Thursday, August 06, 2015

Kentucky County Clerk Files Third-Party Complaint Against Governor In Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

As previously reported, in July the Kentucky ACLU filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis who is refusing to issue marriage licences to anyone because of her religious objections to issuing them to same-sex couples. On Tuesday, Davis responded by filing a third-party complaint in the suit against Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear as well as the state official responsible for marriage license forms.  Her third-party complaint (full text) in Miller v. Davis, (ED KY, filed 8/4/2015) alleges in part:
The Commonwealth of Kentucky, acting through Governor Beshear, has deprived Davis of her religious conscience rights guaranteed by the United States and Kentucky Constitutions and laws, by insisting that Davis issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples contrary to her conscience, based on her sincerely held religious beliefs. Because of Governor Beshear’s open declaration that Davis has no such rights, Governor Beshear has exposed Davis to the Plaintiffs’ underlying lawsuit, in which the Plaintiffs claim a constitutional right to a Kentucky marriage license issued specifically by Davis. Governor Beshear is not only liable to Davis for Plaintiffs’ claims, but is also obligated to effect Kentucky marriage licensing policies that uphold Davis’s rights of religious conscience.
Liberty Counsel issued a press release announcing the filing of the complaint. AP reports on the filing.