JUNE 29, 2015
Local clerk says he will not issue any marriage licenses for the time being
LOUISA — Popular Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe said today that he will not follow the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriages. Jobe is well known for following his religious beliefs while in office.
Jobe, who is the president of the Kentucky Clerk’s Association, said he and his staff are exploring their options but for the time being, the office isn’t issuing any marriage licenses at all.
Jobe said he has heard from several clerks who have religious objections to same-sex marriage, so they won’t issue marriage licenses anymore, either.
He said he has checked with County Attorney Mike Hogan who told him to go ahead and stop issuing any marriage licenses until the matter is made more clear. Hogan said Jobe is very upset with the situation.
“He is going to take a couple of days off to think this thing through and come back with a decision,” Hogan said. “Chris said he did not want to cause the people of Lawrence County any inconvenience in getting married and he is going to take a couple of days off to ponder what action he will take,” Hogan said.
“There are conflicting issues in the KRS so we want to look at all of the options,” Jobe said. “I’m not speaking for the Ky. Clerk’s Assn. but myself and some of the clerks here in my office have conflicting convictions and we have rights, too.”
He said the new marriage licenses do not have a place for “gender” so that is confusing as to how to file them, anyway.
Kentucky.com reported earlier today that clerks in Kentucky’s major cities, including Lexington and Louisville, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples within hours of the court decision Friday.
Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown, who had publicly supported the state’s same-sex marriage ban, did not issue any marriage licenses Friday while he “digested” the decision. But Monday, his office was issuing licenses to all applicants, deputy clerk Amanda Oberer said.
Ky. Governor Steve Beshear sent a letter to all 120 county clerks Friday that read, in part, “Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictates what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act.”
In Kentucky, marriage licenses must be obtained from and later filed with a county clerk.
Kentucky law includes a number of criminal penalties for people who violate the state’s marriage laws, such as knowingly issuing a marriage license to two immediate family members or to a polygamous trio.
But it does not appear to include any penalties for clerks who refuse to issue a marriage license.
(Editor’s Note- There are five pages of comments below. After you have read the ones showing, please click on the number 2 and then 3 and so forth to see them all.)