Locals react to gay marriage license controversy

For a long time homosexual couples did not have the privilege of getting a marriage license. 

This all changed on June 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could marry in all 50 states. 

It was a historic moment for them because it meant that they could enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples and also be recognized on official documents. 

However, the victory was short-lived when a gay couple was denied a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky.

After being denied, David Moore and his fiancée returned to the clerk’s office with a letter from the governor and documentation of the Supreme Court ruling. 

An employee informed the couple that they could get their marriage license in any other county, but they were not issuing them at the time. 

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was refusing to issue them a license or to let her deputy clerks issue licenses to same-sex couples because of her Christian beliefs. 

She said, “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”

Grambling State University junior Treyvone Watis said, “The government messed up a lot of things when they legalized gay marriage because we have the right to religion, but at the same time they want us to accept gay marriage even if our religion is against it.”

Davis’ defiance caused her to be put in jail for rejection of a federal judge’s court order to issue same-sex licenses.

 On Sept. 4, James Yates and William Smith became the first gay couple to be issued a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky, since the ruling. 

This issuing occurred while Davis as still in jail, though she threatened that the licenses issued while she was in jail were not valid without her authority. 

Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway issued assurances that the licenses were indeed legal. 

According to the Lincoln Parish Clerk of Courts Office, it has not experienced any problems with issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, since no couple has applied for one.

After spending five days in jail, Davis was able to return to the office on Monday under certain conditions. She could not interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses. The licenses issued did not include her name, instead it says city of Morehead. 

When asked if she thought it was fair to let Davis return to work, sophomore Janae Austin, 21, said, “Yes, she was only standing by her faith. It wouldn’t be fair to penalize her for that even more so than they already have.” 

Davis sat in her office with her blinds drawn making it clear that she still does not approve of the decision. 

That did not stop lesbian couple Shannon Wampler and Carmen Collins from being the first to apply for a marriage license since Davis’ return. 

When they finally received their license after being denied on numerous occasions, supporters shouted, “Love has won.” 

Members of the gay community in Kentucky can now truly feel as though they are being treated equally. It is definitely a new day for Rowan County.