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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 29
Kim Davis loses again

Appeals court upholds contempt ruling
Section One
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Kim Davis loses again

Appeals court upholds contempt ruling

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis lost yet another round in her ongoing legal battles over her refusal to process same-sex marriage licenses.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 13 that the contempt order against her should remain in place.

The next day, the court granted Davis's request to drop her pending appeal of a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis argued that since the state had removed the names of the county clerk from the licenses, she no longer felt obligated to refuse to process them.

Davis's contempt citation resulted from her refusal to issue same-sex licenses as ordered by US District Judge David Bunning. Davis served five days in jail for contempt, while her assistants complied with the court order and issued licenses in her name.

Davis was released after she promised not to interfere with the process of licensing Gay and Lesbian couples. The state of Kentucky ultimately decided to remove a line from the license forms that identified the county clerks by name as the officials issuing the documents, a move Davis claimed to be vindication for her position.

In a press release, the ACLU explained the legal ramifications of the 6th Circuit's action.

'Kentucky's new marriage law goes into effect this Friday, allowing all loving couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state without fear of discrimination,' ACLU LGBT Project Staff Attorney Ria Tabacco Mar said.

'In light of the changes to the law, the court correctly dismissed Kim Davis's appeals. Notably, however, the court kept in place a lower court order that found Ms. Davis in contempt for defying the law and denying our clients the marriage licenses they were legally promised. We're pleased that the appeals court kept that decision on the books; it will serve as a reminder to other government officials that placing their personal views ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law is not acceptable.'

In contrast, Liberty Counsel, which represented Davis, omitted any mention of her contempt citation from its statement, portraying the final disposition of her case as an outright victory for Davis.

'We celebrate this final victory for Kim Davis,' said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

'We asked the federal court of appeals to set aside the lower court injunctions against Kim Davis. The ACLU objected, and today the court sided with Kim Davis. The injunctions are gone, and Kim Davis received the accommodation that she requested. County clerks are no longer forced to compromise their religious liberty and conscience rights,' said Staver.

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