Gay man denied marriage license running against county clerk

By Allen Cone  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 2:59 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A man who was denied a same-sex marriage license by county clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky announced Wednesday he will run against her next year.

David Ermold, 43, teaches English at the University of Pikeville and directs Morehead Pride, a local gay rights organization in the city.

He is one of four Democrats who announced they will run in the primary in Rowan County, 64 miles east of Lexington, the Herald-Leader reported. Davis changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 2015.

"I am running to restore the people's confidence in our clerk's office and because I believe that the leaders of our community should put the needs of their constituents first, and always act with integrity and fairness," Ermold posted on his campaign website.

"We seek out the clerk's help for information on various life-changing events, and we deserve to have someone in office who will not only process those records responsibly and point us in the direction we need, but someone who also considers the personal well-being of all our citizens."

In 2015, Davis denied a marriage license to Ermold and his partner, David Moore, although a U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld the right for same-sex couples to marry.

After a federal judge ordered her to issue same-sex marriage licenses, she refused. Davis was jailed for five days.

One of her deputies, Brian Mason, agreed to issue licenses. In 2016, the Kentucky General Assembly established an alternate license.

"David Ermold's candidacy is irrelevant. He doesn't understand the office and the clerk's office is more than marriage licenses," Matt Staver, who represented Davis in her legal battles, told WKYT-TV. "Kim Davis is not concerned at all. He can make his statement by running but I don't think he has any chance."

Davis earlier announced she will seek a second four-year term. She previously worked for her mother in the office. Her son, Nathan Davis, is an employee in the clerk's office.

"The county clerk's office has been in the hands of the same family for almost 35 years," Ermold, a 14-year resident of Morehead, told the Herald-Leader. "I think there's the potential they want to keep it in the family. But everyone should have a fair shot, it should not be something that's handed down from mother to daughter and from daughter to son."

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