Anti-gay clerk Kim Davis has gone to Romania to try to ban same-sex marriage
Kim Davis, the US clerk who shot to prominence when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has taken her views to Romania.
The European country is moving towards holding a referendum on whether same-sex marriage should be ruled illegal.
She has travelled to Romania with the Liberty Counsel, a right-wing Christian law group defined as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
Davis is giving speeches all over the country and holding meetings with high-ranking officials in the Orthodox Church, which is calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.
Along with the hate group, she is also meeting members of Parliament and spreading homophobic rhetoric through local media outlets.
Davis is using her time in prison as a warning that failing to cut off the possibility of same-sex marriage would result in the return of communist-style restrictions and attacks on religion.
She has been accompanied by Harry Mihet, vice president of legal affairs for the hate group.
Mihet, who was born in Romania, said: “I am so glad for this amazing opportunity to finally introduce Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis personally to my Romanian people,” according to LGBTQ Nation.
“Her story resonates loudly with them, and they are receiving her tearfully and very warmly, because they can still remember the not-so-long-ago days when they were themselves persecuted and imprisoned for their conscience,” he continued.
“The freedom of conscience transcends national, cultural, religious and denominational lines, and Romanians are determined to prevent such injustice from ever happening again in their country.”
The country’s Social Democrats leader Liviu Dragnea is pushing for a referendum after three million people signed a petition calling for the constitution to define marriage as heterosexual.
The petition was led by the Coalition for the Family, a group of 30 non-governmental organisations which back anti-LGBT policies to “promote the traditional family”.
Currently, the constitutional definition of marriage is between “spouses”.
The Liberty Counsel, with whom Davis has formed a close allegiance, has a history of anti-LGBT actions.
It has fought a legal battle against trans teenager Gavin Grimm, who sued his school board after it enacted a policy which ordered students to use the toilet that corresponded with their “biological gender”.
And last month, its founder Mat Staver – while acting as Davis’s lawyer – compared the treatment of anti-LGBT religious groups to the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany.
Davis attracted the group’s attention when four couples (two same-sex ones and two straight ones) sued her with help from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
Davis’s lawsuit was resolved last year after the Republican Governor of Kentucky changed state law to eliminate the need for clerks like Davis to authorise licenses.
However, the unclear resolution led to a dispute over who would have to pay the ACLU’s $230,000 in legal costs.
In a ruling earlier this year, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that Davis was not personally liable for paying the cost as she was acting in her “official capacity”.
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