A same-sex couple who have been denied a marriage license three times by Kim Davis' office has filed suit in federal court.
William Smith, Jr. and James Yates have been together for nine years. Three times since the Supreme Court in June ruled same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry the pair have tried to apply for and obtain a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky. Three times they have been denied by the Office of the County Clerk, headed by Kim Davis.
Davis has been sued by five couples and a U.S. District Court Judge has ordered her to issue marriage licenses. He even gave her time to take her appeal to the 6th Circuit, which denied it, and to the U.S. Supreme Court, which never reply to her request filed Friday.
Davis claims her religious freedom is at stake and issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would "irreparably" harm her conscience.
Most recently, Smith and Yates tried to obtain a marriage license on Thursday, but were denied. They also applied on July 6 and August 13. The couple also requested the Rowan County Attorney to file a charge of "official misconduct" against Davis, which was referred to the State Attorney General last week. He has yet to act on the request.
Last week the couple filed a new, separate lawsuit against Davis, Rowan County, and Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins - who has also reportedly refused to issue them a license - along with others.
Blevins was served a summons today. Davis is expected to be served this week, WKYT notes this afternoon.
"The lawsuit says Davis and Rowan County 'willfully, intentionally, and with deliberate indifference' to the couple's rights established a custom or policy to 'refuse to issue marriage licenses to individuals eligible to marry in order to deny such individuals, including Smith and Yates, their Constitutional right to marry,'" WKYT reports.
"Smith and Yates suffered and 'continue to suffer irreparable damage, including but not limited to embarrassment, humiliation, loss of family security and benefits accessible by other married couples,' according to the lawsuit. Smith and Yates are seeking a jury trial, a 'reasonable amount' for compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees."
In the video above, Smith and Yates speak to reporters just after being denied a third time last week.
Image: Screenshot via Courier-Journal
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