Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is handling the refusal of some county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples the way it should be handled, by telling them that they have two choices: They can do their job or they can lose their job.
After meeting with the Casey Co. Clerk Thursday, Governor Beshear issued the following statement:
This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages. However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place. One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender. Mr. Davis’ own county attorney has advised him that his oath requires him to do so.
While there are two or three county court clerks still refusing to perform their duties, the rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs. The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest.
I will not be calling any special session on this topic and costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so. Any proposal about the process of issuing marriage licenses that meets the standards of the Supreme Court ruling should be carefully thought out and could be considered in the regular session in 2016.
BOOM. Exactly right. More governors should be doing this. The reason Beshear is doing it and others are not is that he doesn’t have to kowtow to the Christian right.