Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kentucky Clerk, Continuing Fight Against Issuing Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples, Gets Short Reprieve

Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis is continuing her battle to obtain a religious exemption from the requirement that her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  As previously reported, last week a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction requiring her to end her resistance, at least as to the two same-sex couples suing her.  Davis' office has been refusing to issue marriage licences to anyone.  Yesterday in Miller v. Davis, (ED KY, Aug. 17, 2015), the district court refused to stay its injunction while an appeal to the 6th Circuit plays out.  The court found that Davis is not likely to succeed on the merits in the appeal nor is she likely to suffer irreparable harm without a stay. However the court did grant a shorter stay. The court said "realizing that emotions are running high on both sides of the debate," it would grant a stay while Davis appeals the denial of a longer stay during the appeal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports on these developments and reactions to them:
"Here in Morehead, we have a fairness ordinance (protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians) that our city council passed unanimously in 2013," said Mary Hargis, a retired state worker holding a sign that read "Obey the law."
"So to have a county official on her own turn around and negate all that progress by making us look like backward, inbred hillbillies, she's just reinforcing all the stereotypes people had about us...
[Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]

UPDATE: On Aug. 19, the district court, saying the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure require it to set an expiration date, issued an order (full text) providing that the stay it issued two days earlier will expire on Aug. 31 unless the 6th Circuit orders something else.