Main | Wednesday, July 08, 2015

ARKANSAS: Another Renegade Clerk

After consulting with the Liberty Counsel, the county clerk of Van Buren County, Arkansas has distributed a memo which declares that her office will not be issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  Via the Arkansas Times:
Pam Bradford, the Van Buren County clerk, circulated this memo to all county clerks today announcing her intention to defy the U.S. Supreme Court and have her office refuse to issue marriage licenses. She was out of the office when I called, but an employee confirmed the memo and said, as yet, no same-sex couples had presented themselves in the county to obtain a marriage license. Bradford's resistance is contrary to the position taken by both Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Even the anti-gay Family Council, which is promoting ways in which people opposed to marriage can avoid participation in the process, distributed the advice from another religious legal organization that the best means to avoid compliance is to have someone else who is willing to do the work do it in place of someone with objections. Bradford has taken this a step farther. Bradford is a Republican and attends Shirley First Baptist Church according to her Facebook page. The clerk's office is in Clinton.
Van Buren County has a population of 17K and bans the sale of alcohol. (Tipped by JMG reader Jordan)

UPDATE: Has she caved already?
Channel 4's Greg Yarbrough tells me at 5 p.m. that reporter Marci Manley has talked with Van Buren Clerk Pam Bradford, who has not returned my calls. She tells Manley that she's spoken with an Arkansas attorney, Mike Rainwater, who provides legal advice to county governments through the Association of Arkansas Counties, and is now saying she will issue marriage licenses — and treat customers "with respect." This followed by about an hour a phone message to me from Mathew Staver, head of the Liberty Counsel in Texas, which said it had agreed to represent Bradford to defend her in resisting issuance of licenses. Moral: Local advice better than that of outside agitator.

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