On Monday evening, the Supreme Court refused to allow a Kentucky county clerk to continue denying marriage orders to gay couples because of what she said were her religious beliefs. Kim Davis – the Rowan County clerk – argued that she should be exempted from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her religious objection.
It remained unclear whether Davis would begin issuing marriage licenses when the office reopens on Tuesday, as her lawyers could not be reached immediately for comment. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution in June, the Kentucky clerk has refused to issue any marriage licenses.
Davis chose to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether, and was sued by both gay and straight couples. The clerk argued that Kentucky has more than 130 other marriage-licensing locations, and that her refusal was not a significant burden for the couples.
However, federal district and appeals court judges had declined to grant her wish, and Davis decided to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention. On the other hand, the high court’s ruling doesn’t end the clerk’s challenge, but for now, her office is obligated to issue marriage licenses.