Kim Davis’ meeting with the Pope wasn’t that special after all (but a gay man and his partner got a private audience with the pontiff)

Kim and Francis

Pope Francis did meet Kim Davis, but it wasn’t really the way Davis and her lawyer described it

Despite Kim Davis’ rapturous description of how Pope Francis embraced her and her bigoted efforts to continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, it now looks like the pope isn’t as big a Kim Davis fan as she led us to believe.

In fact, Vatican officials today (Friday, Oct. 2) released statements that totally contradict the implication that Davis had been specifically invited by the pope for a special meeting.

“Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong,’” Davis told CNN earlier this week. Davis said she put her hand out to greet the pontiff, and that “he hugged me, and I hugged him.”

Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel founder and Davis’ lawyer, told CNN the meeting lasted about 10 minutes and was just between the pope, Davis and her husband. Staver was not at the meeting, but said that Pope Francis hugged Davis and gave her and her husband both rosaries, and that Davis gave her rosary to her parents, who are Catholic.

After the meeting, Davis told ABC News, “Just knowing the pope is on track with what we’re doing, and agreeing, you know, kind of validates everything.”

But now it’s looking like Davis’ “everything” isn’t so valid after all.

Vatican officials initially refused to either confirm or deny that Pope Francis had met with Davis, and then later acknowledged that the meeting took place. But, they are now adding, Davis was just one of “several dozen” folks that the pope greeted during a reception at the Vatican Embassy just before he left Washington, D.C. And, officials have said, it wasn’t the Pope who asked for Davis to be there, but instead an embassy official that extended the invitation.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, released this statement:

“Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.

“The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”

And as NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reports from Italy, “the Rev. Thomas Rosica, English language assistant at the Holy See Press Office, says that Francis may not have understood ‘the impact’ a visit with Davis might have in the U.S.; Rosica also says the group that included Davis was selected by the nunciature, the Vatican’s diplomatic office in D.C.”

To top it all off, not only is the Vatican now stressing that the Pope is not “on track” with Kim Davis and her bigotry, it appears that the “former student” and his family that Rev. Lombardi referred to in his statement is a gay man and his partner and some friends, according to the New York Times.

Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man living in Washington, D.C., told the Times that his a former student of the pope, and that he had been granted a meeting with the pontiff. Grassi said he was accompanied by his partner of 19 years, Iwan Bagus, and four friends.

Contacted by phone, a former student of Francis, Yayo Grassi, said he had been granted a meeting with the pope. Mr. Grassi is an openly gay man living in Washington, and he said he had been accompanied by his partner of 19 years, Iwan Bagus, as well as four friends.

According to the New York Times, “Mr. Grassi, a 67-year-old caterer, said that his group met with Francis at the Vatican Embassy on Sept. 23 — a day before Ms. Davis met the pope. In the 1960s, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the future pope was called, taught Mr. Grassi Argentine literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción, a Jesuit high school in Santa Fe, Argentina.”

—  Tammye Nash

A debate watcher’s guide to batshit-crazy Republicans!

Jones, Arnold WayneNow that Rick Perry has dropped out of the presidential race — technically, he has “suspended” his campaign, sort of the way a cattle rustler gets “suspended” from committing larceny by a vigilante posse — many gay Texans are probably scratching their Stetsons with quizzical looks on their faces wondering, “Garsh … who can I vote for now?!” Fear not, Log Cabinites! I have prepared this handy-dandy voters’ guide to help you navigate the remaining slate of GOP candidates, in more-or-less descending order of incompetence, ignorance and hate-mongering (including his or Carly’s current rounded average ranking in the polls according to Keep it close as you watch the presidential debates on CNN tonight. It’s educational and fun!

