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Debate This | Should the clerk in Kentucky issue same-sex marriage licenses?

A Kentucky court clerk has not issued marriage licenses from her office since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the same rights as other couples when it comes to marriage.

Kim Davis claims it is against her personal religious beliefs to condone unions of gay couples. She argues that since her name is on each license issued, she should not be compelled to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The clerk, who took over the post in January for a four-year term, has adamantly refused to issue the licenses despite a court appearance Sept. 3, that could land her in jail. She says she is awaiting on the outcome of an appeal to the Supreme Court, although judges have insisted she issue the licenses.

Several gay couples continue to show up to Davis’ office for licenses, including Monday when a federal judge had issued a deadline for Davis to comply, but have repeatedly been rebuffed.

Should she be ordered to issue the licenses immediately?

Of course she should

It is in the job description for court clerks that they are to issue marriage licenses. And because of the Supreme Court ruling, marriage licenses can now legally be issued to couples whether it is two males, two females or a male and a female applying for one.

If a court clerk is unable to perform his or her duties — for whatever reason — he or she she should resign the post.

If condoning gay marriage is against Davis’ religious beliefs, she should have resigned her post immediately following the Supreme Court ruling.

Davis has a right to believe whatever she wants, but in this country, we separate church and state. If she can’t do that as a court clerk, she needs to find a job where she can.

No way

The issue of gay marriage was bogged down in the courts for years before the Supreme Court’s decision in June. That sets a precedent for an issue mired in a legal battle, so why shouldn’t Davis’ appeal get the same amount of time consideration?

Just as gay couples have the right to stand up for their beliefs, so does Davis.

The issue seems more about sensationalism than it does substance. The Rowan County office where Davis works is less than a half-hour drive from another county clerk’s officer where same-sex licenses are being issued.

Were Davis only not issuing licenses for gay couples, this would be a differnt argument. However, she is not discriminating, choosing instead to not issue licenses at all.

With that being the case, what’s the harm in letting her appeal play out? Gay couples certainly have had their day in court.

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