Weeks after the Supreme Court removed the ban on gay marriage across the United States legalizing it in all states, gay couples are still facing legal issues, as some county clerks across many states are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples citing religious reasons. This has become an issue across many of the Southern states and is sparking a debate over the legality of this.
Four Kentucky couples are suing a county clerk after she not only turned away two same sex couples, but two heterosexual couples. The clerk is refusing to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court ruling, claiming that her religious beliefs kept her from issuing them to any couple. However, she is not the only clerk denying marriage licenses. Similar instances have been seen in Texas and Tennessee. Clerks are not only facing lawsuits from a number of couples, but face serious legal issues. Under national laws, clerks are not allowed to refuse marriage licenses based on religious beliefs as it violates the first amendment. Many are calling for stricter penalties to end these actions and new laws to protect same sex couples from being denied marriage licenses. However, clerks are arguing for their actions, citing it is their right to turn down a same sex couple.
The lawsuits against clerks who refused marriage licenses have resulted in some couples later having the licenses being given to them. Despite this, other couples are still facing problems receiving them and legal battles still continue.