Ted Cruz (7 percent) and Mike Huckabee (4 percent). No, these aren’t the same person, they just seem like it because they share the same batshit-crazy ideas. Both are fundamentalist Christians, and both foolishly cleave to their skewed understanding of the Bible, the role of religion in American politics and, frankly, our constitutional structure. Huckabee is slightly more of a dolt than Cruz, but when you factor in that the Canadian-born Cruz is a lawyer whereas Huckabee just a hick from the sticks and an ordained preacher, you can forgive the ignorant redneck slightly more. Both think that Kim Davis had a right not to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Both, surprisingly, think that the Dred Scott decision — which was overturned by an amendment to the Constitution — is still good law and it’s just that no one enforces it. Both are more loyal to God than to their oaths, logic or humanity as a whole. They are homophobic demons who, if there were a God, would have been struck down by lightning years ago for perverting Her message.

Ben Carson (18 percent). Ben Carson was a pioneering surgeon at separating conjoined twins, but that seems to be where his educational achievements and intellectual pursuits end as well. He is a climate-change denier. He does not believe in the “myth” of evolution and has no reason to doubt the earth is as old as the Bible says. (Carbon dating is irrelevant, according to Carson, cuz God could make anything as old as He wanted.) He takes the “political” position that homosexuality is a sin, and suggested that prison “makes” people gay. He’s compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, and had to apologize for it. He’s black, but thinks “Black Lives Matters” is divisive. He wants a flat tax and to abolish the I.R.S. (How you collect even flat taxes without the I.R.S.? Not sure.) As a non-politician, Carson is ignorant of the world as a whole, admittedly lacking familiarity with such issues as Israeli political parties and NATO members. I somehow doubt he could find Canadian-born Ted Cruz’s homeland on a map if we spotted him Mexico and the U.S. Short course: He’s a kook.

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Donald Trump (29 percent). At his appearance in Dallas Monday (in a not-sold-out American Airlines Center, not that he’ll ‘fess up to that), Trump rambled on and on with drivel and self-aggrandizing statements about football, himself and himself again. Because Trump is not a politician and has never been elected to any office, he thinks broad-stroke ideas about “jobs” and “immigration” substitute for specifics. So, for instance, he wants to fight immigration by building a 2,000-mile-long wall on the southern U.S. border and “making Mexico pay for it.” (How you force a foreign country to pay for an infrastructure program on your own soil he’s vague about.) He also promises to increase American jobs … but won’t say how. (He’s knows he can’t just say “You’re fired!” to the elderly and children, right?) He has a foolproof plan to combat ISIS, but will only share it if we elect him. (Gee, you’d think he’d want to prevent genocide ASAP; guess not.)  He will consider shutting down the U.S. government in its entirety to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting any federal funding. For the record, PP gets about $550 million in public monies; the 16-day 2013 government shutdown cost the economy $24 billion, or about 44 times as much as PP gets, according to S&P. (Anyone who would spend $24 billion to save $550 million shows exactly why he’s forced so many of his companies into bankruptcy.) He also devolves to ad hominen insults against others, from attacking Carly Fiorina’s face and John McCain’s war record. His statements about gay issues aren’t the worst among the Republican slate, actually — he acts resigned to SCOTUS’ marriage equality ruling, if not enthusiastic about it — but his overall incompetence, abrasiveness and arrogance make him the most likely to ruin America in the long run. America isn’t a business you leverage — it’s a nation of people whom you serve. Folks like Trump don’t get that.

Carly Fiorina (4 percent). The best thing Fiorina has going for her? Being the undeserved target of The Donald’s jackass-fueled vitriol. (Vitriol! Regular Unleaded and Premium available as your local KKK fill-up station!) Worst thing about her? Literally every other fact of her life. Just as Carson is the GOP’s “black friend,” Carly is their “girlfriend,” the one woman in a lineup larger than the Miss American pageant who proves Republicans have nothing against chicks. What they don’t have is any skill in picking a good one. (Possible reason: All qualified women are too smart to be members of the Republican party.) Fiorina is a failed candidate for public office, and was a disaster as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, eventually getting fired for virtually running the tech giant into the ground. I, for one, am not a fan of the “business folks can be good chief executives of the nation” line of reasoning, but if it were true, don’t you want one who actually did a good job? Romney’s business background makes her look like a schoolchild with a lemonade stand at the North Pole.  She’s anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, was pro-Prop 8 and pro-gun nuttery.

