Western KY county clerk explains changes to job duties - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Western KY county clerk explains changes to job duties

Lynn Lane has been Lane has been the Ballard County clerk since 1978. Lynn Lane has been Lane has been the Ballard County clerk since 1978.

A Kentucky county clerk who defied the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage Tuesday refused to resign and now must face a federal judge who could impose fines or send her to jail.

After the Supreme Court ruling, several county clerks across the nation spoke out against the ruling citing moral and religious beliefs.

Rowan County County Clerk Kim Davis says she won't issue same sex marriage licenses because of her religious convictions.

A federal judge ordered Davis and her staff to court to explain why they should not receive stiff fines or jail time. 

One western Kentucky clerk says she understands the Davis' moral dilemma. 

"I really do respect her [Davis'] beliefs, her religious beliefs," Ballard County Clerk Lynn Lane said. "Those decisions that she has to make or is going to make has to be her decisions. I just can't answer that for her."

Lane says she has religious convictions as well, but that she will issue those same-sex marriage licenses because it is the state law.

"I took an oath to uphold that law," Lane said. "I do believe as county clerks we have a job to do and we have to uphold the law and what she decides to do, she decides to do."

Lane has been the Ballard County clerk since 1978. Her job entails a lot of other duties other than issuing marriage licenses. From selling hunting licenses to being in charge of elections, she stays busy. But none of her duties have caused as much controversy as same-sex marriage licenses.

Lane has had no requests for a same-sex marriage license since the Supreme Court ruling.

Lane says when someone does request a same-sex marriage license, she will abide by the law and issue it. She says it's part of her job as she serves her county.

"I think you do your job," Lane said. "I think you still hold onto your beliefs but everybody, every person deserves to be treated with respect."

She says she has seen a lot of changes since she's been in office, but the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage licenses has changed the scope of her office. 

"Each clerk has to do some soul searching and do what's best for them," Lane said. "I do believe if you cannot do your job then you have no choice but to resign." 

Ballard County has kept marriage license records dating back into the 1800s. Over the years they change the covers of the books and even the titles on those books. In the 1800s they had some books titled, "white and colored". It's unknown whether the title label on those books will change again this year. 

"You have to be willing I think to do your job. I don't particularly like to do those collections on vehicles, but it's my job," said Lane. "So that's what I'm trying to say is offices change and duties change."

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