News (USA)

Kentucky clerks follow law, but face tremendous conflict

Casey County Clerk Casey Davis and Whitley Clerk Kay Schwartz have joined Kim Davis in halting all marriage licenses out of their office. Casey Davis, who recently rode a bicycle across Kentucky to show support for Davis, said last week that he is willing to go to jail for his beliefs, too.

Schwartz did not return a series of phone messages.

Others clerks told The Associated Press they are opposed to same-sex marriage, but they weighed their convictions against their oath of office and decided to issue the licenses anyway.

“If I can’t abide by the law, I’d have to resign,” said Teresa Sheffield, the clerk of Monroe County. “According to the Bible, it’s wrong. But I issue them to a lot of people and we’re all sinners.”

Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown, a Baptist who has issued around 10 licenses to same-sex couples despite his religious objections, is leading a charge to get legislators to rewrite the law when they return to the statehouse in January. He hopes lawmakers take marriage licensing out of the hands of the clerks and reroute it to a state agency.

“It was tough. I thought about resigning,” he said. “But I came to the conclusion that the best thing for me to do was to stay here, do the job the people elected me to do and fight on a different level.”

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