Rick Santorum (1 percent). He’s just as much a fundamentalist, just as crazy, as Mike and Canadian-born Ted, but because he’s barely even alive in the polls, he’s less of threat to sanity. On the plus side, his name is a synonym for sloppy, dirty gay sex. Oh, and he’s anti-abortion but his wife had an abortion. So he’s also a hypocrite. Sound familiar?

Bobby Jindal (n/a). Another non-entity from a political standpoint, he’s anti-immigration even though his parents were immigrants; he’s a fundamentalist about Christianity, even though he converted to the faith as an adult. He’s one of the worst state executives in the country, ruining his state’s economy, then doubling down to welcome homophobic groups to his state just as Ohio was backing off from their ill-fated effort at institutionalized hatred. He’s not just a nut — he’s a coconut. If he weren’t such a blip in the polls, he’d probably be higher on this list.

Rand Paul (3 percent). Another doctor-who-seems-to-know-nothing, Paul was a darling until his overwrought devotion to libertarianism got him in hot water with the GOP faithful. He’s actually said we don’t need the EPA or the Clean Water Act because the environment has never been better in 50 years … right, because that’s when we passed the EPA and Clean Water Act. Like all doctrinaire goofballs, he can’t see the error of his logic. But at least he didn’t run to Kentucky to embrace Kim Davis … and he’s from Kentucky.

Marco Rubio (6 percent). This sad wannabe looks like what the GOP thinks voters want, sort of the way Steve Guttenberg became a movie star. No one really thinks he’s qualified, but he’s young and attractive and speaks Spanish (but won’t because “Immigrants!”) and so will give the Republicans someone to hold up to voters younger than Chuck Norris to support. Trouble is, no one in the base feels that way, so while Rubio might stand a chance in the general, he’s a non-starter in the primaries. He’s also not very bright, so far as I see. He’s pro-life (i.e., anti-choice), opposes equal pay for women, has voted against raising the debt limit, was pro-DOMA and basically stands as a party-line hack.

Lindsey Graham (n/a). I do declare! This closet case has only two saving graces: First, even South Carolina Republicans can’t put him on the polls, and second, he’s close friends with Joe Biden. Frankly, I’d like to see a face-off between Biden and Graham in the general. At least it would appear civilized.

Scott Walker (4 percent). His greatest claim to fame is surviving a recall election and demonizing unions and teachers, but ever since he actually started running for president, this cheesehead has been virtually irrelevant on the national scene. He’s not even doing all that well in Iowa, which is right next door to his state. He’s just the latest example of a small-state governor with a national profile who thinks popularity at home translates into higher national office. Ummm, he’s wrong.

Jeb! (8 percent). Since the B in Jeb stands for Bush, he doesn’t get a last name. But he also hasn’t earned the exclamation point. He’s the tone-deaf zero of the pack, the slow-witted assistant high school principal who believes the kids think he’s cool, even though they know he’s a tool. With Colbert last week, he acted like he was on the edge politically when he said, “I don’t think Obama has bad motives.” Whoa! Imagine! He flirts with alienating his base by assuming our president wants to do a good job! If that doubles for “moderate” in the GOP, you see why Jeb doesn’t generate as much support even in his party as “undecided.” Like his brother, I think he’s actually a good guy who is so desperate to be president as a kind of birthright, he’ll betray every instinct he has to win. Oh, and his handling of the Terri Schiavo incident also makes him a total dick. That’s someone you can’t trust.

Chris Christie (2 percent). Even I was surprised that Christie managed to appear so near the “top” of my “not the worst candidate” list, but given the clown car that is the GOP slate, that’s like saying, “which rusty knife do you want plunged into your eye?” He’s a typical Jersey politician, an opportunist who, more than anyone aside Trump, “tells it like it is” but who is actually quite dangerous. He’s not an enemy to, for instance, the gay community, but he’ll never be a reliable friend. He’s comfortable wadded in scandal. He’s the Bill Clinton of the GOP, and I mean that in the worst possible way.

