Ky. clerk Kim Davis interfered with judge's order, attorney says

Sep 18, 2015 5:58 PM by CBS/AP

OWENSBORO, Ky. -- The attorney for one of the deputy clerks in Kim Davis' office says Davis disobeyed a federal judge's order when she altered marriage license forms for same-sex couples.

Deputy Clerk Brian Mason has been issuing marriage licenses in Rowan Countyover the objections of Davis, the elected county clerk who believes same-sex marriage is a sin. Davis spent five days in jail for refusing to obey a federal judge's order that she issue the licenses.

The judge released Davis from jail but warned her not to interfere as her deputies issue licenses. Davis removed her name and the name of the county from the forms.

On Friday, Mason's attorney, Richard Hughes, said the altered forms would not be valid and thus constitute an attempt to violate the judge's order.

Davis became a hero to many conservative Christians when she stopped issuing the licenses after the Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage. Her profile reached a fever pitch when she was jailed, as protesters, presidential candidates and news crews from across the county descended on the small town of Morehead.

Davis lost another legal bid to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex coupleson Thursday, marking the latest in a mounting stack of rejected appeals.

Davis, who returned to work this week after five days in jail for defying a federal court order, had again tried to persuade the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to delay a judge's mandate that she issue marriage licenses to all couples.

Davis said on Monday she is being "forced to disobey her God" by allowing her office to issue licenses to gay couples.

The first couple to apply for a license Monday was Shannon Wampler and Carmen Collins. They stood at the counter for a half-hour, dozens of reporters gathering behind them and microphones bobbing above their heads.

Deputy Clerk Brian Mason -- sitting behind a sign that reads "marriage license deputy" -- gave them a license despite his boss's objections and after a delay because of a printer problem. Protesters in the back heckled Mason, but he ignored them, initialed the license and shook the couple's hands.

He remained calm, scrolling on his computer and chewing gum, despite the surreal scene unfolding before him.

Speaking outside the Rowan County Courthouse as she returned to work, Davis announced that any licenses issued by her office, with or without her name on the form, would be "unauthorized."

"I want the whole world to know ... If any [deputy clerk] 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. However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order."


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