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MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — The latest in the refusal of a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (all times local):
A Kentucky clerk embroiled in a legal fight over the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples says she will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
Citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious freedom, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has steadfastly refused to issue marriage licenses — even though the Supreme Court two months ago legalized gay marriage throughout the country.
Davis, who refused to grant a marriage license to a gay couple Thursday, said she asked the court to extend the delay of a federal judge's ruling that orders her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The judge delayed the order until Aug. 31 or until a federal appeals court rules to the contrary. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling.
But Mat Staver, founder of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel that represents Davis, said he believes the judge's order is still delayed until Aug. 31.
Staver told The Associated Press he plans to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court on Thursday or Friday. He wants the court to delay the judge's order until Davis' appeal of a lower court ruling to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals completed, a process that could take several months.
A Kentucky county clerk temporarily closed her office Thursday, hours after denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.
A note taped to the doors of Davis' office said: "sorry our office is closed for computer upgrades. ETA 1 hour."
Davis and an entourage of deputy clerks walked out of the office and drove away. She declined to comment.
As she left, gay rights activists shouted at her.
"Gay or straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right," they chanted.
Davis cites her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious freedom in refusing to issue licenses. She has defied orders from a federal judge and an appeals court, and has said she will not resign from her elected position.
Casey County Clerk Casey Davis has begun a bike ride across Kentucky to bring attention to the circumstances of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses, despite an order from a federal appeals court that upheld a judge's directive to issue the licenses.
Kim Davis has cited her Christian belief against gay marriages and declared she would refuse licenses to all couples, gay or straight, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.
A statement from The Family Foundation says Casey Davis set off at 4:30 a.m. in Pikeville in the eastern part of the state and plans to ride to Paducah, in the western part of the state. According to Google maps, it would take 44 hours to cycle from Pikeville to Paducah, which is 461 miles.
"I cannot let my sister go to jail without my doing something to let others know about her plight," Casey said in the statement.
Although the two are not related by blood, The Family Foundation says they are bonded by religious conviction.
Casey Davis says Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear should do more to protect religious liberties.
William Smith Jr. and James Yates walked out of the clerk's office, shaking their heads in bewilderment.
Two months ago, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation, Yates got down on one knee and proposed to Smith, his partner of more than a decade.
They wanted to plan a summer wedding, so went days later to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' office for a license, and were turned away. That first time, they were shocked by the rejection.
Davis cited her Christian belief against gay marriages and declared she would refuse licenses to all couples, gay or straight.
Two weeks ago, the morning after U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses, Smith and Yates returned to her office. And when she rejected them again, their shock turned to anger.
On Thursday, they were turned away again.
"They just don't like gay people, they don't want us to get married," Yates said. "And they'd rather burn the earth and not let straight people in Rowan County get married either."
William Smith Jr. and James Yates strode Thursday morning into their county clerk's office for their third attempt to get a marriage license. The office of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis once again denied them, despite an order from a federal appeals court issued hours earlier that upheld a judge's directive to issue the licenses.
Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious liberty, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning had already ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses two weeks ago. He later delayed that ruling until Aug. 31 or until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling. The appeals court did so on Wednesday, denying Davis' appeal.
But a deputy clerk in Davis' office told Smith and Yates that the office believes Bunning's delay remains in effect until Aug. 31. He refused to give his name or give them a license.
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