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Miller v. Davis
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
123 F. Supp. 3d 924 (2015)
Kim Davis (defendant) was the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. Following the US Supreme Court’s ruling requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage and the Kentucky governor’s issuance of a neutrally applied policy to implement that new law, Davis announced that the clerk’s office would stop issuing marriage licenses for all couples. Davis was a Christian with a religious objection to same-sex marriage, and therefore, she was attempting to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in a nondiscriminatory manner. Two same-sex and two opposite-sex couples (plaintiffs) sought a preliminary injunction and argued that Davis’s policy significantly interfered with their right to marry. Davis argued that the policy was justified to protect her right to free exercise and that the policy did not infringe the couples’ right, because they had several alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses, including traveling to other counties for licenses, obtaining licenses from the county judge, or using other alternatives. Davis further argued that the policy served the government’s compelling interest of protecting Davis’s religious freedom.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bunning, J.)
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