In his 28-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ruled Wednesday that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite her personal religious objections.
Wrote Judge Bunning:
“Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County clerk.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued on behalf of two same-sex couples and two opposite-sex couples, alleging that Davis violated their constitutional rights when refusing licenses.
Rowan who was defended by lawyers from the anti-gay hate group the Liberty Counsel said that issuing licenses under her name would violate her religious beliefs, even if a deputy clerk performs the task in her stead.