Clerk’s office shut ahead of protest

MOREHEAD, Ky. — The Rowan County clerk at the center of a conflict over same-sex marriage and religious conscience closed her office Saturday ahead of a rally protesting her refusal to issue marriage licenses.

The protest comes a day after Kim Davis asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant her “asylum for her conscience.”

Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s June ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Four couples have sued, saying Davis must fulfill her duties as an elected official regardless of her belief that gay marriage is sinful.

The county clerk’s office regularly opens for a half-day on the last Saturday of the month. A note on the door of the office did not explain the closure but asked those who were inconvenienced to put their names on a list.

Morehead resident Sarah Lindsey had gone to the office to renew her car tags and said she was “really annoyed.”

“She’s supposed to have a service,” Lindsey said of Davis. “I pay taxes, a lot of them.”

“I can’t just decide to close my office. I would get fired,” she said.

A few dozen people showed up on Saturday to protest Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses. They included a woman and transgender man who got their marriage license from Davis in February.

Protester Mary Hargis told the crowd that Camryn and Lexie Colen had been reluctant to go forward but decided to do so to help the cause. The couple did not tell Davis that one of them was transgender when they went to request a license, Hargis said.

“She just saw a straight couple in love,” Camryn Colen told the crowd. “She should see everybody like that.”