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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Pocan: Kentucky County Clerk Noncompliance Underscores Need for Department of Justice to Ensure Marriage Licenses Issued to Same-Sex Couples

Sep 2, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C - U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) sent a follow-up letter urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take any actions necessary to ensure same-sex couples are afforded immediate and complete access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The letter comes in response to recent events in Kentucky where a county clerk unconstitutionally refused marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“The Supreme Court once again demonstrated marriage equality is the law of the land,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “The unconstitutional actions by this county clerk underscore the need for the Department of Justice to take any and all necessary steps to ensure same-sex couples have immediate and complete access to their fundamental right to marry. States and localities failing to comply with the Constitution should be met with swift action by the federal government including the loss of federal dollars. There is simply no excuse for discrimination in our democracy.”

In July, Rep. Pocan along with 56 of his Congressional colleagues sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging the Department to take any actions necessary to ensure same-sex couples are not denied marriage licenses.

Full text of the letter is below:

 

The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch

The Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

Washington, D.C. 20530

 

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

In July, 56 of my Congressional Colleagues and I wrote to the Department of Justice regarding our concerns about state and local officials defying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergfell v. Hodges. I write today to follow up on that initial letter and to continue urging the Department of Justice to take the appropriate steps to ensure all states and localities act in compliance with this ruling.

Recent events in Kentucky where a county clerk unconstitutionally refused marriage licenses to same sex couples underscores the urgent need for action by the federal government to ensure discrimination does not persist. If this violation of the Constitution is left unchecked in Kentucky, I am deeply concerned that other same-sex couples will face discrimination across the country. Same-sex couples must be afforded immediate and complete access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by the Supreme Court of the United States without delay. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Mark Pocan

Member of Congress

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