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Clerk 'Prayed for Months' on Marriage License Case

07-21-2015

A Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk says she prayed and fasted for months before deciding to stop issuing all marriage licenses once the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Kim Davis testified in a federal hearing Monday regarding a lawsuit brought against her by two gay couples and two straight couples.

"It wasn't just a spur-of-the-moment decision," she said. "It was thought out, and I sought God on it."

She said the First Amendment gives her the right to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it violates her religious beliefs.

Liberty Council, a religious freedom organization, is representing Davis in the case.

"This case is not about these plaintiffs' desires to get married," Liberty Council attorney Roger Gannam said. "The case is about the plaintiffs desire to force Kim Davis to approve and authorize their marriage in violation of her constitutionally protected religious beliefs."

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union say that type of thinking would mean local officials could deny marriage licenses to people who have been divorced -- or committed other actions some people consider sinful.

"Why should the taxpaying citizens of Rowan County have to go anyplace else aside from their own county to get a marriage license?" The Courier-Journal quoted ACLU attorney Daniel Canon. "Why should they be held to a different standard than anybody else?"

The judge said he'll decide the case by mid-August.

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