HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
FRANKFORT – The Family Foundation, a conservative group based in Lexington, is to hold a “First Amendment/Religious Freedom Rally” at noon Aug. 22 on the front steps of the Capitol.
“We cannot sit around any longer waiting to see if the governor will do his job on behalf of the county clerks,” said Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation in a release Monday.
“Their rights and the First Amendment are too important to sit back and only hope.”
Ostrander was referring to Gov. Steve Beshear’s direction to county clerks to do their job after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that same-sex marriages were legal in all states.
A few Kentucky county clerks said their religious beliefs prohibit them from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The ACLU of Kentucky has sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, and is awaiting a decision by a federal judge.
Ostrander said his organization is inviting to the rally “everyone who will stand with the county clerks and for the First Amendment to come to the Capitol and deliver their message in person.
“And our message is that the Supreme Court decision on marriage, now final, should not be used to erode any of the cornerstone birthright of every American – religious liberty.”
Ostrander said Beshear has not done enough to protect the religious liberties of the state’s county clerks.
He referred to a 2013 state law that outlines protections and the government’s duty to accommodate citizens when it has a compelling interest that conflicts with sincerely-held religious beliefs.
In this case, Ostrander said, the compelling interest is issuing marriage licenses to heterosexual and same-sex couples alike, but there has been no accommodation for the clerks.
Filed Under: State Government