David Wolitz, Associate Professor of Law, spoke to WATE on September 4 about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ rights under the First Amendment to deny same-sex marriage licenses out of her Rowan County office. Davis was recently jailed after a judge found her in contempt of court and ruled that she could not disobey the law by refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
While Wolitz confirmed to WATE that religious freedom is protected under the First Amendment, he also explained that it does not apply in Davis’ case.
“She could stand there and say, ‘I am against same-sex marriage,’ but once she takes an official act to deny a marriage license to a couple because they’re a same-sex couple, then she’s no longer protected,” said Wolitz to WATE. “We have thousands of public officials throughout the country who execute the laws that they may not agree with.”