Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a petition from Kentucky’s Rowan County clerk Kim Davis for an emergency stay on a court order requiring her to immediately start issuing marriage licenses to all eligible applicants, including same-sex couples. HRC welcomed the news as affirmation that personal religious opinions of public officials should not trump the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans.
“Ms. Davis’ choices are clear: she must either choose to follow the law or resign her public position,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “A public official’s personal religious opinion does not give her the privilege to trample over the rights of others. Freedom of religion is important, and Ms. Davis has the fundamental right to believe what she likes. But as a public servant, she does not have the right to pick and choose which laws she will follow or which services she will provide. We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the stay.”
On August 12, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to immediately resume issuing marriage licenses, although he later temporarily stayed his order as Davis appealed his decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit – which declined her request last Wednesday.