Orlando-based Liberty Counsel takes same-sex marriage fight to U.S. Supreme Court


The Florida attorney representing a Kentucky court clerk in a standoff over same-sex marriage says it’s a matter of religious liberty.

“It’s getting to the question of, if you hold an elected office, how far do your constitutional rights go?” attorney Roger Gannam of the Orlando-based firm Liberty Counsel told FloridaPolitics.com.

Kentucky’s Attorney General may appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis violated the Bluegrass State’s official misconduct statute when her office refused to issue a license to a gay couple.

Gannam says Liberty Counsel has filed  an emergency request to the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a lower-court order that would require Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses starting today.

“We’re asking the court to stay the enforcement of the trial judge’s order from a couple weeks ago,” he said. “The Supreme Court left open the question of what role will religious rights have in light of the marriage decision. It didn’t answer that question. It simply said states must recognize same-sex marriage.”

Gannam’s interest in the issue is not new. He used to work as a Jacksonville attorney and followed the contentious debate in Atlantic Beach over whether to expand that coastal community’s human rights ordinance to cover LGBT citizens.

That ordinance passed last year. However, some local political observers noticed an apparent backlash recently, when HRO supporters Carolyn Woods and Maria Mark lost their seats as mayor and Atlantic Beach commissioner to challengers who criticized their record on the issue.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected].


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