Judge orders Kentucky clerk to issue gay marriage licenses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex-couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was one of three elected officials in Kentucky who stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June. She said issuing a marriage license to a gay couple would violate her Christian beliefs and argued the U.S. Constitution protected her religious freedoms.

The ACLU sued Davis on behalf of two gay couples and two straight couples in Rowan County who were turned away by Davis. The lawsuit asked a federal judge to order her to issue marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning issued an injunction Wednesday requiring Davis to issue marriage licenses effective immediately. Judge Bunning said the couples should not be forced to travel to another county to get a marriage licenses and Davis should perform her assigned duties.

In the injunction, Judge Bunning said "Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk."