A video has surfaced on YouTube which apparently shows two men being denied a marriage license in Morehead, Kentucky by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. The video also shows police being called when supporters of the couple refuse to stop recording that denial in the county building in what seems to be an blatant attempt to avoid having an electronic record made of that denial.
The incident occurred on Monday, according to the Facebook page of one of the men, David V. Moore. He wrote on his timeline yesterday that, “We were denied a marriage license on Monday, July 6 at the Rowan County Clerk’s office. Kim Davis is at the end of the video, but we turned it off at her request.” Indeed, at 7:40 in the video one of the female supporters of the couple is heard saying:
“They (presumably clerk employees) are getting the police… they say we’re not allowed to videotape… they say we’re not allowed to videotape so they’re getting the police”.
Another supporter states:
“There’s no signs… there’s nothing that says we can’t [tape]”.
The supporters appear to be correct, as absent a judge’s order there is no prohibition against recording a county employee performing his or her duties in the public offices of a courthouse. Nonetheless, at 9:31 in the video, a uniformed officer is shown entering the room and walking to the counter to converse with the employees. During this time, the video appears to show others waiting for services being helped in front of Mr. Moore and his fiance, even though they seemingly were there first.
They ask to see Ms. Davis, only to be told by an employee that “She’s busy right now”.
When the couple is finally allowed to approach the counter, they present copies of the recent Supreme Court decision as well as Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s executive order requiring all county clerks to issue marriage licenses. The employees are unmoved by this evidence and continue to deny the couple their marriage license. A woman presumed to be Clerk Davis finally appears at 11:12 in the video, and she begins her interaction with the couple by asking one of the female supporters recording the encounter to “put your phone away”.
The supporter responds by saying “This is his right to have this filmed as well”. Ms. Davis continues to insist that the supporter stop filming, and she apparently complies since that is where the tape ends.
This video has gone massively viral with almost 300,000 views in just the last few hours. That’s no surprise as it demonstrates not only a complete contempt for the law on the part of Ms. Davis and her staff regarding the performance of their legally required duties in issuing a same-sex marriage license, it shows that some public employees still don’t understand that that their actions can and will be recorded to protect the rights of the citizens they purport to serve, as in this incident.
The Rowan County Clerk’s web page announces that “Our office is here to serve the public in a friendly, professional and efficient manner.” None of that was on display in this video.Two things can happen if a Kentucky clerk won’t issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple: “They can resign, or go to jail” says Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor. As more and more Republican offices take such a hostile stance against newly empowered gay couples, the harder the courts and the Justice Department will come down on them. Such petulant resistance will no longer be tolerated in these here United States.
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.