John Kasich (3 percent). I have very little respect for someone who will attend a gay wedding and then come out against it “officially,” as this man did. But considering that he has experience in Congress and as a chief executive, he’s got the political chops and the history that make him, at a minimum, qualified. Which is more than you can say about every other person in the debate.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Religious right tries to compare Tonya Parker to Kim Davis

TonyaKimWe were wondering why a 2012 story about Judge Tonya Parker has been the most read story on Dallas voice this week. Then we saw this ridiculous meme.

After her election to office, Parker decided that if she couldn’t marry everyone, she wouldn’t marry anyone. Since the uproar over same-sex marriage licenses and religious beliefs, the right wing has glommed onto that story again and has been trying to compare Parker to Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who not only won’t issue marriage licenses, but won’t allow anyone else in her office to issue them.

Here’s the difference and why the meme is dead wrong.

Tonya Parker was elected to be a judge of the 116th Civil District Court. That court hears cases involving civil rather than criminal or family matters in which damages involved are more than $200. As a perk of her office, Parker may perform marriages. Performing marriage is not a duty of her office. She was elected to hear civil cases in her court.

While many judges perform marriages, some don’t. Some impose restrictions, which must be applied equally. A judge can’t decide not to perform weddings for someone based on their race or religion. A judge may no longer decide to  perform weddings for straight people but not for gay people.

In Dallas County, one judge will only perform weddings for a couple dressed appropriately. He wants to make sure they’re taking their marriage seriously.

No judge would postpone court in order to perform weddings. On marriage equality day, Judge Dennise Garcia spent the first day of her vacation in her court so she could perform weddings while other judges were taking care of business in their courts.

Kim Davis, however, was elected to issue vital documents. That’s what a county clerk does. Kentucky law doesn’t say she may issue marriage licenses. Kentucky law says that’s what a county clerk does. She doesn’t get to issue them as a perk or if she decides to issue them. To refuse is refusing to do her job.

To compare Parker, who has always done her job, with Davis, who has refused to do her job, is twisting facts to continue this ridiculous idea that she’s being persecuted because of her religion. Actually, Davis is imposing her religion on everyone else and forcing others in her office to follow her religion.

Parker never suggested another judge or justice of the peace should refuse to perform weddings. She never suggested Dallas County Clerk John Warren shouldn’t do his job and refuse to issue marriage licenses or issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before it was legal. Instead, she always followed the law.

Davis has violated Kentucky law, refused to follow the order of a federal judge, refused to follow a Supreme Court ruling and after release from jail on contempt charges, threatened to violate the law again.

—  David Taffet

Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee are going to jail!

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

HAH. Got you.

I’m not entirely wrong, however. Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz is set to go to jail today, but it’s not because he broke the law.

He plans to meet with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has been in jail since last week after defying court orders to issue marriage licenses despite her religious objections to same-sex marriage, according to the Texas Tribune.

Cruz, the Texas senator who vehemently opposes any form of LGBT equality, issued a statement last week condemning the arrest, calling it “judicial lawlessness [crossing] into judicial tyranny.”

The tactic is part of Cruz’s larger strategy to shore up enough votes to clinch the crowded GOP presidential primary. To do so, he has to secure the evangelical Christian vote, a core Republican primary constituency that has huge sway in early presidential primary states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Cruz is not the only GOP candidate headed to jail today, however. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another favorite among the Religious Right, also plans to meet with Davis.

No word yet if either believes prisons violate their religious liberty as well.

—  James Russell

Today from San Francisco: What happens next in LGBT civil rights?


Scott Shader

Hi there. It’s me again, checking in from the National Gay and Lesbian Journalist Association conference in San Francisco. I just wanted to share a little bit of what was talked about in today’s morning plenary session, titled: Life After Marriage: What’s Next.

Scott Shafer, host of “The California Report” on KQED Public Radio, moderated the discussion that included as panelists National Center for Lesbian Rights ExecutiveDirector Kate Kendall, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrrera and Isa Noyola, program manager with the Transgender Law Center.

Unfortunately, the plenary — scheduled to be an hour and 15 minutes long — got off to a late start and so lasted less than an hour. That meant that a lot of relevant topics were left undiscussed. The fact that the first several minutes were taken up talking about a marriage equality issue — Kim Davis in Rowen County, Ky. — also cut short the time spent on what comes next.

