ACLU: Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Altering Marriage Licenses

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis
The American Civil Liberties Union said Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis removed her name from multiple marriage licenses. Photo by Carter County Detention Center

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 22 (UPI) — The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a new court order barring Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis from altering marriage licenses after she allegedly changed wording on some of the documents to remove mention of her name or office.

Davis changed the forms to delete the mention of the county, her name and all references to Deputy Clerk Brian Mason’s title, who issued the licenses in her absence, the ACLU said. Instead she replaced Mason’s title with “notary public” and had him initial the document rather than sign it.

The ACLU argued in a motion Monday the new documents create a “two-tier” system of marriage licenses throughout the state, implying same-sex couples “are second-class citizens unworthy of official recognition and authorization of their marriage licenses.”

“Her intentional creation of such uncertainty surrounding the exercise of a fundamental right like marriage — an uncertainty not faced by couples in other counties — is a significant burden and injury that plaintiffs and members of the putative class ought not bear,” the ACLU said in its motion.

“Davis’ decision to significantly interfere with the marriage licenses being issued as of this court’s Sept. 8 order not only violates the court’s clear directive, but it also has resulted in material alterations to those licenses that render their validity questionable at best,” the ACLU said.

Davis was twice ordered by the court to issue marriage licenses to all couples, including same-sex couples. She was jailed for six days when she refused to follow U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order to issue the licenses. She was released Sept. 8 and warned not to interfere with deputy clerks issuing the licenses in her place.

The ACLU is asking Bunning to prohibit Davis from changing the licenses and direct deputy clerks to issue the documents without changes. The ACLU asked Bunning to implement “coercive monetary fines” and possibly place the clerk’s office into receivership “for the limited purposes of issuing marriage licenses and the imposition of coercive monetary fines to compel her compliance with the court’s order.”

Davis is scheduled to appear in interviews with two national media outlets, the first on Tuesday on Good Morning America and then on The Kelly File on Fox News on Wednesday night.

Davis told ABC News she has been “called Hitler, I’ve been called [a] hypocrite, I’ve been called a homophobe.”

“Those names don’t hurt me. What probably hurts me the worst is when someone tells me that my God does not love me,” she said.


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