Defiant Kentucky clerk loses same-sex marriage license fight

Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis shows emotion as she is cheered by a gathering of supporters during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort Ky., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Photo: CBS News

The Supreme Court on Monday denied Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ request for a stay while she pursues an appeal.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis objects to same-sex marriage for religious reasons. The Supreme Court says the constitution guarantees gay people have the right to marry, but Davis contends the First Amendment guarantees her the right of religious freedom.

She stopped issuing all marriage licenses the day after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide in June.

In the two months since the court legalized gay marriage, Davis has refused to issue any marriage licenses. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued Davis, arguing she must fulfill her duties as an elected official. A federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses and an appeals court upheld that decision.

It’s not clear exactly what she will do when her office opens Tuesday. Her attorney has said she will pray about it overnight.

The couples’ attorneys might now ask a federal judge to hold her in contempt of court if she continues to refuse to issue the licenses. A contempt order could carry steep fines or jail time.

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