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'Remedy' fashioned by Kim Davis means marriage licenses now in question - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

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'Remedy' fashioned by Kim Davis means marriage licenses now in question

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Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 11:43 pm

Kim Davis could return to jail or face further penalties based on concerns raised by a deputy clerk.

U.S. District Judge David A. Bunning found the Rowan County clerk in contempt of court and she was jailed on Sept. 3. Five of the six deputy clerks who work with Davis told Bunning they would issue licenses. Deputy Clerk Brian Mason followed the court order the next morning.  

Bunning ordered the conditional release of Davis five days later. He said Davis could return to work as long as she not interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses by her office. Bunning also appointed attorneys for the deputy clerks to compile reports every two weeks to ensure his demand was met. 

On the morning of Sept. 14, Davis returned at the clerk's office and released a statement. She said she would comply with Bunning's order and not interfere, but had "fashioned a remedy" to appease her conscience and Bunning's order.

"I don't want to be in the spotlight. I am no hero," said Davis. "I just want to serve my neighbors quietly, without violating my conscience."

She told media that she altered the marriage license forms and the paperwork is now pursuant to a federal court order.

"Until an accommodation is provided ... any marriage license issued by office will not be issued or authorized by me," Davis said. "I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle."

But now Rowan Deputy Clerk Brian Mason, who has issued every marriage license since Davis was jailed, believes he may have unintentionally defied Bunning's order.

According to Mason's lawyer, Richard Hughes, Mason said when Davis returned to work on Sept. 14, she "came to the office and confiscated all the original forms and provided a changed form which deletes all mentions of the county, fill in one of the blanks that would otherwise be the county with the court's styling, deletes her name, deletes all of the deputy clerk references, and in place of deputy clerk types in the name of Brian Mason, and has him initial rather than sign."

In a notice filed to Bunning, Hughes said Mason is concerned about the validity of the altered marriage licenses. The status report was not due to Bunning until Sept. 22. 

Mary Hargis, a spokeswoman for the Rowan County Rights Coalition, said the American Civil Liberties Union has also filed a motion of interference to Judge Bunning. She said Shannon Wampler-Collins and Carmen Wampler-Collins must "put their wedding plans on hold to accommodate Kim Davis" after they received a license form on Sept. 14.

"This is a disservice to all of the citizens of Rowan County," said Hargis, "and the Rowan County Rights Coalition will continue to be involved in resolving this matter."

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