Update: Rowan County Clerk Says Refusal To Issue Marriage Licenses a 'Matter of Religious Liberty'
Update 9:10 p.m.: Beshear's Statement
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear said "117 of our 120 county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender."
Here's his full statement:
Update 2:36 p.m.: Bevin Weighs In
The events in Rowan County happen amid a close gubernatorial election in Kentucky, and County Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to issue marriage licenses is among the issues that have entered the campaign.
On Tuesday, Republican nominee Matt Bevin issue a statement criticizing his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, for declining to defend the state's same-sex marriage law last year in a case that would eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bevin said Conway is "failing to defend the religious freedom of our Kentucky clerks."
"I once again call on Gov. Beshear and AG Conway to do their jobs and defend the Constitutional rights of all Kentuckians, including our county clerks. Playing political games with the lives of elected officials is unacceptable."
The Courier-Journal notes that the plaintiffs asked the Rowan County attorney to prosecute Davis, and the request was referred to Conway in his capacity as attorney general. The newspaper adds:
Conway's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment. Update: Conway's campaign said in a statement:
Beshear directed county clerks in June to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Neither of Kentucky's senators have weighed in yet:
Asked both Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul's offices about Rowan County. Crickets.— Ashley Lopez (@AshLopezRadio) September 1, 2015
Update 1 p.m.: Davis Says She's Made 'Heaven or Hell Decision'
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said her stance against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a judge's order is a "Heaven or Hell decision."
Davis, who was elected clerk in 2014, noted that she's worked in the clerk's office for 27 years.
"Some people have said I should resign, but I have done my job well," Davis said in the statement, issued through her attorneys.
Update 12:15 p.m.: Hearing on Thursday
U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Thursday will have a hearing on the contempt motion against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis filed Tuesday by couples who've been denied marriage licenses by her office.
Late Tuesday morning, protesters were still outside the Rowan County Courthouse. About 50 people were gathered on opposing sides — one side chanted "do your job" and "fire her." The other side chanted "stand firm."
Update 11:50 a.m.: Couples File With Court
The couples suing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for her refusal to issue marriage licenses have asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to hold her in concept.
The motion was filed Tuesday morning after Davis again refused to issue marriage licenses, defying Bunning's order. The Supreme Court refused to issue a stay on the order on Monday.
The plaintiffs are asking the judge to levy fines against Davis, instead of ordering her to be incarcerated. The documents from the ACLU of Kentucky, which is representing the plaintiffs, can be read here.
Update 10:24 a.m.: The Latest
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis returned to her office Tuesday morning to chants of "do your job" from a crowd gathered inside the building. Here's what the scene looks like inside or outside the courthouse.
Earlier: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis continues to deny marriage licenses to couples one day after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay a decision ordering her to do so.
Davis now risks being held in contempt of a federal court order.
Rowan County residents David Moore and David Ermold were again denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Clerk’s office Tuesday morning. Davis said "God’s authority" permits her to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She’s also refusing to issue licenses to heterosexual couples, to avoid being accused of discrimination, she has said.
“I’m willing to face my consequences as you all will face your consequences when it comes time for judgment," Davis said Tuesday.
Late Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis's appeal of a preliminary injunction to resumeissuing marriage licenses. Davis stopped issuing the forms after the high court legalized same-sex marriage in June. Davis could now be held in contempt of U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning's order to resume issuing marriage licenses.