ROLE OF THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE
Davis has said she hopes the state General Assembly will change Kentucky laws to find some way for her to keep her job while following her conscience. But unless the governor convenes a costly special session, state lawmakers won’t meet until January. So far, Beshear has refused to call a session.
Davis has refused to resign her $80,000-a-year job. As an elected official, she can lose her job only if she is defeated in an election or is impeached by the state Legislature. The latter is unlikely given the conservative nature of the state General Assembly.
NEARBY, IN NORTH CAROLINA
Under a law that took effect June 11, North Carolina government employees who issue marriage licenses or can preside over civil ceremonies may refuse to do so by invoking their religious beliefs.
So far, more than 30 magistrates in the state have refused to perform weddings under the law. That represents nearly 5 percent of the state’s 670 magistrates. Around a dozen other register of deeds workers who issue licenses also sought recusals shortly after the law took effect.
The chief District Court judge or the county register of deeds — both elected officials — fill in on marriages if needed when employees refuse.
The law exempts court officials with a “sincerely held religious objection” and is designed for those opposing gay marriage, but recusals apply to all marriages. Only Utah has a similar recusal law.
State Sen. Phil Berger, who sponsored the law, said it is probably preventing situations like the one in Kentucky.
Some Democrats have said legal challenges to the new law are likely.
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