Liberty, Ky. – Casey County Court Clerk Casey Davis, one of two clerks in the commonwealth not issuing marriage licenses, met with supporters Monday outside the old Courthouse in Liberty.
Normally quiet in downtown Liberty on Monday morning, about 1,000 people from all over the county, as well as surrounding counties, came to sing and pray for the clerk.
Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Davis announced that his office would no longer issue marriage licenses, based on his religious convictions that same-sex marriage is wrong.
In taking this stance, Davis has received messages of hate and support from people all over the world, as he has been interviewed by well known media organizations such as the Voice of America radio and the Los Angeles Times.
The rally was organized by Chuck and Connie Woodcock.
“We wanted to do this as a public defense for what Casey is standing for. This ruling was unconstitutional. We’re standing up for a man who is taking a stand,” said Chuck Woodcock.
While signs supporting Davis were in evidence, if protesters were there, there were no visible signs of their presence as the event maintained a peaceful, prayerful atmosphere.
Darrell Burton, pastor of Christ Tabernacle in Liberty, was the first to speak.
“I believe it’s time to stand for the cause of Jesus Christ,” Burton said. “And it amazes me to see this crowd. I am so proud of Casey County today.”
He told the story of Peter and John in the Bible, and how they were commanded by the authorities to stop preaching in the name of Jesus.
“But Peter and John said, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge you.’ I believe it’s time for America to have a revival. I’s time for America to stand up for the name of Jesus, in this day, in this hour.”
Following Burton, David Carr, King of Kings radio personality, addressed the crowd.
Carr reviewed the statements made by the four judges who didn’t vote in favor of the Supreme Court decision, ending with Justice Scalia’s statement.
“Scalia said that this ruling ‘is worse than anything the British perpetrated prior to the Revolutionary War.'”
Carr threw his fist in the air and with a shout declared, “Casey Davis is not the only one who rejects the court’s ruling. The four descending justices object to judicial tyranny.”
Jeff Fugate, pastor of Clay’s Mill Baptist Church in Lexington, likened Davis to Biblical hero Daniel.
“Now here’s what the Bible says,” Fugate said. “‘And when Daniel knew the writing was signed, he went into his house, his windows opened toward Jerusalem, and he prayed three times a day as he did aforetime.’ We are standing today with a man who stands like Daniel stood. It is an honor to stand with him, and I encourage you to continue to do so.”
While the crowd was receptive to the speakers, it was clear who they had come to see.
When Davis stepped out of the courthouse and made his way tothe edge of the front steps, attendees erupted into cheers.
“I am not for sale,” he said.
Surveying the crowd, Davis smiled and said this experience was probably one of the most humbling things he’d ever experienced in his life.
“I don’t deserve this,” he said with a trembling voice. “I feel your prayers. I feel them strongly.”
Davis said that he has been accused of not doing his job, and that he needs to resign or quit.
However, Davis seems to feel that to do so would be going against his responsibilities to the people who elected him to serve.
“If we’re living in a free country and our vote really does still matter, if what I’m doing is not pleasing to the people who put me here, let the people who put me here vote me out. You should have the right to take me out of here, not someone who doesn’t even live here,” he said to resounding applause.
Although Davis said he does not support same-sex marriage, he doesn’t feel any malice toward homosexuals.
“I have all the respect in the world for the gay community, because they have stood for what they believe. I want to do the same thing.”
To Davis, disagreement does not equal bigotry.
“Just because I disagree with them does not make me a bigot. It doesn’t mean that I hate them and it most definitely does not mean that Jesus Christ died for me anymore than He died for them,” he said.
Davis spoke for about 30 minutes, offering words of thanks as well as encouragement, and making it clear where he stands.
“Millions of Americans died, they gave their lives for God and country. The position that I’m taking today is this ― if the country does not care that I am fighting for them, I’m still going to fight for God.”
Mr. Davis goes to Frankfort
Immediately following the rally, Davis left for Frankfort to meet with Gov. Steve Beshear, who has not answered Davis’ calls or emails for more than a week.
“I went up there and he had to leave on an emergency something,” Davis said, adding that he was under the impression that Beshear was expecting him. “They promised me by tomorrow that I would have a meeting with him.”
Davis said he met with Larry Bond, the governor’s chief of staff.
“He suggested to me that I resign. I told him I wasn’t going to. I also told him I appreciated his talking to me but he wasn’t the man I came to Frankfort to talk to.”
Davis has been advocating for the implementation of an online system for marriage licenses, such as the state does for fishing licenses.
Former Republican state Sen. Vernie McGaha agreed that an online system would work and take care of clerks who oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of their religious convictions.
“The solution would be to let technology work. Within a week’s time, all this could be done online,” said McGaha, who served in Frankfort from 1997 to 2013.
Davis said that he has had inquiries by telephone but has had no same-sex couples appear in his office.
On Tuesday afternoon, Beshear ruled out a special session by the state legislature on the same-sex marriage issue. The governor said such a session would be too expensive.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is the other clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses.
The ACLU of Kentucky has filed suit against Kim Davis on behalf of four couples, two of whom are same-sex. (KPA: The Casey County News)