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Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses

By
Amy R. Connolly
A newly married couple leaves San Francisco city hall after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 state. Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union sued a Kentucky county clerk on behalf four of couples, two same-sex, for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
A newly married couple leaves San Francisco city hall after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 state. Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union sued a Kentucky county clerk on behalf four of couples, two same-sex, for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 3 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a Kentucky county clerk on behalf of four couples, two of them same-sex, for refusing to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision that legalizes gay marriage.

The ACLU said Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis cited "deep religious convictions" in refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couple and violated the couples' rights.

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"By adopting a policy to withhold issuing marriage licenses to all individuals otherwise eligible to marry, Defendant Davis acted maliciously, with callous disregard for, or with reckless indifference to the clearly established rights of the named plaintiffs," the lawsuit says. "Davis, in her individual capacity, acted intentionally, willfully and in disregard of the clearly established rights of the named plaintiffs, and with deliberate indifference to the clearly rights of the named plaintiffs."

Davis told LEX 18 news she is standing firm on her decision, despite protests. She said she decided to oppose the June 26 Supreme Court ruling after prayer and fasting.

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"My conscience will not allow me to issue a license for a same-sex couple because I know that God ordained marriage from the very foundation of this world to be between a man and a woman, she said.

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The couples named in the suit are April Miller and Karen Roberts; Shantel Burke and Stephen Napier; Jody Fernandez and Kevin Holloway; and L. Aaron Skaggs and Barry W. Spartman.

Skaggs said he wanted to press for a marriage license in Rowan County instead of traveling to a nearby county that will issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

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"We have been citizens of Rowan County since the beginning of our relationship and love being members of this community. So, it only makes sense that we would want and should be granted our right to be recognized as a loving couple having freedom to marry here at home," he said.

RELATED Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage constitutional, legalized nationwide

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