JULY 9, 2015
Kentucky Clerks Assn. President and Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe has not given an answer about if he is one of the 57 Kentucky county clerks that signed a petition for a special session on same-sex marriage license.
According to the Lawrence County Clerks Office, as of July 9, they “have no information on the subject, have gotten no press release and have no intention of issuing a press release.”
But Kentucky.com is reporting that Jobe is one of two clerks who turned in the petition.
If Jobe did sign the petition, as Kentucky.com claims in its story today, the public has no way of knowing since none of the names on the petition have been released. The names on the petition are scheduled to be released Thursday (today).
Further details on the story will continue to be released.
THE following is from Kentucky.com via the state KPA this morning:
57 Kentucky county clerks ask governor for special session on same-sex marriage licenses
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Fifty-seven of Kentucky’s 120 county clerks asked Gov. Steve Beshear in a letter Wednesday to call a special legislative session to address same-sex marriage licenses.
Many clerks “now face attempting to balance deeply held religious beliefs and job duties in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage,” Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe and Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown said in a news release about the letter.
The names of the clerks signing the letter were not immediately released. Brown said they might be made public Thursday.
Beshear said Tuesday, in response to a request from House Speaker Greg Stumbo, that he will not call a special session.
Beshear said clerks should follow the law, and any necessary minor changes could be addressed in the 2016 legislative session in January.
Beshear is to meet Thursday with Casey County Clerk Casey Davis, who has proposed creating an online system for issuing marriage licenses. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been sued by the ACLU for refusing to issue marriage licenses on religious objections.
County clerks’ letter to Gov. Beshear:
July 8, 2015
The Honorable Governor Steve Beshear 700 Capitol Avenue Suite 100 Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Governor Beshear,
The recent Obergefell decision by the Supreme Court of the United States has not only impacted Kentucky’s same sex marriage ban, but has put numerous County Clerks’ moral and religious beliefs at odds with their current required duties. Many Clerks firmly believe that forcing County Clerk offices to issue same-sex marriage licenses when it is against their deeply held religious beliefs and traditions is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
This dramatic and sudden change has caused some Clerks to go as far as to halt issuing marriage licenses to anyone rather than compromise their deeply held religious convictions. This position has ignited litigation and it is foreseeable that it may invite more lawsuits.
It appears the only timely and reasonable solution to this conflict is a legislative one. So for that reason, I respectfully request that you immediately call an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to address the issues that have been caused in this transition from traditional marriage being re-defined to include same-sex couples.
Legislators and Clerks of many political stripes working alongside other third parties have been drafting commonsense legislation that would modify Kentucky’s marriage laws to satisfy the concerns of the majority of Clerks, while still abiding by the Obergefell ruling. It is my belief that our proposal could be passed by the General Assembly in an expedited timeframe of the absolute minimum of five days.
The potential cost to calling a special session is easily justified by the alleviation of future potential lawsuits and relieving the concerns of many County Clerks who serve their local communities. I ask that you not just consider the current litigation, but what litigation could be invited after the 2018 County Clerk elections are concluded, if the status quo is to remain in place.
(No signers revealed)
Gov. Beshear: No special session needed
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 7, 2015) – “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.
Regardless of whatever their personal feelings might be, the overwhelming majority of county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender, and the courts will deal appropriately with the two or three clerks who are acting otherwise.
Same-sex couples are now being married in Kentucky and such marriages from other states are now being recognized under Kentucky law. This Administration continues to identify statutes which must now be interpreted in a different way and is making the appropriate changes. For example, the Department of Revenue has put out new guidance in the area of taxation and the Administrative Office of the Courts has issued new guidance on changing names on driver’s licenses.
It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath. There is no need to spend $60,000 a day of taxpayers’ dollars calling a special session of the General Assembly, and therefore I will not be calling a special session on this topic. If there are any minor changes needed to clarify the language of statutes, any such changes can be made in the 2016 legislative session in January.” – Gov. Steve Beshear.