The same judge who ordered Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has now rejected a motion filed by the ACLU that would have forced her to issue the licenses with her name and title on them.
“There is absolutely no reason that this case went so far without reasonable people respecting and accommodating Kim Davis’s First Amendment rights,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. He continued;
From the beginning we have said the ACLU is not interested in marriage licenses. They want Kim Davis’s scalp. They want to force her to violate her conscience.
According to Liberty Counsel — which is defending Davis — once Davis was released from jail and returned to her elected post as county clerk, she removed her name and her title as Clerk of Court from all marriage licenses. The ACLU, however, objected, demanding that her name and title remain on the licenses. Davis objected to her name being on the licenses because same-sex marriage is against the beliefs of her Christian faith.
In December, newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order protecting clerks who have religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ACLU filed a contempt motion, nevertheless, and was denied.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning rejected the ACLU’s motion based on status reports received. Bunning wrote:
These Reports state that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is issuing marriage licenses to individuals eligible to marry as needed … There has been no indication that Davis has continued to interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses since September 20, 2015 … Moreover, there is every reason to believe that any altered licenses issued between September 14, 2015 and September 20, 2015 would be recognized as valid under Kentucky law, making re-issuance unnecessary … Under these circumstances, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ request for relief is now moot.
“I am glad the court rejected this bully tactic,” said Staver.