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Rowan County Religious Leaders' Ideas, Changes Denied By Governor's Office

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At least twelve leaders from Rowan County went to discuss the controversy surrounding same-sex marriage that's put their county in the national spotlight.

According to the Family Foundation of Kentucky and Reverend Randy Smith, they went to Frankfort today to speak with Governor Beshear.  The group says they wanted to discuss the "disruption in Morehead earlier this year following the same-sex marriage decision."  Beshear, however, was not in attendance.

Terry Sebastian, the Communications Director for the Office of Governor Beshear gave this statement:

 “The Governor’s chief of staff, Larry Bond, met with a group of ministers today. The Governor’s office is always happy to meet with community leaders and citizens and hear their ideas. Mr. Bond reminded the group, however, that the legislature has placed the authority to issue marriage licenses on county clerks by statute, and the Governor has no legal authority to relieve them of their statutory duty by executive order. The General Assembly will convene in just 12 weeks and can make any statutory changes it deems necessary at that time. The Governor sees no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 of 120 county clerks are doing their jobs.”  

Beshear's staff,  stuck to their guns and is continuing to side with the Federal Courts' decision. 

In August, County Clerk Kim Davis filed a lawsuit against Governor Beshear for violating her religious rights for forcing her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to NBC News, the governor said that all of Davis' legal claims demonstrates the absurdity of her position. The governor refused to call a special legislative session to address the issue, leaving it up for possible debate in January when the state legislature reconvenes. 

Randy Smith said that 57 clerks have sent letters asking for a special session involving marriage licenses. 

The governor's office says that only 17 clerks have sent in letters, giving us this list: 

Kenny Brown, Boone County 

Kim Davis, Rowan County 

Jason Denny, Anderson County 

Chris Jobe, Lawrence County 

Dean Johnson, Laurel County 

James Lewis, Leslie County 

Billy Joe Lowe, Green County 

Kay Schwartz, Whitley County 

Casey Davis, Casey County 

Kennith Gayheart, Knott County 

Mike Johnston, Carter County 

Shelia Braswell Booher, Clinton County 

Winston Meade, Letcher County

Teresa McMillin Sheffield, Monroe County

Josephine Gregory, Wayne County Clerk 

Kim King, Cumberland County Clerk 

Susie Skyles, Martin County 


 

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