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Clerk Prefers Jail to Issuing Licenses to Gay Couples

07-11-2015
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County Clerk Casey Davis insists he cannot be forced to do something that violates his religious beliefs.

Davis is standing his ground after Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered him to issue gay marriage licenses or give up his job.

Following a meeting with the governor on Thursday, he was issued an ultimatum: either comply with the Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage or resign.

"This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriage," Beshear said. "However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution."

Davis said he'll go to jail first.

"If that's what it takes for me to express the freedom of religion that I believe I was born with, I'm willing to do that," he told reporters following Thursday's meeting.

Meanwhile in Nebraska, a state ethics committee ruled on religious rights and gay marriage.

The committee determined that judges and court officials can refuse to perform same-sex marriages, but that would mean they cannot perform any marriages at all.

And in Ohio, a judge is seeking an exemption from performing same-sex marriages.

Toledo Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell cited his personal religious beliefs when he refused to marry a gay couple earlier this week.

"I apologize to the couple for the delay they experienced and wish them the best," the judge said in a statement.

McConnell will continue to perform weddings between men and women while he awaits a decision by a conduct and ethics board.

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