Local Kentucky clerks react to Kim Davis decision

Until Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis agrees to issue marriage licenses, she will be behind bars. She argues that her faith should prohibit her from being forced to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage.

Although many clerks in our area sympathize with her, they all pretty much agree that they saw this coming. Graves County Clerk Barry Kennemore says they were prepared when taking the oath of office. “The Supreme Court has made a lot of decisions I probably don’t agree with but, you know, it’s the law of the land right now, so that’s what we’re going to do,” Kennemore said.

All 13 of our Local 6 Kentucky counties are prepared to issue marriage licenses, but not all of them have. Only 21 have been issued since the ruling.

And although it was an easy choice for all of the clerks, they all seem to separate work from their beliefs.

In Crittenden County, Kentucky, Carolyn Byford says “the decision is out of my hands. Either I do it or I’m failing the people I represent.” And in Hickman County, Kentucky, Jim Berry said “I sympathize with her, but we have a job to do.”

The only other grievance mentioned by a couple clerks was the actual new license document. Kennemore says the “party 1” and “party 2” option takes away from the traditional couples who want to be referred to as “bride” and “groom.” He suggested two separate documents. 

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