Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin on
Friday vowed he would issue an executive order to remove the names of
county clerks from marriage licenses.
Bevin, a Republican who was elected on
November 3, becomes governor on December 8.
“One thing I will take care of right
away, we will remove the names of county clerks from the marriage
said during his first news conference as governor-elect. “That
is going to be done. The argument that that cannot be done is
Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat
opposed to marriage equality, has previously dismissed calls to issue
such an order, saying that it was outside his authority. He's said
that the issue could be addressed when lawmakers reconvene in
Kim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan
County, had repeatedly urged Beshear to remove clerk names from
marriage licenses. Davis served five days in jail for refusing to
comply with a judge's ruling ordering her to issue marriage licenses
to all qualified couples. She said that issuing such licenses would
violate her conscience.
Davis' lawyer, Mat Staver, founder and
chairman of Liberty Counsel, cheered Bevin's pledge in a statement.
“Kim Davis and Liberty Counsel
applaud Governor Elect Matt Bevin for his leadership in protecting
the rights of conscience of all County Clerks. It is refreshing to
have someone with the integrity, character, and concern of Matt Bevin
leading the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear could have
resolved this marriage license issue a long time ago, but he chose to
ignore the plea for help. Gov. Elect Bevin’s impending executive
order is a welcome relief for Kim Davis and should be for everyone
who cherishes religious freedom,” he wrote.