Now it’s becoming clear: A case that erupted in Kentucky because same-sex duos demanded marriage licenses from a Christian county clerk who refused to issue them wasn’t about marriage at all.
It was about forcing a homosexual agenda on a Christian.
That’s the assertion of Liberty Counsel, whose lawyers are working with Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis.
She defied a federal court order to issue licenses to same-sex marriage couples and was jailed for nearly a week. During that time her deputies were ordered to start issuing the licenses.
But the same-sex duos who originally brought the case are trying to get U.S. District Judge David Bunning to penalize her again, claiming she’s not following his orders and the licenses may not be legitimate.
On Tuesday, her lawyers filed a response to the motion.
“The plaintiffs are showing their true colors in this latest filing,” the statement from Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel contended. “It has never really been about a marriage license – Rowan County has issued the licenses – it is about forcing their will on a Christian woman through contempt of court charges, jail and monetary sanctions. Kim wouldn’t give up the job she loves, so the plaintiffs are asking the court to put the county office into receivership – removing Kim from doing her job.”
The statement continued: “The fact is the plaintiffs already possess marriage licenses from Rowan County that have been approved as being valid by the Kentucky governor and Kentucky attorney general. Kim has taken all reasonable steps and good faith efforts to substantially comply with this court’s orders.”
The licenses are being issued to anyone legally eligible by the county clerk’s office deputies. Davis is redacting her name from the certifications and both the governor and the state attorney general have affirmed their validity.
But the plaintiffs insist that’s not good enough. They assert Davis should be fined and the federal courts should take over her office.
“There is no cause for this court to punish Davis with civil fines or take the extraordinary measure of annexing the Rowan County clerk’s office through the intrusive remedy of a receivership. This sanction is reserved exclusively for situations of last resort – not a hammer to be used while Davis’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint has been stayed, her consolidated appeals are pending in the Sixth Circuit, and licenses that are recognized as valid by the Kentucky governor and Kentucky attorney general are being issued in Rowan County,” Staver said.
“Since her return to the office on Sept. 14, 2015, Davis has not interfered with, hindered, blocked or obstructed the issuance of any marriage licenses by her deputy clerks to couples who are legally eligible to marry in Kentucky. Instead, marriage licenses approved, authorized and recognized as valid in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are being issued without delay to eligible couples,” the legal filing explains.
“And ‘alterations’ made by Davis constitute reasonable steps taken to ensure compliance with the court’s orders, because these steps ensure that marriage licenses will be issued in Rowan County, while also accommodating her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions.”
Lawyers previously had speculated the case was more about attacking a Christian than obtaining a license. To get to Davis’ jurisdiction, the plaintiffs had to travel through other jurisdictions where they could have obtained a license.
The plaintiffs in the case, although they already have licenses, had demanded of the court fines for Davis and a “receivership” of her office. Just days earlier they had demanded that the case be made class action.
“Imposing civil monetary sanctions against Davis and a receivership upon the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is extreme, unnecessary and improper under the circumstances of this case,” Davis’ lawyers said.
“After setting aside plaintiffs’ bluster and rhetoric in the motion to enforce, the following facts are undisputed: (1) licenses are being issued to all eligible couples in the Rowan County clerk’s office; (2) there are no differences between licenses issued to same-sex and different-sex couples in Rowan County – all licenses are the same; (3) Davis is not interfering … ; (4) couples who are legally eligible to receive marriage licenses are receiving the licenses and are deeming them vaild and acceptable.,” the filing said.
It was just the latest attack against David by the ACLU, which is representing the same-sex duos.
Just days ago, the plaintiffs said they wanted the case made class-action.
“From the outset of this case, Davis has consistently argued that there were multiple alternatives by which her sincerely held religious beliefs could be accommodated, without being burdened, while simultaneously allowing individuals to obtain valid marriage licenses in Rowan County. One of those proposed solutions is now in place, with the approval and authorization of the Kentucky governor, and this current status quo also embodies the reasonable steps and good faith efforts taken by Davis to comply with this court’s orders without violating her conscience,” her legal team explained at that time.
The clerk’s legal team added, “Unsatisfied with the status quo, plaintiffs are apparently looking to stir up controversy where it does not exist, perhaps to drive-up their own attorneys’ fees in this litigation.”
Davis has several challenges to the district court’s handling of the case pending before the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.