WMKY

Gov. Beshear Tells County Clerks to Fullfill Their Duties or Resign

Jul 21, 2015

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Think Progress

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he respects the religious convictions of county clerks who say they can’t issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. However, the Democrat says, now that the Supreme Court has declared that gay marriage is legal across the country, the issue has been decided.

Speaking at a press conference in Frankfort on Tuesday (July 21), Beshear says clerks who won’t comply with the law should resign.

“You can continue to have your own personal beliefs but, you’re also taking an oath to fulfill the duties prescribed by law, and if you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfill your duties that you were elected to do, than obviously an honorable course to take is to resign and let someone else step-in who feels that they can fulfill those duties.”

Gov. Beshear says now that the Supreme Court has now spoken on the issue, it’s time to enforce the law.

“When the Casey County clerk asked me for my advice on what to do, I said, I respect your feelings, but when you accepted this job and took that oath, it puts you on a different level. You have official duties now that the state law puts on you.”

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis created a firestorm when she decided not to issue any marriage permits following the High Court ruling.

A suit against her brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four Rowan County couples, two gay and two straight, is pending before U-S District Judge David Bunning. The judge says he’ll rule on the case in mid-August.