She has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling in June.
Kim Davis, Clerk of Court in and for Rowan County, Kentucky, holds religious beliefs that conflict with same-sex marriage.
Since the court legalised gay marriage nationwide two months ago, Ms Davis has refused to issue any marriage licences to anyone.
A federal judge ordered her to issue them, and an appeals court upheld that decision, but she still turned away couples.
While the couple did not speak with Davis on Tuesday, they were greeted with protesters from both sides of the issue after leaving her office.
Officials have said it might be possible to charge her with official misconduct, a misdemeanor; a conviction could result in a court order removing her. The county attorney has declined to take up the question, referring it to the state’s attorney general, Jack Conway, a Democrat who is running for governor.
The ACLU is now asking that a judge hold Davis in contempt for not doing her job, meaning she could be facing a slew of sanctions.
“Under whose authority?” she was asked. A third same-sex couple, David Ermold and David Moore, also were denied a license.
Ermold and Moore cried and swayed as they walked out to chants from the clerk’s supporters. “But they won’t accept our beliefs and our ways”.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is defending the couples who have sued Davis.
The videotaped exchange between a couple seeking a license and Davis was posted on the Courier-Journal newspaper website.
“I have no legal authority to relieve her of her statutory duty by executive order or to remove her from office”, Beshear says, issuing a statement in which he also says he won’t call a special session to give the state legislature a chance to rewrite Kentucky’s statute about county clerks’ power.
Joe Davis compared his wife to the biblical figures Paul and Silas, sent to prison and rescued by God.
Davis then retreated into her inner office, where closed blinds sheltered her from the cameras and rival demonstrations outside.
“I’m not leaving”, argues Moore.
Davis responded: “Then you are going to have an extended day”. “Stand your ground.” Other activists shouted that Davis is a bigot and told her: “Do your job”.
Justice Elena Kagan issued a ruling Monday against an emergency application filed by lawyers for Kim Davis, an elected court clerk in Rowan County. If she is found in contempt, her defiance risks punishment by jail time or hefty fines, the AP reported. Davis appealed to the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals and lost. “She’s refusing to do that”, noted Professor Connelly.