• U.S.

Kim Davis’ Lawyers Argue Altered Marriage Licenses Are Valid

2 minute read

Kim Davis’ attorneys said Tuesday that the Kentucky clerk has taken reasonable steps to comply with a judge’s orders and should not be fined. Davis spent five days in jail last month for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in Rowan County despite a Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized gay marriage across the country.

Davis said she would play no role in issuing marriage licenses when she returned to her job. But she did make changes to the license forms by removing her name and other details, prompting the couples who initially sued her and the American Civil Liberties Union to ask a judge to order Davis’ office to return to using the original forms. Her lawyers say there is no need.

“Marriage licenses are being issued in Rowan County, which [Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear] and Kentucky attorney general have approved as valid, which are recognized by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and which are deemed acceptable by the couples who received them,” her lawyers said in court filings Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Davis could face a fine if the judge finds that the altered documents are problematic.

One of Davis’ deputy clerks said the Davis had deleted her name, mentions of deputy clerks and references of Rowan County from the document. “The Kentucky governor and Kentucky attorney general both inspected the new licenses and publicly stated that they were valid and will be recognized as valid by the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Davis’ lawyers said.

Her legal team has also filed a suit against Governor Besmear and another state official accusing them of violating her religious freedom.


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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com