But the discussion that did take place on where we, as an LGBT rights movement, go from here was informative, to say the least.


Isa Noyola

The most important discussion, I think, centered on the T in our LGBT community: The LGB parts of our community cannot get so flush with excitement and satisfaction over winning the marriage equality battle — not counting, of course, holdouts like Kim Davis and the inevitable rash of “religious freedom” bills we are likely to see in state legislatures and probably Congress, too — cannot just walk away and leave our transgender brothers and sisters in the dust of our success.

Noyola began her remarks by reading the names of the 18 trans women murdered so far this year in the U.S., helping drive home her point that while society may be changing when it comes to sexual orientation, the inequalities and injustices are still strong, violent and deadly when it comes to issues of gender identity.

Reading those names, Noyola said, :helps me ground myself and brings us to the heart of the situation our trans communities are facing. … The trans communities have had to swallow a bitter pill for years around our rights and our place in [LGBT] communities.”

Noyola, Kendall andHerrera all warned that trans people remain the most marginalized and endangered segment of our LGBT communities as a whole. And something I read in the “Street Sheet” newspaper, a publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, served to underscore even more strongly that transgender people are lagging far behind the rest of the community in terms of rights and protections.


Kate Kendall

According to the newspaper, which based some of its article on results of a recent National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans people are homeless at a higher right, especially trans women of color, and trans people are about 4 times more likely to have a household income below $10,000 annually. And a separte study showed that one in five California transgender people experienced homelessness after identifying as transgender.

Trans people have a harder time finding jobs because of anti-trans bias. They are targeted more often for violence. And they are an easy target for politicians pandering to right-wing conservatives who want somebody to blame for whatever is bothering them at the moment.

As a result, so called “bathroom bills” have become all the rage. We saw more than a few of them in Texas during the last legislative session, and now opponents of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance are breaking out the “men in the women’s restrooms” boogey-man to try and defeat HERO at the polls in November.

Even here in oh-so-liberal California, the threat of a bathroom bill is raising its ugly head.

The key to victory, Kendall said, is education, and, all three panelists agreed, not leaving our transgender brothers and sisters behind. We as LGB people have got to fight as hard for the rights of transgender people as we fought for marriage equality.


Dennis Herrera

The other main “what’s next” topic was the revamped version of the old “Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” Now known as The Equality Act, this piece of legislation would ban anti-LGBT discrimination not just in employment, but also in public accommodations, housing, credit and other areas.

Kendall said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who represents California’s 12th District in Congress, recently told supports of the Equality Act that the bill’s chances in the Republican-dominated Congress, as it stands now, are slim. But just introducing and pushing the measure now will help build the framework necessary to get protections enacted at the state level in the more than 30 states where anti-LGBT discrimination is still legal (including Texas).

Kendall stressed that the Equality Act definitely does include protections based on gender identity and gender expression, unlike ENDA, which at times in its history has been notorious for excluding transgender protections.

There are other issues that will be moving to the frontburner now that marriage equality is the law of the land. Things like LGBT families, adoption, immigration, LGBT prisoners, and more. But perhaps the best place to start is with the Equality Act and definitely by remembering to never leave the T behind.

—  Tammye Nash

Rep. Cecil Bell uses big words in statement about Kim Davis


Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia

Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, and author of numerous bills this past legislative session that would’ve barred Texas from recognizing marriage equality, issued a statement today, Friday, Sept. 4, condemning the arrest of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk for refusing to issue marriage licenses.

Davis, a Democrat who refused to issue licenses on religious grounds and was arrested yesterday, was a victim of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide, Bell said.

The text, found below, speaks for itself:

The lawless, unconstitutional edict of the US Supreme Court in Obergefell striking down state constitutional marriage amendments does not place the antithetical into law as the judiciary branch does not hold the authority to make law. SCOTUS, in striking down DOMA, ruled that the lawmaking authority regulating and defining marriage is held by the legislatures of the separate states.

Of the fifty states in our Union…

- eleven have laws enabling the licensing of same sex marriage

- in three of those states, the people voted to enable same sex licensing

- in eight of those states, that was done without a public vote, by legislative action. 

