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Rowan Clerk unknowingly issued a marriage license to woman, transgender man in February - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

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Rowan Clerk unknowingly issued a marriage license to woman, transgender man in February

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Posted: Friday, August 28, 2015 11:09 pm

Camryn Colen and his wife Lexie told the world about the day Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis signed off on their marriage.

Last February, the couple entered the Rowan County Clerk’s Office — two weeks after the birth of their daughter.

Davis didn’t speak to them. None of the deputy clerks asked for Camryn Colen’s driver’s license. Lexie Colen handed over her birth certificate and identification. The couple received the paperwork and wed later that night.

Davis didn’t realize, said Camryn Colen, she’d signed off on the marriage of a transgender man and a pansexual woman.

“I saw Kim Davis, but I didn’t talk to her. We went in there just as any other straight couple would,” said Camryn Colen, 30.

On Saturday, Camryn Colen returned to the courthouse with his wife, baby and birth certificate. He rallied with about 100 other civil rights supporters as they chanted and marched in protest against the embattled county clerk.

Rowan Rally
Lexie and Camryn Colen hold a marriage license signed by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis Saturday, August 29, 2015, during a fairness rally in Morehead, Ky. Camryn Colen completed gender reassignment surgery in 2013 and married Lexi in February of this year. Patrick Brumback

Davis has cited religious convictions and has refused to issue marriage licenses since June, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

“When we walked into her office [in February],” said Colen, “she just saw two people in love.”

Colen was born a female named Cathy. He went by “Cat” for short. He knew he was different as a child growing up in Zanesville, Ohio. “I played with boys’ toys,” he said. “I was attracted to girls.”

After high school, Colen enlisted in the U.S. Army. He realized he wanted to transition to male while training, before he was deployed to Iraq.

He “had to go through loopholes” with Veterans Affairs to receive the financial aid for the health care costs. Colen said he underwent multiple surgeries after his time in the military. When his name was changed in January of 2013, he legally became Camryn Colen.

He and 21-year-old Lexie Colen, who identifies as pansexual, were “close” before Colen’s transition. The couple left Ohio and moved to eastern Kentucky last year because the area was “beautiful and quiet.” Lexie Colen had received a sperm donation and was pregnant when the couple arrived.

Now the married couple is settled in Rowan County. Camryn Colen delivers pizza. Lexie Colen cares for the couple’s daughter, 6-month-old LaKoda Rae Colen. On Saturday, the family rallied for LGBTQ and civil rights.

Camryn Colen addressed the crowd from the bed of a truck.

Rally
Camryn and Lexie Colen speak to fairness rally Saturday, August 29, 2015, Morehead, Ky. Photo by John Flavell/For The Independent John Flavell

“We’re not doing it for us. We’re married. That’s for us. We have a daughter. That’s for us. We’re doing it for the rest of the community,” he said.

When the Rowan County Rights Coalition organized the rally, it planned for a march down Main Street and a sit-in. The protestors chanted and paraded down the street around 11:30 a.m. But the sit-in never happened. Davis closed the office.

“I’m mad. I’m really mad,” said Sara Lindsey, an education professor at Morehead State University. “I can’t just close my office on a Saturday. I’d get fired.”

Some Davis supporters heard about the rally but didn’t know the office was closed. “We hate to see [Davis] get put through this,” said Mike Reynolds of Morehead. Reynolds and his wife Marie “came to show their support for Davis.” They believe officials should allow Davis to exercise her religious freedom rights.

Rally
Nashia Fife, with the Rowan County Rights Coalition, makes a speech Saturday, August 29, 2015, during a fairness rally in Morehead, Ky. Photo by John FlavellFor The Independent John Flavell

The clerk’s office was open on Friday. A religious freedom rally was orchestrated at the courthouse. Casey County Clerk Casey Davis, who is on a cross-state "bike tour", spoke at the rally Friday. Both Casey Davis and Kim Davis — who are not related — maintain that religious convictions should supersede their duties as elected officials.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Kim Davis to issue marriage licenses but granted a stay on his decision that expires Aug. 31. Lawyers representing Davis said they filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday, asking the Supreme Court to delay its order on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Colen said Kim Davis "has to keep her personal beliefs" separate from her profession. He also said informing Davis that she already issued a marriage license to a member of the LGBTQ community should spark a revelation.

“We’re going to prove to Kim Davis that she can’t judge a book by its cover.”

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