The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Kentucky county clerk must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision followed her request for an emergency order against issuing such licenses, stating that it violated her religious beliefs.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in June. Two gay couples and two straight couples filed a lawsuit against Davis, challenging her policy.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning issued a preliminary injunction requiring Davis to issue marriage licenses in July, noting that she had to “live up to her responsibilities as the county clerk despite her religious convictions.”
Davis issued an appeal asking the Supreme Court to block a lower court that was directing her to issue the licenses, and stating that she “holds an undisputed sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, only.”
Davis’ lawyers also noted that if forced to approve marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, Davis saw it as a “searing act of validation would forever echo in her conscience.”
The SCOTUS ruling did not include a dissent, and consisted of only one sentence: “The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.”
The SCOTUS Blog’s Lyle Denniston noted that the Supreme Court’s order was “not a final ruling on Davis’s argument that her right to freedom of conscience should give her an exemption from having any part in the licensing process that would lead to same-sex marriages,” and that she still have “an appeal on that question now pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.”
While many questioned whether Davis would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday morning that Davis is continuing to deny issuing licenses, despite the Supreme Court ruling.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to at least two couples Tuesday morning. David Ermold reportedly told Davis Tuesday that he and his partner, David Moore, would not “leave until we have a license.” Davis reportedly responded, “Then you’re going to have a long day.”