Kentucky denies gay couple right to marry – despite US Supreme Court legalizing same-sex weddings
An American gay couple is on a weird quest: a couple of months after same-sex marriage was legalized by the US Supreme Court, the two men are battling with local authorities in Kentucky, who keep blocking their marriage ceremony.
The couple went to the local County Clerk’s office twice, and filmed it. In the first video, they provide the paperwork from the Supreme Court and the letter from the governor’s office, stating that county clerks are to issue marriage licenses.
However, the employee they speak to interrupts them all the time, saying, “I’m sorry, but we’re no longer issuing licenses.”
In the second video, the couple is again at the County Clerk’s office, arguing with two employees this time, and getting the same answer again – that no marriage licenses are issued there.
The couple told RT that they don’t plan to give up their struggle.
“We have a lot of support from the community, but it’s the local government here that we’re really struggling with. It really is frustrating. We shouldn’t have to sue and get through a big, long, drawn-out court case to get what takes you seven minutes,” David Ermold said.
“We just want the license, and we don’t want to keep going through this humiliating experience over and over and over again,” he added.
His partner of 17 years, David Moore, told RT that the issue is bigger than just their personal problem.
“People need to stand up for their rights, for their human rights, for their civil rights,” Moore said. “If you don’t stand up and fight for your rights, and wait for people to get them to you, you’ll be waiting a long time. It may never happen.”
Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk, claims that her personal Christian beliefs allow her not to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
US District Judge David L. Bunning ruled against Davis, however. She “remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs, may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail,” Bunning said.
“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."
Davis has gone further, refusing to issue any marriage licenses – to gay or straight couples – to make her point. There are so far four couples, two of them straight, taking her office to court for the right to marry.
Apart from the gay couple RT spoke to, a same-sex lesbian couple are also determined to win their case against Davis’s office.
"We're going to keep coming back. We're going to fight this to the very end," Karen Roberts told AP, after she was denied a license to marry April Miller, her partner of 11 years.
In June, the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. On that day, Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, told county clerks to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples or resign. About 60 – or roughly half the state’s county clerks – objected to the move, urging the federal government to allow them to opt out of marrying LGBT couples on religious grounds.