A day after a federal appeals court
said that a Kentucky county clerk must issue marriage licenses to all
qualified couples, a gay couple seeking a marriage license was turned
Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County,
is among the handful of Kentucky clerks who are defying the Supreme
Court's ruling striking down marriage bans in all 50 states.
Following the high court's June ruling,
Davis pledged never to issue a marriage license to a gay couple,
saying it would be a violation of her Christian faith.
Rather than serve gay couples, Davis
stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) of Kentucky filed a lawsuit against Davis on behalf of four
couples, two of whom are gay.
On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court
of Appeals denied Davis' request for a stay of a judge's ruling
ordering her to comply with the Supreme Court's decision. In denying
Davis' request, the court said that she was unlikely to prevail.
Courier-Journal reported that on Thursday morning James Yates
and William Smith Jr., who have been together nearly 10 years, were
turned away from the Rowan County Courthouse without a marriage
license. It was the couple's third attempt to marry in recent weeks.
An employee informed the couple that
the court's ruling is on hold until Monday, a reference to the
judge's stay, which he said would expire on August 31 or until the
appeals court ruled.
“They don't like gays, and they don't
want them to get married,” an emotional Yates told the paper. “And
they will burn the Earth and not let straight people in Rowan County
get married either.”
A rally to protest the policy is
planned for Saturday.