Rowan County Couples Point to Governor’s Admission He Lacks Authority To Declare Altered Licenses Valid

November 20, 2015 3:45 pm

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NEW YORK – Couples from Rowan County, Kentucky today filed a brief in U.S. District Court supporting their prior assertion that the Rowan County clerk’s office failed to comply with orders directing deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses without interference by Clerk Kim Davis.

Today’s filing, by the couples’ counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, comes on the heels of outgoing Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear’s brief with the U.S. District Court acknowledging that the altered marriage licenses currently being issued by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis do not comply with Kentucky law, and that his office lacks authority to conclusively determine whether the alterations render those licenses invalid. The ACLU brief agrees with the Governor’s position that the altered licenses do not comply with Kentucky law, and it argues that, absent a court ruling, couples face unnecessary uncertainty as to whether their marriages are valid.

“We continue to fight for the loving couples who hold marriage licenses of questionable validity and for those who are waiting to legalize their unions until this issue is resolved,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project. “Kim Davis has been out of line and in violation of the law since last June. No one should be treated differently under the law because of the religious beliefs of a public official.”

The couples filed a motion on September 21, 2015 expressing concerns about the validity of the adulterated licenses and stating that Davis’s actions are a violation of court orders.

ACLU brief is available at:

Governor Beshear’s brief is available at:

More information about this case is available at:

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