- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) - The latest on a Kentucky county clerk’s office that has defied a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

A young couple says they drove an hour to the Rowan County clerk’s office to make a statement after gay couples there were refused marriage licenses.

Sahara Gentry and Kayla Stamper tried to get a marriage license, but were turned down like other couples before them.

The clerk’s office has refused to give out licenses despite a federal judge’s order telling them to obey the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage. The clerk has cited her religious beliefs in refusing the licenses.

Gentry says she came to the clerk’s office because she wanted to see the faces of the people being turning down.

A deputy clerk handed Gentry a note with the toll-free phone number for the Liberty Counsel, the Christian law firm representing the clerk.

___

11:40 a.m.

An attorney for a county clerk in Kentucky says a judge telling her to issue gay marriage licenses is the same as ordering a nurse who has religious objections to perform an abortion or telling someone opposed to war to fire on an enemy soldier.

Jonathan Christman represents Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. He asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to stay his order Thursday to give Davis time to appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. He said if Davis were forced to issue licenses to same-sex couples it would be something no “earthly court can provide to rectify.”

Christman noted that when another judge last year threw out Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, he immediately stayed his decision by saying: “One judge may decide a case, but ultimately others have a final say.” Christman said he is asking Bunning to do the same thing.

___

11:20 a.m.

A lawyer for couples who have sued a Kentucky clerk’s office over its refusal to issue gay marriage licenses says they are considering asking a judge to hold the clerk in contempt.

Attorney Laura Landenwich said Thursday they are discussing how to proceed after the clerk’s office defied a federal judge’s order to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couple, gay or straight, despite the court rulings. She cites her deeply held Christian beliefs.

A contempt charge could carry a hefty fine or even the threat of jail time.

___

10:45 a.m.

One of the gay couples denied a marriage license at a Kentucky county clerk’s office despite a federal ruling has joined a line of gay-rights activists waving signs and protesting outside.

James Yates and William Smith Jr. were turned away at the Rowan County clerk’s office Thursday morning. An office staffer told them Clerk Kim Davis was on vacation, and the county judge executive also said he couldn’t help them.

Davis has refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples despite court rulings and orders. She argues that her right to religious freedom exempts her, citing Christian beliefs.

On Thursday morning, Yates and Smith joined the line of marriage equality protesters along the street outside Davis’ office.

For weeks, protesters have frequently gathered there, wearing rainbow colors and waving signs reading “Love won” and “Do your job.”

Yates says that he’s furious over refusals for his marriage license, but that seeing supporters has helped him. He says he knows the issue will be resolved.

“It’s just a matter of when,” he said.

___

10:10 a.m.

A gay couple who was denied a marriage license at a Kentucky clerk’s office despite a federal order has appealed to the county judge executive, who wished them luck but said he couldn’t help.

James Yates and William Smith Jr. were turned away Thursday morning. An office staffer told them Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was on vacation.

Kentucky law allows judge executives to issues marriage licenses if the clerk is absent. So, the couple marched to Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins’ office.

But he explained that his office isn’t equipped to issue licenses. He also said that because deputy clerks are at work and empowered to issue license, he wasn’t sure his signature would be valid.

Blevins has been critical of Davis’ refusal to issue licenses to same-sex couples despite court rulings and orders.

He shook the couple’s hands and told them: “I apologize that you had to come today and walk away empty-handed.”

___

9:40 a.m.

A Kentucky clerk’s office has turned away two gay couples seeking marriage licenses, defying a federal judge’s order that dismissed her argument involving religious freedom.

Hours after the judge’s order to issue licenses to same-sex couples, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ office still turned away the two couples, one after the other, on Thursday morning.

Davis has argued that her Christian beliefs prevent her from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage bans unconstitutional, Davis stopped issuing licenses to any couple, gay or straight.

Five couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning on Wednesday ordered her to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

On the street Thursday, gay-rights activists held signs reading “clerk not clergy” and “obey the law.”

___

9:30 a.m.

A second gay couple has arrived at the Rowan County Clerk’s office in Kentucky for a marriage license.

James Yates and William Smith Jr. were turned away a month ago. They’ve been a couple for nearly a decade.

On Thursday morning, they described a disconnect between the clerk’s actions and their experience in the community of Morehead, a college town they say has long been open and accepting.

They held hands as they walked into the clerk’s office.

From the street, gay-rights activists shouted “Good luck!” and held signs reading “clerk not clergy” and “obey the law.”

The couple then waited in line.

Earlier Thursday morning, clerk Kim Davis’ office turned away gay couple David Moore and David Ermold. On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered her to issue licenses to gay couples, rejecting her argument involving religious freedom and her Christina beliefs.

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9 a.m.

A Kentucky clerk’s office has turned away a gay couple seeking a marriage license, defying a federal judge’s order that dismissed her argument involving religious freedom.

Hours after the judge’s order to issue licenses to same-sex couples, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ office still turned away David Moore and David Ermold on Thursday morning.

Deputy clerk Nathan Davis says the office was advised by attorneys with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel to continue refusing same-sex couples as it appeals the order.

Kim Davis has argued that her Christian beliefs prevent her from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage bans unconstitutional, Davis stopped issuing licenses to any couple, gay or straight.

Five couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning on Wednesday ordered her to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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