Defying Supreme Court, Kim Davis denies same-sex couple marriage licenses “under God’s authority”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court told Kim Davis that — for serious this time — she needs to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, denying a stay she had requested on a lower court’s ruling.

Today, she took the Court’s denial in stride by pretending it never happened, continuing to refuse to issue marriage licenses:

In the video, uploaded by Kentucky.com earlier this morning, a same-sex couple is shown repeatedly asking Davis why she won’t grant them a marriage license. Her responses range from defiant to delirious:

Davis: We’re not issuing marriage licenses today.

Man: The Supreme Court denied your stay.

Davis: We are not issuing marriage licenses today, so I would ask you all to…

Man: Based on what? Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?

Davis: Because we’re not.

Partner: Under whose authority are you not issuing marriage licenses?

Davis: [stern look] Under God’s authority.

This set the assembled crowd off, prompting Davis to ask them to leave (again) because “you all are interrupting my business.” The County Clerk’s office, as Davis knows, is not a business. Davis eventually returned to her office, retreating from the room to chants of “This is your job.”

But perhaps not for much longer. By going against the ruling of literally every court that has weighed in on this case thus far, refusing to issue marriage licenses after the deadline for her to do so had passed, Davis could easily find herself charged with official misconduct — a charge that could carry either fines or jail time.

Another video from the exchange shows Davis telling the couple that, while she doesn’t value them less as people for being gay, she can’t in good conscience issue a marriage license to them because “I’m willing to face my consequences as you all will face your consequences when it comes time for judgment.”

The administrator sitting next to Davis throughout the exchange looks really uncomfortable. I wonder why.

In any case, God has no authority in the County Clerk’s office. Sooner or later Rowan County, Kentucky will begin issuing marriage licenses again — to all couples. The only question is whether those licenses are issued by a conciliatory, apologetic Kim Davis or by someone else, with Kim Davis either resigned or in jail.

UPDATE: The ACLU of Kentucky has filed a contempt of court motion against Davis.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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