Friday, July 10, 2015
The problem with prosecuting county clerks under current Kentucky laws
If there is a right to same-marriage, then what obligation does that confer on county clerks. To the critics this seems clear, but I hardly think it is. Does a right automatically infer a commensurate obligation of some kind? How? And how does it do it when the actual statutory language doesn't yet reflect it.
Let me give one example. Which county clerk is responsible for issuing a marriage license? According to 402.080, "The license shall be issued by the clerk of the county in which the female resides at the time..."
If two women come to a county clerk and request a marriage license and they live in different counties, is there another clerk who could issue them the license?
This is just one issue. There are numerous others that have to await the legislature completely rehauling the law.
What does this say for how clerks who are refusing to marry can be prosecuted, since there is no statutory law which coherently lays out their responsibility in same-sex marriage situations?