Thirty nine states (78%) have no laws to grant officials the authority to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals and I will continue to stand for our sovereignty and against federal overreach. 

Kim Davis and the other clerks who have stood for their religious freedoms and for state and citizen sovereignty are not guilty of violating any state or federal law. Again the Court’s ruling does not create law or an ability to force conformity to the will of the Court. We are not a krytocracy which is a people governed by Judges. The US Supreme Court’s wanton abandonment of law and constitutional authority in the reprehensible act of “striking down” state marriage amendments where law abiding citizens exercised the sovereign power of the ballot and of the separate states does establish a conundrum. Absent enabling legislation within a state, except as defined under current law, no marriage license, death certificate, birth certificate or other such document can be legally issued. No constitutional authority exists to force the Court’s vile and decrepit will on the people. Conversely, in cases like that of Ms. Davis, the absence of law leaves these overreaching federal judges clearly guilty of legislating from the bench.

The efforts to eliminate state sovereignty are far broader than the moral dilemma of homosexuality.

The quiet acceptance of unconstitutional atrocities across our state and across the separate states of our nation is abominable. I stand for Texas, for Texans and with the citizens of the separate states for the constitutional restoration of state sovereignty. 


Cecil Bell, Jr.

Texas State Representative

Bell fueled rumors earlier this year he would mount a challenge to Speaker Joe Straus, a moderate Republican. But he instead rolled out PACT for Constitutional Restoration Of State Sovereignty to keep elected officials accountable to the Constitution.

No word yet if he thinks the 13 bills he passed this session also usurp the law.

—  James Russell

Justice Department urged to ensure same-sex couples receive marriage licenses


U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ensure same-sex couples face no barriers to receiving marriage licenses. The statement came after Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, has denied issuing marriage licenses on religious grounds.

“The Supreme Court once again demonstrated marriage equality is the law of the land,” Pocan said in a statement. “The unconstitutional actions by this county clerk underscore the need for the Department of Justice to take any and all necessary steps to ensure same-sex couples have immediate and complete access to their fundamental right to marry. States and localities failing to comply with the Constitution should be met with swift action by the federal government including the loss of federal dollars.”

Pocan, who is gay, was one of 56 members of Congress to send a letter to Lynch in July requesting her office take any necessary actions to ensure couples are not denied marriage licenses.

Davis, a Democrat, was jailed on contempt of court charges after refusing to allow her deputy clerks to issue licenses after calls by Kentucky’s governor and attorney general to issue licenses. A same-sex couple that has continuously been denied marriage licenses by her office filed the latest lawsuit yesterday.

—  James Russell

UPDATE 3: Davis hearing begins in Ashland, Ky.

Davis.KimUPDATE 3: (11:30)

A guard just came to the door and said it could be another hour before the hearing is finished.

Anti-gay protesters are singing “How I Love Jesus,” while LGBT protesters are chanting “No Hate.”

Davis has said the case isn’t about her hating gay people. The anti-gay protesters didn’t get the message with signs like “Homo Sex is Sin” and “Sodomy Sin” and other lovely slogans proving it’s not about hate. It’s about their filthy, sex-filled, homophobic version of religion.

UPDATE 2: (10:52)

WKYT, the CBS affiliate in Lexington, reports because Davis and her entire staff were summoned to federal court, the county clerk’s office in Rowan County is closed with a sign that reads, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we will be open Friday morning, September 4, 2015 for normal business. Thank you.”

Normal business means she intends to keep her job and continue to not do it.

UPDATE: (10:32 a.m.)

Right now I’m watching cars drive by the courthouse with no news from inside the courthouse. No electronic equipment is allowed inside. The hearing might be long, since all six of her deputy clerks were ordered to appear as well. Four of them are also refusing to issue licenses. One has expressed ambivalence. The one who said he would issue has been ordered not to by Davis.


Crowds gathered outside the U.S. Courthouse in Ashland Ky., about 60 miles northeast of Rowan County for the contempt of court hearing for County clerk Kim Davis. The hearing was set to begin at 10 a.m. Central Time.

According to Bluegrass Politics, crowds chanted, “This is not a church.”

