A gay Kentucky couple together more
than 17 years recorded being denied a marriage license in Rowan
David V. Moore and David Ermold
recorded the video on Tuesday.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has
pledged never to issue a marriage license to a gay couple, saying it
would be a violation of her Christian beliefs.
“It's a deep-rooted conviction; my
conviction won't allow me to do that,” Davis said. “It goes
against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”
Rather than serve gay couples, Davis'
office has stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples. The
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky responded by filing
a class action lawsuit against Davis last week.
The footage shows the men being
insulted and threatened with removal for recording their request.
As the men wait in line, a woman
believed to be an employee refers to the men and their female friend
as “girls”: “Don't you girls have anything better to do?”
The woman recording the incident is
warned that the police have been called because she is not allowed to
A male worker attempts a preemptive
intervention, telling the men as they wait in line that the office no
longer sells marriage licenses.
When a worker skips over the men to
help a woman, the male worker tells them that their business “has
been taken care of.”
As they continue to wait to be helped,
several people take photographs of the couple. One man wearing a “I
Support Kim” t-shirt – a reference to Davis' stand – says as he
records the couple, “The face of ignorance.”
When they reach the counter, a female
employee informs the men that they are not issuing licenses. The men
point out that they do not wish to travel to another county and the
woman says it is Davis' “right” as a Christian to deny them a
“You can go to any other county and
get your marriage license,” she says. “We're not doing it at
this time – not even for other people.”
When Davis approaches the men, she asks
them to stop recording. By this point, many bystanders are also
recording the incident, but Davis only asks the couple's female
friend to turn off her device.
A male employee tells her that it's
“common courtesy not to shove it in people's faces,” seemingly
oblivious to the fact that Davis' supporters are not only also
recording the incident but taunting the couple.
Moore agrees to turn off the device.
The 11-minute video quickly went viral,
racking up more than 700,000 views in its first day.