ROWAN COUNTY, KY – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on Tuesday filed a brief arguing that he has no duty to provide religious accommodations to county clerks like Kim Davis who hold a deep religious conviction against authorizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
Whether or not the State of Kentucky must provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples does not answer the question of whether Governor Beshear must accommodate Davis’s sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution, and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act all require that he does. Having unsuccessfully tried to veto the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Governor Beshear may not be a fan of the law, but he is still obligated to enforce it and comply with it.
This is not the first time Governor Beshear has tried to avoid having to respond to Davis’s claims in federal court. The Sixth Circuit on September 15, 2015, denied a similar motion filed by Beshear to dismiss Davis’s appeal.
“Unfortunately, having run out of legal arguments, Governor Beshear has now resorted to childish antics and name-calling,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This appears to be yet another obvious attempt by the Governor at avoiding the actual merits of Kim Davis’s religious liberty claims. One thing is clear: Governor Beshear will have to answer in court for his failure to act to protect Kim Davis’s religious freedom.”
About Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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