MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — The latest in the refusal of a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (all times local):
Casey County Clerk Casey Davis has begun a bike ride across Kentucky to bring attention to the circumstances of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses, despite an order from a federal appeals court that upheld a judge's directive to issue the licenses.
Kim Davis has cited her Christian belief against gay marriages and declared she would refuse licenses to all couples, gay or straight, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.
A statement from The Family Foundation says Casey Davis set off at 4:30 a.m. in Pikeville in the eastern part of the state and plans to ride to Paducah, in the western part of the state. According to Google maps, it would take 44 hours to cycle from Pikeville to Paducah, which is 461 miles.
"I cannot let my sister go to jail without my doing something to let others know about her plight," Casey said in the statement.
Although the two are not related by blood, The Family Foundation says they are bonded by religious conviction.
Casey Davis says Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear should do more to protect religious liberties.
William Smith Jr. and James Yates walked out of the clerk's office, shaking their heads in bewilderment.
Two months ago, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation, Yates got down on one knee and proposed to Smith, his partner of more than a decade.
They wanted to plan a summer wedding, so went days later to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' office for a license, and were turned away. That first time, they were shocked by the rejection.
Davis cited her Christian belief against gay marriages and declared she would refuse licenses to all couples, gay or straight.
Two weeks ago, the morning after U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses, Smith and Yates returned to her office. And when she rejected them again, their shock turned to anger.
On Thursday, they were turned away again.
"They just don't like gay people, they don't want us to get married," Yates said. "And they'd rather burn the earth and not let straight people in Rowan County get married either."
William Smith Jr. and James Yates strode Thursday morning into their county clerk's office for their third attempt to get a marriage license. The office of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis once again denied them, despite an order from a federal appeals court issued hours earlier that upheld a judge's directive to issue the licenses.
Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious liberty, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning had already ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses two weeks ago. He later delayed that ruling until Aug. 31 or until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling. The appeals court did so on Wednesday, denying Davis' appeal.
But a deputy clerk in Davis' office told Smith and Yates that the office believes Bunning's delay remains in effect until Aug. 31. He refused to give his name or give them a license.