Kentucky’s governor told a county court clerk Thursday that he should either issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or resign.
But Casey Davis, who is elected, said he would go to jail first.
“If that’s what it takes for me to express the freedom of religion that I believe I was born with, I’m willing to do that,” Davis, dressed in a suit and smiling with his wife beside him, told reporters after his meeting with Gov. Steve Beshear.
Beshear spokesman Terry Sebastian later confirmed that the governor had indeed urged Davis to comply with the law.
Davis, the Casey County court clerk, is one of the local elected officials across the country who have cited religious beliefs in refusing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last month legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide. Their stance has prompted a debate about whether religious liberty extends to those officials, who are charged with carrying out state government functions.
Beshear, a Democrat, fought to preserve Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages, even hiring private attorneys to defend it after the state’s Democratic attorney general declined to do so. But Thursday, Beshear offered his strongest statement yet that Davis, and others who share his beliefs, must follow the law.
“When he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution,” Beshear said in a news release. “One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme court now says that the United States constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender.”
Read more: ABC News
- WATCH: Former Police Officer Shocked to See What His Son’s School Replaced the American Flag With
- State County to Assign Armed Guards to Every Public School
- WATCH: David Hogg Attacks Gun Owners in Profanity Laced Rant
- YouTube is Banning Gun Content in an Effort to Push Gun-Control
- WATCH: Roseanne Barr Tells Jimmy Kimmel to “Zip That F***ing Lip,” When it Comes to Bashing Trump
- Student David Hogg Demands People ‘Work Together’, But Calls the NRA ‘Child Murderers’
- Steven Seagal Accused of Sexual Assault
- Meet the Hero School Resource Officer Who Shot Down Maryland Gunman
- Florida’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ Points the Finger at Parents for Mass Shooting Epidemic — ‘Parents, it’s time to step up!’
- Eminem Targets Gun Owners in New Song: ‘They Love Their Guns More Than Our Children’
- THE WALKING DEAD: 33 People COLLAPSE in the City of New York–You Will be SHOCKED Why
- SHARK BAIT: Great White Shark Feeds Just Feet from Cape Cod Shore [WATCH]
- DRUNK DRIVER OR TERRORIST? 28 Badly Injured After Man Plows Car Through New Orleans Parade
- Young Woman Attacked and Stabbed — Turns the Table on Her Attacker and Gets His Knife
- WHEELCHAIR JIHADIST: ISIS Latest Executioner is Handicapped
- One Student SUSPENDED for Not Walking Out During Anti-Gun Protest
- PayPal Founder at RNC: Who Cares About Bathrooms, ‘Fake Culture Wars Only DISTRACT Us from Our ECONOMIC DECLINE’
- Austin Bomber Dead — Blows Himself Up