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Kentucky governor tells county clerks: Do your jobs or get fired

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Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (Screen capture)

Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered the state’s county clerks to honor the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision and allow same-sex couples to marry or to resign from their jobs.

According to WHAS-TV, Beshear issued a statement on Thursday addressing the concerns of County Clerk Casey Davis, but ordering all state employees to honor the court ruling.

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“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,” Beshear said in his statement.

The statement continued by saying that Beshear would not grant a special legislative session to discuss the matter as requested in a letter signed by 60 of the state’s county clerks:

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.

Raw Story reported earlier this week on a confrontation between a county clerk and a gay couple in Rowan County, KY, who were not only denied a marriage license by County Clerk Kim Davis, but she also insulted and belittled them.

Watch video of the Rowan County confrontation, embedded below:

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Watch video about the letter to Beshear:


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