Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis may have compromised marriage licenses for same-sex couples in defiance of a federal judge’s order, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
An attorney for deputy clerk Brian Mason said that Davis “confiscated” the county’s original forms for married couples and replaced them with new forms that deleted her name. The new form also lacks a place for Mason to sign his own name.
“Mr. Mason is concerned because he is in a difficult position that he continues to issue the licenses per the court’s order, which had some remote questionable validity,” the attorney, Richard Hughes wrote in a petition to the court. “But now with these changes may in fact have some substantial questions about validity.”
Attorneys for Davis have argued that by omitting her name on the new form and saying they were issued under the authority of federal District Judge David Bunning, her office could continue to serve same-sex couples while maintaining a “clear conscience” for her.
The American Civl Liberties Union, which is representing the couples who sued for the right to have their unions recognized, countered by saying that these new forms might not comply with state law.
“Mr. Mason’s concern is he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses,” Hughes wrote. “He is trying to follow the court’s mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms.”