The lawless, anti-gay crusade of Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis will continue to drag on as a federal judge has agreed to stay his ruling ordering her to issue same-sex marriage licenses so that she can take her case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Courier-Journal reports:
U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning on Monday denied a request to stay his recent order that called on Davis to issue licenses to all couples. But he also issued a “temporary stay” pending a review by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Because Davis’ “no marriage licenses” policy likely infringes upon plaintiffs’ fundamental right to marry, and because Davis herself is unlikely to suffer a violation of her free exercise rights if compelled to issue marriage licenses, the court concludes that the public interest is not served by granting a stay,” Bunning wrote.
However, he also found that “in recognition of the constitutional issues involved, and realizing that emotions are running high on both sides of the debate, the Court finds it appropriate to temporarily stay this order pending review of defendant Davis’ motion to stay by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.”
The AP reports:
Attorneys on both sides disagreed with the implications. Dan Canon, representing the gay couples, said Davis remains under the judge’s order. But Mat Staver, who represents Davis and is the founder of Florida-based Liberty Counsel, said the convoluted order essentially grants her request for more time.
Davis has refused to grant marriage license to anyone in Rowan County since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Kentucky’s governor ordered her to issue the licenses immediately, or resign. She told the judge that after consulting God, she decided she couldn’t comply.
The ruling imposes more delays on the efforts by two couples to get marriage licenses in the county where they live, work and pay taxes following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in June.
The Sixth Circuit, you’ll recall, was the only circuit court last year to let stand statewide bans on same-sex marriage.
The AP notes Davis “faces fines and a possible jail sentence for contempt of court if she loses the lawsuit, but she can only be impeached from her $80,000 a year job by the state legislature, and lawmakers won’t reconvene until January.”