Beshear statement on same-sex marriage licenses


By Portia Williams

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GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. — In light of the mounting issue of the issuance of same-sex marriage license in Rowan County, Ky., by Clerk Kim Davis, the Governor of the state of Kentucky Steve Beshear issued a statement Tuesday regarding county clerks and marriage licenses in Kentucky.

In his statement, Beshear reiterates that the Supreme Court’s ruling in regard to same-sex marriage licenses supersedes strong feelings about the issue.

“There are obviously strong feelings on both sides of this issue, but the United States Supreme Court has spoken and same-sex marriage is now legal in Kentucky and the rest of the United States,” Beshear said. “Regardless of whatever their personal feelings might be, 117 of our 120 county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender. Same-sex couples are now being married in Kentucky and such marriages from other states are now being recognized under Kentucky law.”

According to Beshear, the future of Kim Davis is in the hands of the courts.

“The legislature has placed the authority to issue marriage licenses squarely on county clerks by statute, and I have no legal authority to relieve her of her statutory duty by executive order or to remove her from office,” he said.

Beshear said the The General Assembly can make statutory changes when it convenes in four months.

“I see no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 of 120 county clerks are doing their jobs,” Beshear said.

As it pertains to the issuance of marriage licenses in Greenup County, Clerk Pat Hieneman said they are in total compliance with the law.

“Nothing has changed from the time that the Governor issued the order,” Hieneman said. “We haven’t had any changes whatsoever. Whenever the Governor issued us to order same sex marriage license, then we comlied with the law. Nothing has changed here. We are just following the law.”

The hours of operation for the Greenup County Clerk’s Office are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. until noon on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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