Kim Davis accused of invalidating marriage licenses for same-sex couples
ROWAN COUNTY, Kentucky, September 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The county clerk who threatened to challenge Kim Davis's stance against participating in licensing homosexual "marriage" has accused her of invalidating her office's marriage license forms in violation of a court order.
Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason's lawyer told a federal judge Friday that Davis is trying to sidestep the court's order that she not interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples by amending the forms and apparently making them invalid.
"Mr. Mason's concern is he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses and he is trying to follow the court's mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms," Richard Hughes said in a CNN report.
It is the latest turn in a contentious case hinging on the Supreme Court's June 29 imposition of homosexual "marriage" on all 50 states, and the religious freedom battle brought to the forefront as a result.
Davis, who opposes homosexual "marriage" based on her religious beliefs, was released from jail September 8 and ordered not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses in her office.
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Davis has refused to issue licenses to all couples so as to not discriminate against same-sex ones and has continued to refuse to issue them, requesting an accommodation that neither her name nor title as county clerk be used to sanction homosexual "marriage."
Hughes said Mason is the only person in the office issuing same-sex marriage licenses, by mutual agreement.
According to Hughes, Davis replaced the previous marriage license forms with forms that do not include her name, Rowan County's name, or any reference to a clerk or deputy clerk. Hughes also said the new forms require Mason to list his initials, instead of a signature, with a notarization alongside the initials.
The same-sex couple behind the lawsuit filed against Davis for refusing to issue them a "marriage" license also filed court papers, stating that Davis is "requiring her clerk to issue licenses in his capacity as a 'notary public' rather than a deputy clerk[.]"
Hughes said Davis's actions amount to further defiance of the court.
"It also appears to this counsel those change[s] were made in some attempt to circumvent the court's orders and may have raised to the level of interference against court's orders," he said.
"Kim Davis said Monday that her name and title would not appear on the forms and later that same day the Governor said the forms were valid," he said. "And Judge Bunning's order releasing Kim Davis said a form altered by Brian the day after the contempt hearing while Kim was in jail was valid."
"Kim Davis did not interfere with the Deputy Clerk's issuance of the licenses and in fact licenses have been issued," Staver continued. "The licenses were not altered to circumvent the court's order nor did Kim Davis circumvent the order."
Further intensifying the issue, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers representing the same-sex couple who sued Davis filed a brief asking the judge to allow the lawsuit to take class-action status, also referencing the changes Davis made to the form and claiming Davis is obstructing the issuance of marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
"These alterations call into question the validity of the marriage licenses issued, create an unconstitutional two-tier system of marriage licenses issued in Kentucky and do not comply with this court's September 3 order prohibiting Davis from interfering with the issuance of marriage licenses," according to the ACLU.