Clerk Ignores Court Order to Give Marriage Licenses to Gays

A Kentucky clerk who defied a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses and turned away four gay couples has until Monday to convince the judge to delay his mandate.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning rejected Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ claim that her Christian faith should exempt her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and ordered her on Wednesday to hand out the licenses. But her office kept denying them.

As the attorneys for gay and straight couples seeking a license warned they could request that she be held in contempt, Bunning ordered Davis to submit a final plea to stay his decision by Monday.

The fight in this eastern Kentucky college town began soon after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June. Davis was among a handful of clerks across the country to cite her Christian beliefs and declare she would no longer hand out licenses to any couples, gay or straight.

Legal experts have likened the case to the resistance some local officials in the South put up five decades ago after the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage.