What a week it’s been for Rowan County, KY marriage clerk Kim Davis, especially as the options have now run out for her refusal to issue any marriage licenses:
MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and the clerk will arrive at work Tuesday morning to face her moment of truth.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will have to choose whether to issue marriage licenses, defying her Christian conviction, or continue to refuse them, defying a federal judge who could pummel her with fines or order that she be hauled off to jail.
“She’s going to have to think and pray about her decision overnight. She certainly understands the consequences either way,” Mat Staver, founder of the law firm representing Davis, said on Monday, hours before a court-ordered delay in the case expired. “She’ll report to work tomorrow, and face whatever she has to face.”
A line of couples, turned away by her office again and again in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation, plan to meet her at the courthouse door.
Critics are piling on, with one of the couples (being denied three times) filing a lawsuit against Davis and the county government on 25 August, as well as the Rowan County Attorney’s Office referring a charge of “official misconduct” against Davis to the KY Attorney General’s Office. The Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper has also issued a second editorial condemnation against both Davis and Liberty Counsel, who are filing her appeals.
Davis may face criminal charges after tonight, if her office continues to refuse couples tomorrow. Meanwhile, Mat Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, continues to hedge for Davis’ obstinance in a press release (via JMG):
“Providing religious conviction accommodations is not antithetical for public employees. Throughout our history the courts have accommodated people’s deeply held religious beliefs. The Supreme Court’s marriage opinion does not suggest that religious accommodations cannot be made or that people have a fundamental right to receive a marriage license from a particular clerk. The stay request offers several options such as removing Davis’s name from the marriage license, thus removing the personal nature of the authorization. Another accommodation would be to allow licenses to be issued by the chief executive of Rowan County or developing a statewide, online marriage license process. There is absolutely no reason that this case has gone so far without reasonable people respecting and accommodating Kim Davis’s First Amendment rights.”
Patheos blog WWJTD has a legal analysis of this.