Worthy Christian News » Christian » Federal judge orders Christian clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses
(Worthy News) - A county clerk in Kentucky will not immediately issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, her lawyer says, despite a federal judge ordering her to do so Wednesday in a case that seeks to reconcile the country's new marriage law and its protections of religious freedom.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was one of a handful of local elected officials across the country that stopped issuing all marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her in federal court in the first lawsuit of its kind in the country.
County clerks issue marriage licenses in Kentucky, but someone else must "solemnize" the marriage before the license can be filed with the county clerk. Davis argued that issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple that contains her signature is the same as her approving the marriage, which she said violates her Christian beliefs. But U.S. District Judge David Bunning rejected that argument, saying Davis has likely violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on the government establishing a religion by "openly adopting a policy that promotes her own religious convictions at the expenses of others." [ Source ]
Judge Says State Law Doesn't Protect Her Religious Right
What about Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a law that says the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s freedom of religion”? Did that protect Davis?
No, Bunning said.
“The state is not asking her to condone same-sex unions on moral or religious grounds, nor is it restricting her from engaging in a variety of religious activities,” the judge wrote. “She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County clerk.”
“Our form of government will not survive unless we, as a society, agree to respect the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions, regardless of our personal opinions,” Bunning also wrote in explaining his ruling. “Davis is certainly free to disagree with the court’s opinion, as many Americans likely do, but that does not excuse her from complying with it. To hold otherwise would set a dangerous precedent.” [ Source ]