(ONE WOMAN BANDIT) – No matter what your views are on gay marriage , what’s happening here in Rowan County, Kentucky has got the nation’s attention. Back in June of this year, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states. Many clerks expressed discontentment with the decision. In Kentucky, several clerks turned away gay couples who were simply trying to exercise their legal right to wed. Many clerks said it was against their religious beliefs to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples including Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis.
Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether because she said she did not want to “discriminate” against gay or straight couples. A lawsuit from several gay couples that were turned away soon followed, which brings us to where we are today. After several orders from a federal judge and the governor to issue the licenses, the defiant clerk was sent to jail. Less than 24 hours later, there I was in Rowan County, Kentucky covering what is now a national story.
I’m sure you’re probably tired of seeing the #KimDavis hashtag. I did several stories before and after her jail term (which I have added below) and it’s one that many newsrooms would say has legs.Why you ask? For one, the Supreme Court’s ruling was a monumental decision after so many states and same-sex couples battled to legalize gay marriage.
Two months ago, a gay couple’s marriage could have been legal in one state, but not the other. Second, Kim Davis’ stance has created a put a spotlight on religious freedom clashing with the law of the land. I’ve always heard the phrase about separation of church and state, but this definitely takes it to another level. Some lawmakers are now lobbying that marriage licenses be issued by the federal government itself or that it be issued through a private entity. I anticipate that battle to continue and no matter the outcome and decision made it will be historic.