Religious Law

Kim Davis may have circumvented court orders with modified marriage-license forms, filing says

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The deputy county clerk who is issuing same-sex marriage licenses in the office of Kim Davis is concerned because of alterations Davis made to the marriage license forms, according to legal filings made with the federal judge who temporarily put Davis in jail.

The deputy clerk, Brian Mason of Rowan County, Kentucky, disclosed his concerns in a legal filing by his lawyer, Richard Hughes, report the Associated Press, the New York Times and CNN.

The new marriage forms don’t carry the name of the county and don’t have any reference to a clerk or deputy clerk, the filing says. The form lists Mason’s name and calls for Mason’s initials, rather than his signature, and he is required to issue the license in his capacity as a notary public rather than a deputy clerk, according to the legal filing by Mason’s lawyer, Richard Hughes.

“Mr. Mason’s concern is he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses and he is trying to follow the court’s mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms,” Hughes wrote.

“It also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against court’s orders.”

A lawyer for Davis told CNN she didn’t circumvent the court order. “Kim Davis said Monday that her name and title would not appear on the forms and later that same day the governor said the forms were valid,” said the lawyer, Mathew Staver.

Davis had cited God’s authority when she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, a decision that landed her in jail for contempt of court.

Related article: “Kim Davis says she will not issue marriage licenses, but that deputies may issue ‘unauthorized’ ones”

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