ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. — Same-sex couples fighting for the right to marry won yet another legal victory Wednesday — this time in Kentucky, though the county clerk on the other side of the battle might not be ready to throw in the towel yet.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled Wednesday against Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, ordering her to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Davis had refused to do despite a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court — the highest court in the country — that mandated that all states allow same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds.
Davis has stated that it is within her First Amendment rights to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs. In fact, she won’t issue licenses to anyone — gay or straight — until the matter is resolved definitively in her eyes.
And it’s not yet, according to the clerk, who has shown no inclination to alter her stance despite being ordered to grant licenses by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and a federal court judge.
The Rowan County clerk has responded by taking her case to court repeatedly. The closest thing to a victory came August 17, when U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered a temporary stay on the issuing of marriage licenses by the Rowan County Clerk’s Office while the appeal is pending, according to court documents.
While there’s no guarantee that any federal court will take up her case now, her lawyer says she’s ready to find out.
“We will be in contact with her (Davis) in determining the next, step but one option is to ask the Supreme Court for a stay pending appeal,” said Mat Staver, the founder of the Liberty Counsel that is representing the Kentucky county clerk.