Video A deputy clerk at Rowan County Courthouse issued a same-sex couple a marriage license on Friday. The husband of the clerk said his wife would continue to defy the law despite being jailed.
By JOHN MURA and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
September 4, 2015
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Gay and lesbian couples waded through a throng of protesters and journalists Friday and emerged from the courthouse here as the first in Rowan County to be issued licenses for marriage between people of the same sex.
Less than an hour’s drive to the east, the county clerk, Kim Davis, who was ordered jailed on Thursday by a federal judge for defying a court order to issue the licenses, remained determined to stay locked up rather than relent, her lawyer and her husband said. They vowed to continue their efforts to reverse the court order and win her release, and they argued that the licenses being issued by deputies in Ms. Davis’s office were invalid.
By the day’s end, eight couples — six of them same-sex — had made their way through the charged crowds outside the courthouse and obtained marriage licenses from the clerk’s office. Ms. Davis had stopped issuing marriage licenses for anyone more than two months ago, after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that legalized gay marriage, saying that giving licenses to same-sex couples would violate her Christian beliefs.
The first couple to reach the clerk’s office, James Yates, 41, and William Smith, 33, picked their way through reporters and news cameras as a routine paperwork exercise turned into a national spectacle. Their voices barely audible, they stood before Brian Mason, a deputy clerk, answered a few routine questions and exchanged some papers. A cash register rang as they paid a $35.50 fee and collected their change, and Mr. Mason extended his hand and said, “Congratulations.”
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Mr. Smith and Mr. Yates hugged tightly, and tears filled Mr. Smith’s eyes as he buried his face in his fiancé’s shoulder. They emerged to a roar of cheers and jeers from the protesters on the plaza outside. “I think it shows that equality is everywhere,” …Read More