A county clerk in Arkansas announced she was resigning from her office Tuesday, citing religious and moral objections to the Supreme Court ruling that banned states from discriminating against “gay” couples who seek to marry.
Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey said she told her boss, Judge Jerry Holmes, of her plans, CBS reported.
“It is definitely a moral conviction for me,” she said. “I didn’t announce anything publicly or on social media or anything because I didn’t want my decision to be seen as hateful. I know some people will look at it like that, but this wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. And I do not hate anybody.”
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said clerks need to follow the law.
In a statement issued shortly after the ruling, he said, CBS reported: “The Supreme Court has issued a decision and that decision must be followed. … County clerks should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples upon request, requiring exactly the same procedures, fees and other requirements as required for opposite-sex couples.”
In Kentucky, meanwhile, several county clerks announced outright they would not issue marriage licenses to “gay” couples. In Rowan County, Clerk Kim Davis said her office has decided to stop issuing marriage certificates altogether, to avoid any discrimination lawsuits.
“We’ve not had any applicants yet, but we’ve had several calls,” she said, to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “It’s hard, I will tell you that. What has happened is that five lawyers have imposed their personal view of what the definition of marriage should be on the rest of us. And I, as a Christian, have strong views, too. And I know I don’t stand alone.”
Chris Joe, the president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association, said several clerks have called him to cite religious objection to the court’s decision. And in response, they’ve decided to stop issuing marriage certificates entirely.
In Kentucky, clerks could face class A misdemeanors for refusing to perform “a duty imposed … by law,” the newspaper stated.
And that state’s attorney general, Jack Conway, issued a statement supporting that law: “Any clerk that refuses to issue marriage licenses is opening himself or herself to potential legal liability and sanctions.”
Still, other clerks are citing moral and religious objections and vowing to turn away “gay” couples. Among the counties fighting the ruling: Casey and Montgomery, the newspaper reported.