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Court battle resumes over Kim Davis’ changes to marriage licenses

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The Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples has taken reasonable steps to comply substantially with a judge’s orders and should not face further contempt citations, her attorneys said on Tuesday.

Lawyers for couples suing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis have argued that she made material changes to the marriage forms upon her return from jail in September that put her out of compliance with U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s orders.

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They asked Bunning to impose fines or a limited receivership on the clerk’s office in the dispute that has become the latest focal point in a long-running debate over gay marriage in the United States.

Lawyers for Davis, whose meeting with Pope Francis during his trip to the United States last month sparked widespread debate when it became public, said in a court filing that state-elected officials see the licenses as valid.

Bunning’s order said nothing about the details the licenses must contain and he had already permitted alterations, the lawyers said.

Davis has cited her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian to deny marriage licenses to gay couples even as she has been married herself four times and has had some children out of wedlock.

She refused to issue any licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June made gay marriage legal across the United States and she was sued by gay couples.

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Davis was jailed for five days in September for refusing to issue the licenses and has been under the threat of returning to jail if she interferes in the issuance of licenses.

Opponents say Davis is abdicating her duties by refusing to issue marriage licenses.

“It has never really been about a marriage license – Rowan County has issued the licenses – it is about forcing their will on a Christian woman through contempt of court charges, jail, and monetary sanctions,” Mat Staver, a lawyer representing Davis, said in a statement.

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Davis said when she returned to work that she removed her name, title and personal authorization on the licenses. A deputy clerk has issued licenses since her jailing in early September.

Davis has asked Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, state lawmakers and Bunning to accommodate her beliefs. She has appealed the orders to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

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Kentucky’s attorney general believes the forms altered by Davis are valid licenses, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Sandra Maler)


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Trump illiteracy goes viral after he calls Pam Bondi ‘a great womem’: ‘He can’t admit he’s wrong to autocorrect’

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President Donald Trump was mocked by Twitter users on Sunday after mistakenly referred to Pam Bondi as a "great womem."

In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump attempted to praise Bondi, who has taken a job at the White House to help with impeachment messaging.

#QAnon people,

meaning of the typo?

"womem"EMElon Musk?? pic.twitter.com/PGVSEeXQzm

— TheGreatAwakening (@TheGreatAwake17) November 17, 2019

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2020 Election

How Democratic women drove the 2018 blue wave

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After Hillary Clinton lost to a talking yam with criminal tendencies in 2016, a number of people got antsy about the idea that the country was really ready yet to embrace women in politics. But a huge number of Democratic women rejected that narrative and instead decided that the solution was for more women to run for office. The result? A record-setting number of women elected to Congress and a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

This artivcle first appeared in Salon.

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Pence adviser says that Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian president was ‘unusual and inappropriate’

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Mike Pence sneer

Jennifer Williams, a Special Adviser on Europe and Russia issues for Vice President Mike Pence's foreign policy team, told congressional investigators that she viewed President Donald Trump's July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky as "unusual and inappropriate." Williams had listened in on the phone call while it was happening, and a whistleblower revealing the controversial contents of that call prompted the current impeachment inquiry into Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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