Courtroom interior_newWritten by Don Byrd

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was sent to jail over her refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses last year following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling. Now the case against her has been dismissed after a change in state law rendered the issues in the case moot.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

The issue is now settled, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote in his order. At Davis’ request, Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly changed state law this year to remove county clerks’ names from marriage licenses. And in Rowan County, one of Davis’ deputy clerks has been issuing licenses to all couples, same-sex and opposite-sex, since Davis was briefly jailed for contempt of court last summer after violating Bunning’s order to resume issuing licenses.

“In light of these proceedings, and in view of the fact that the marriage licenses continue to be issued without incident, there no longer remains a case or controversy before the court,” Bunning wrote.

Davis’ rise to national prominence was the result of an unfortunate and in some ways needless collision that, as I wrote at the time, was “painful to watch, and particularly destructive of the lives involved.” There should be a way to provide all couples with timely access to their constitutionally protected right to marry while addressing sincere religious objections. 

For now, Kentucky’s solution seems to allow government officials like Davis to fulfill their required duties without either offending her religious sensibilities or treating same-sex couples like second-clas citizens. As Judge Bunning notes in his Order, “marriage licenses continue to be issued without incident.”

You can read the Order here.

Also see the Baptist Joint Committee’s resources on religious liberty and same-sex marriage