Monday, September 14, 2015

Ky. clerk says office will issue marriage licenses, but they will be invalid without her approval

The Kentucky county clerk who was jailed earlier this month for refusing to issue marriage licenses—based on religious grounds—returned to work this week with a promise not to interfere with deputy clerks issuing marriage licenses that she suggests will be invalid because they do not include her name, John Cheves reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said Monday that "the 'unauthorized' documents will say they are issued 'pursuant to a federal court order' instead of including her name and title." (Associated Press photo by Timothy Easley: Kim Davis at a press conference today)

Davis said she "altered the wording of the licenses so that they no longer bear her name or the title of 'Rowan County Clerk,' which she says wrongly suggests her approval," Cheves writes. She told reporters, "Any unauthorized licenses they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the licenses will say that they were issued pursuant to a federal court order."

While Davis said she "has 'grave doubts' about the validity of marriage licenses containing the altered wording," Kentucky family law experts "say that two qualified adults who marry in good faith typically are considered legally wed regardless of the precise wording on paperwork filed to record their marriage at the courthouse," Cheves writes.

Davis also said she holds no ill will towards her deputies, especially Brian Mason, the deputy clerk who issued marriage licenses in Davis' absence, Cheves writes. Davis told reproters, "I love my deputy clerks, and I hate that they have been caught in the middle. If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them." (Read more)

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