Transcript for Kentucky Clerk Continues to Refuse Marriage Licenses to Couples
Tonight, a heated dispute over gay marriage coming to a climax with cameras rolling. It's all going down in Kentucky where one controversial county clerk is still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Why? She says god's will is more important than the supreme court's. ABC's Alex Peres is there. I have not said not one hateful word -- Oh, yeah. Your actions -- Have you received death threats for your religious beliefs? No. Your interpretation of the bible does not trump the constitution. Reporter: A tense and angry scene erupted at the Rowan county clerk's office this morning as Jesse Cruz and Robby Blankenship went to get a wedding license they have a right to. The supreme court has ruled that -- that everybody has the right to marriage. That marriage is a civil right. Reporter: The couple came into the county office hoping they would get the piece of paper that would lawfully acknowledge them as a family. We're here to get our marriage license. We're not issuing marriage licenses pending appeal to the system -- There is appeals. Yeah, it's over. Your appeals are over. Reporter: It quickly escalated as the fight for marriage equality rages on in this small town. The voices echoing in the room are those protesting both sides of the issue. The tone, divided. This is my office and we are not distributing licenses -- You're discriminating -- We're not discriminating because we're not issuing licenses to anybody. Reporter: Kim Davis, elected official. I pay your salary! Reporter: She has stopped issuing marriage licenses in row ban county since the June 26th supreme court decision in support of same-sex marriage. I'm not doing marriage license -- Under what authority? God's authority. You heard her say god's authority? You are not in the church. I respect religion, I respect people's faith. Okay? But this is a civil institution. Reporter: Robby and Jesse, who have been together nearly 20 years, have hoped of adopting soon. We already consider ourselves a family. We want all the rights that everybody else has. Reporter: Standing in their way is Davis, who has been holed up in her office with the shades tightly drawn. She believes that her religious right supersedes the supreme court. Under whose authority are you not issuing -- Under god's authority. Reporter: Earlier this week she issued this statement rationalizing her decision. It is a heaven or hell decision, she says. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me, this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage try and get a license from Davis, but to no avail. They've been turned away over -- Give us the application. Reporter: And over -- We are currently not issuing licenses -- Reporter: At one point blocking the camera. The couple has been denied three types. This is our home. We should have the same rights as anybody else to walk in and get a marriage license. We're equal to anyone else. Reporter: It seems that a slight majority of Americans agree. The pew institute says 54% of Americans support marriage equality. It's obvious she's on the wrong side of history. She's definitely on the wrong side of the law. Reporter: But Sarah Kate Ellis, president of G.L.A.D., is worried what Davis and other holdouts are doing is sending a wrong and damaging message. There are over 3,000 counties in America and we're only seeing a handful, a small handful, of these counties actually having challenges like the one in Kentucky. And I think what it does is it sends a dangerous message to our youth, that they don't matter. That they're less than. Reporter: For David Moore, the message is clear. Number one is victory is getting a marriage license for not just ourselves but for anyone that wants to go into that office and be legally married. Victory also is sending a message to other county clerks that it's not okay to discriminate against people just because your religiongious beliefs tell you to do that or you feel like you can do that because you have the power to do that. Obey the law, obey the law! Reporter: At the county clerk's office Davis continues to flexion power. The tension in the room so tight police are present, so are protests groups from both sides of the issue. A group in favor of Davis held a prayer circle. Father, we pray lord that you give her supernatural strength -- Why is it so support to be here supporting clerk Davis? I stand for religious freedom. This is personal because my husband's a preacher. If the clerks aren't being protected then the preachers aren't going to be either, they'll come after them next. I am a Christian 100%. Our daughter -- Reporter: While those in favor of marriage equality continue to fight for their legally mandated rights. Aclu has asked a judge to find Davis in contempt and the judge has ordered her to appear in court. The judge has a number of different sanctions at his disposal that he can use against miss Davis if she continues to refuse to comply with the order. He can certainly fine her. Jail time is also an option. But that's not something that we're seeking. It's not something that we've asked for. Reporter: Late this afternoon lawyers for Davis filed a motion hoping to block the governor of Kentucky from forcing clerks to approve same-sex licenses. Kim Davis loves her job. She loves people. She loves god. She's not going to violate her conscience. That's clear in her mind. She's prepared for whatever consequences there may be. We can't allow politicians to word. To come under attack. She is on her fourth marriage. Stated that since then, she has found god. Davis became the perhaps unwilling spokesperson for the ti ri-maneqagarualie frotynt when in July David Moore ptedos this video on his youtube page after the ruling. I'd like you to put your I dealt with discrimination growing up, living in eastern Kentucky. Maybe I had a different experience I would say. I had to deal the bible belt type of mentality, fundamentalists. So for me it was kind of li,ke oh this, final F sayly is'mot N sec -land citsseniz amoreny. R eporitr:te wh 1.8 million hits and counting, David and his partner for 17rs yeaav he Co uentinod T Peres in Morehead, Kentucky.
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