|I do_divorce_I do_divorce-I do_divorce I do_divorce_ No Marriage for you under my law. She doesn’t obey her god but she will make you obey her|
A controversial US court clerk who has cited “God’s law” while refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses has herself been married four times, it has been revealed.
Rowan County courthouse clerk Kim Davis has defied a US supreme court order demanding she issue marriage licenses to couples – both gay and straight – at her office in Kentucky.
Davis, who was only elected clerk last fall, has publicly claimed her duty to God overrides the law of the United States.
“I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage,” Davis said in a statement.
“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience.”
But records obtained by the Guardian show Davis has been divorced three times before she “surrendered” her life to religion, which she said happened four years ago. “Divorce is rare,” according to a website on the Apostolic Christian religion, which Davis follows.
“I am not perfect,” Davis said. “No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and the Word of God.”
Her argument was not well-received by David Ermold and David Moore, a gay couple of 17 years who live in Moreland.
The pair first went to Davis’s office in late June, after the US supreme court handed down its landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage. Ermold, 41, told the Guardian he sent Davis’s office a letter immediately after the court’s ruling was handed down, “letting them know we were going to come down for a license”.
“We just wanted to get a license and have it done,” Ermold said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the way it turned out.”
The couple has since been turned away from Davis’s office three additional times, a “frustrating” experience in light of the high court’s decision to enshrine the right for gay couples to marry.
Moore, whose verbal altercation with Davis on Tuesday was captured on video and shared widely on social media, said the incident put him in a precarious position as a “very introverted person”.
“I don’t get angry … in front of lots of people hardly ever,” he said. “I’m beyond the point just being polite now. I’m not happy.”
Davis’s history as documented in her marriages may now raise charges that she is hypocritical in the application of her beliefs.
In 1984, Davis married store clerk Dwain Wallace, records show. More than a decade later, she divorced and married Joe Davis, her current husband. The couple’s relationship apparently fizzled out sometime around 2007, when Davis married Thomas McIntyre Jr, a construction worker. When she rejoined Joe Davis, 49, on 24 August 2009, it was her fourth marriage.
The 49-year-old mother of four worked at the clerk’s office for 27 years before winning her seat last November by only 465 votes.
Her quest to adhere to a strict interpretation of the Bible, and avoid issuing same-sex marriage licenses, is perhaps unsurprising given how her religious convictions run deep: in her statement on Tuesday, Davis said her choice to deny marriage licenses was not “a light issue for me. It’s a Heaven or Hell decision”.
But the Moreland native’s past raises questions of whether she is a hypocrite in the application of her faith.
For instance, Davis gave birth to twins after divorcing Wallace, according to the US News & World Report. McIntyre was the father, the news outlet said, but Davis ended up adopting them.
The decision stunned residents of Moreland who spoke with the Guardian, saying Davis didn’t allude to her strong religious ties while running for office last November.
Though Davis said on Tuesday her relationship with God precluded her duty as clerk to issue marriage licenses, she told the Moorehead News after winning the race last November: “[I] will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.”
A town of about 6,800, Morehead is situated along a roadway, about 65 miles from the city of Lexington. Residents described the saga over Davis’s decision to disregard an order form the supreme court as an unusually high-profile story in a typically quiet town.
For Ermold and Moore, the developments in recent days still came as a surprise. The people in Moreland were “fairly nice”, said Moore. “We’re just finding out the government is a little different.”
The decision to reject their request for a license burned the couple deeply, as Moore and Ermold supported Davis’s election bid last November.
“If we had known [how she’d respond to their license request] we wouldn’t have voted for her,” said Ermold. “She ran on a Democratic ticket, but clearly she’s not Democratic.”
Last month, a federal judge ordered Davis to abide by the court’s June decision; Kentucky governor Steven Beshear also ordered county clerks across the state to fall in line with the ruling.
But last week, Davis refused to issue licenses and on Friday night filed a request with the supreme court to stay the lower court’s decision. The supreme court denied her request on Monday night. Davis’s claim rests on her belief that issuing licenses to gay couples would infringe on her freedom of conscious.
In response to Tuesday’s maneuver by Davis, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a contempt motion with US district judge David Bunning. The request asks the court to impose financial penalties – not incarceration. Davis and her staff were ordered by Bunning to appear on Thursday at 11am to explain why she shouldn’t be jailed for contempt.
Additionally, the clerk risks a potential charge of official misconduct, a misdemeanor that could bring up to a year in jail. A spokeswoman for attorney general Jack Conway, a Democrat, said the Rowan County attorney was recently approached by a couple who were denied a marriage license.
“They informed the county attorney that they believe Ms Davis was violating state statute by refusing to issue licenses,” said Allison Martin, communications director for Conway.
The attorney expressed he had a conflict of interest because “he was representing the county in lawsuits regarding this issue”, and asked Conway to appoint a special prosecutor to review the allegations. The request is currently being reviewed.
By late Tuesday, the scene outside the clerk’s office along Main Street had quieted, besides the presence of one news truck. Earlier, supporters and critics had spilled across either side of the building’s entrance, hurling words back and forth on a warm September day.
The Christian non-profit group representing Davis, Liberty Counsel, posted on Facebook decrying the plaintiffs who filed suit against Davis as “militant homosexuals who … will be on her front step FORCING her to choose between obeying Scripture or going to jail”.
While a strong contingent turned out in support of Davis, a crowd funding campaign the clerk apparently launched this week has drawn little support: as of early Wednesday, it had raised $0.
Ryan Felton in Morehead, Kentucky
(CNN)The ACLU of Kentucky filed a motion in federal court Tuesday asking a judge to hold county clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court for failing to comply with the Supreme Court and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In court papers, the ACLU lawyers note that following the Supreme Court's order late Monday night, the plaintiffs in their case went to the Rowan County Clerk's office at 8 a.m. Tuesday to obtain a marriage license.
"Unfortunately , they were again denied by a deputy clerk who asserted that no marriage licenses would be issued," the ACLU said in a statement. The lawyers argue that Davis has "violated a definite and specific order" and that the Court is left "with no choice but to hold her in contempt."
Davis, of the Rowan County Clerk's office, has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision -- Obergefell v. Hodges -- came down. She is an Apostolic Christian who says that she has a sincere religious objection to same-sex marriage. Other clerks in the state have expressed concern, but Davis is the only one turning away eligible couples.
The ACLU said they do not compel her compliance through incarceration, but instead they urge the court to impose financial penalties "sufficiently serious" to compel her immediate compliance without further delay.
The lawyers also ask the judge to "state unambiguoulsy" that his original injunction applies to marriage licenses for all couples, not just the plaintiffs in the case.
A Kentucky judge has called for a hearing for Davis for 11 a.m. on Thursday in Ashland.
The Supreme Court on Monday night denied an emergency application from Davis who has been refusing to issue marriage licenses because of her religious objections.
The order marks the first time the issue of same-sex marriage has come back to the justices since they issued an opinion last June clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry nationwide.