Kentucky clerk again refuses to grant marriage license
MOREHEAD - A Kentucky county clerk temporarily closed her office Thursday, hours after denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.
A note taped to the doors of Davis' office said: "sorry our office is closed for computer upgrades. ETA 1 hour."
Davis and an entourage of deputy clerks walked out of the office and drove away. She declined to comment.
As she left, gay rights activists shouted at her.
"Gay or straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right," they chanted.
Davis cites her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious freedom in refusing to issue licenses. She has defied orders from a federal judge and an appeals court, and has said she will not resign from her elected position.
William Smith Jr. and James Yates walked out of the clerk's office, shaking their heads in bewilderment.
Two months ago, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation, Yates got down on one knee and proposed to Smith, his partner of more than a decade.
They wanted to plan a summer wedding, so went days later to Davis' office for a license, and were turned away. That first time, they were shocked by the rejection.
Davis cited her Christian belief against gay marriages and declared she would refuse licenses to all couples, gay or straight.
Two weeks ago, the morning after U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses, Smith and Yates returned to her office. And when she rejected them again, their shock turned to anger.
On Thursday, they were turned away again.
"They just don't like gay people, they don't want us to get married," Yates said. "And they'd rather burn the earth and not let straight people in Rowan County get married either."