(AP) – A county clerk denied marriage licenses to gay couples again on Tuesday in direct defiance of the federal courts, and vowed not to resign, even under the pressure of steep fines or jail.
“It is not a light issue for me,” Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said later through her lawyers. “It is a heaven or hell decision.”
April Miller and Karen Roberts, tailed by television cameras and rival activists, were there when the doors opened Tuesday morning, hours after the Supreme Court rejected the clerk’s last-ditch request for a delay. They hoped Davis would accept that her fight was lost and issue the licenses in Rowan County, but were turned away.
Davis, an Apostolic Christian, stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June rather than comply with the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage nationwide. Gay and straight couples sued, saying she should fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal religious faith. Davis faces a federal court hearing Thursday over her refusal to issue the licenses.