Sidewalk preachers urged the crowd to “flee from your sins” and “we still love you.”

Refresh for updates we’re posting as we get them.

—  David Taffet

More reasons to laugh at Kim Davis’ religious claims


County Clerk Kim Davis

By now it’s old news that Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis, who won’t issue marriage licenses, has been married four times. But here’s some new details of her tawdry life uncovered by Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen.

“Far from a wholesome defender of the family, it would take Jerry Springer to sort out Davis’ unseemly maze of marriages,” Besen wrote.

He calls her not just a hypocrite, but an apostate.

According to Besen, “She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband. They were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second. Davis worked at the clerk’s office at the time of each divorce and has since remarried.”

One reason she may be playing the martyr is the inevitable GoFundMe campaign. The rural Indiana pizza place that claimed it wouldn’t cater a gay wedding and closed the next day received more than $800,000. Davis stands to rake in a fortune.

Will she have to share it with her deputy clerks if they’re all thrown in jail after tomorrow’s contempt of court hearing?

Will God show up to defend her in court?

Tune in tomorrow and find out.

—  David Taffet

Hang on Kim Davis, Dwayne Stovall has a plan


Dwayne Stovall

As Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis continues to fight back the hordes of homosexual infidels clamoring to defile the institution of marriage in Kentucky, Texas Republican congressional candidate Dwayne Stovall wants her to know, he’s got her back.

Davis, as you likely already know, is the four-times-married county clerk who continues to defy federal law and the federal courts — right up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court — by refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She claims she is operating — or refusing to operate — under God’s authority in refusing to carry out the duties of the office to which she was elected and for which she is paid $80,000 a year (even though she took an oath to perform those duties). See, same-sex marriage goes against her religious beliefs, so God says she doesn’t have to issue those licenses, oath be damned.


Dwayne and Kathy Stovall

But let’s get back to Dwayne here in Texas.

Dwayne Stovall is a Republican campaigning to represent Congressional District 36 in the U.S. House of Representatives. District 36 encompasses Northeast Dallas and surrounding suburbs, among them the Preston Hollow neighborhood where former President George W. Bush lives. Right now, Rep. Pete Sessions represents District 32 in Congress.

But I guess ol’ Pete isn’t conservative enough for Dwayne — lord knows, Sen. John Cornyn wasn’t conservative enough when Dwayne ran against him last year for U.S. Senate — who has just announced his intention to, as a member of Congress, introduce legislation removing marriage from “any jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

In a statement released today (Wednesday, Sept. 2), Stovall said: “The Constitution of the United States offers no authority to the federal Supreme Court to be involved in the issue of marriage. So why is the Supreme Court forcing a county clerk in Kentucky to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples against her religious convictions and against a State statute adopted by representatives elected by the citizens of Kentucky?

“Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of the people we elect to represent us in Congress aren’t aware of the authority given to the Congress to control the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, as stated in Article III of the Constitution.

“Based upon that authority, when I am elected to Congress, I intend to propose” the Removal of Marriage from Federal Control Act.

That legislation, Dwayne promised, would remand the issue of marriage to the states and the federal judiciary would no longer have any standing on the issue.

That would, he said, “rightfully return all authority to regulate marriage back to the states where it belongs, allowing the citizens of each state to manage the issue of marriage according to their morals, values, and traditions, exclusively.”

Dwayne went on to say that the form of government intended by our country’s founders has been replaced by a “national system in which the government is no longer limited by the Constitution.”

But, he declared, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” And he promised to, throughout his campaign, “give explicit and easy-to-understand examples of how I intend to use the authorities conveyed to the Congress in the Constitution to actually restore States’’ Rights and limit the federal government. Proposing legislation to take authority over issues like marriage away from a few political elites and return it to the citizens of Texas is just another of many.”

Dwayne Stovall lives in Liberty County and has been married to his wife Kathy for 24 years. They have three children. I guess that means he knows all about marriage and what it is supposed to be like. (His campaign website says they have been married 22 years, but the press release we got today says 24 years. Maybe it;s just an old website; I mean, he apparently runs for some office or another in every election.)

—  Tammye Nash