Oh, Kentucky– land of horses, bourbon, bluegrass, and, very recently, county clerks who refuse to play by the rules.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is back in the news again, this time for launching a lawsuit against Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for violating her religious freedom.
From the Lexington Herald-Leader:
"Late Tuesday, Davis filed a lawsuit against Beshear in federal district court. She blamed the governor for instructing all 120 of the state's county clerks to comply with this summer's U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage...
Davis seeks protection from 'Kentucky's marriage policies' given her rights under the state's religious-freedom law, passed in 2013 over Beshear's veto. The law protects 'sincerely held religious beliefs' from infringement unless there is 'a compelling governmental interest.'
She also asks that Beshear be forced to pay any damages she faces from the lawsuits filed against her by her constituents."
Keeping in mind that Davis is currently being sued for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, this lawsuit takes some chutzpah. Governor Bashear is honoring his oath of office by upholding decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. Davis, on the other hand, is doing everything she can to avoid actually doing her job.
Since Kentucky is one of the 21 states that has its own RFRA, this case may be a harbinger of more court battles to come as the Religious Right attempts to strike back against marriage equality.