A federal judge will resume a hearing at 10 a.m. Monday on whether Kentucky's county clerks must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning will hear evidence in Covington, most likely from Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has refused to issue any marriage licenses since June 26, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal.
The Kentucky chapter of the ACLU sued Davis on behalf of two same-sex couples and two opposite-sex couples from Rowan County. The ACLU asked for a preliminary injunction requiring Davis to issue licenses.
Davis did not appear at the first hearing Monday in Ashland because she had not received her summons, her lawyers said.
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At that hearing, several plaintiffs who were denied marriage licenses by Davis testified. Bunning said he would accept written responses from lawyers until July 30. Davis is being represented by Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation firm that specializes in religious-freedom cases.
Lawyers expect a decision by mid-August. Bunning said he would include in his decision a second lawsuit filed by a fifth Rowan County couple against Davis.
That couple, David Moore and David Ermold, sued Davis after shooting video of her refusal to give them a license. The video has been viewed 1.75 million times on YouTube.
Several county clerks have asked Gov. Steve Beshear to call a special legislative session to consider changes that would accommodate county clerks who don't want to issue licenses to same-sex couples, but he refused. Meanwhile, at least two legislators have prefiled bills for the regular legislative session that begins in January.
Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, prefiled a bill that would exempt clergy and judges from performing same-sex marriages, although no existing law compels them to do so. Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, and David Meade, R-Stanford, prefiled a bill that would exempt county clerks from issuing licenses if it goes against their religious beliefs.