NEWS: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis continues to withhold marriage licenses from local residents, even after a federal appeals court upheld an order telling her to end her protest.
James Yates and William Smith Jr. were turned away by a deputy clerk in Davis’ office on the morning of 27 August 2015 when they asked for a marriage license. The deputy told the men Davis believes she can legally withhold marriage licenses until 31 August 2015, under an order issued earlier in August by U.S. District Judge David Bunning.
Davis has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of same-sex marriage 26 June 2005. The couple’s 27 August 2015 visit to the county clerk’s office was the third time Yates and Smith had requested a marriage license, and they were visibly upset.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Smith said after they exited the courthouse.
“We should be celebrating right now, enjoying our lives together,” Smith said. “Instead, we’re on nerves, waiting for someone to say we can get a marriage license.”
Davis remained behind a closed door inside her personal office and declined to appear or comment.
On 26 August 2015, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied Davis’ request to stay a preliminary injunction from Bunning ordering her to resume issuing marriage licenses, despite her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. But there is some confusion as to whether Davis was in contempt, because Bunning did agree to temporarily delay his injunction until 31 August 2015 to allow her time to appeal.
Yates said he and Smith will return to the courthouse on 1 September 2015 to try a fourth time, but he expects to be rejected again.
“They’ll file something else to delay it and they’ll make up more dates,” Yates said. “They don’t like gays and they don’t want them to get married, and to stop it, they’ll burn the Earth and not let straight people get married, either. That’s all that matters to them.”
The couple, together for 10 years, got engaged in June 2015 after the Supreme Court struck down Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage and legalized it nationwide.
“We had talked about doing it before,” Yates said. “But we wanted to wait until it was recognized here, because this is where we live. If it’s not recognized at home, then it’s almost like it doesn’t count.”