to obtain marriage licenses in Rowan County. Davis proceeded to appeal that decision to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and when her request for a stay pending appeal was denied, she requested a stay pending appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court so that she may continue to refuse issuing marriage licenses.

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

“Today  the U.S. Supreme Court resoundingly affirmed that government officials must carry out the duties of public office. By refusing to simply issue a form, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has prevented our clients, four loving couples, from obtaining marriage licenses in the county where they live and pay taxes. Davis has no basis for any further delay in denying couples the freedom to marry.”

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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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