FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Three Kentucky county clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples drew thunderous cheers from a crowd gathered at the State Capitol.
Thousands of people from all over the state gathered at the State Capitol for Saturday's rally. Organizers say the rally is to simply send a message to Governor Steve Beshear.
"Our message today is Governor, please do your job. Don't just point your finger at the county clerks and demand that they do theirs. If he'll do that, then gay and lesbians can get their marriage licenses and the county clerks can be protected. It's that simple," Rally Organizer Kent Ostrander said.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis spoke at the rally organized by The Family Foundation of Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. The crowd of a few thousand included churchgoers from around the state. Davis has been sued by The American Civil Liberties Union for denying marriage licenses to gay couples. She says her Christian faith prohibits her from signing licenses for same-sex couples.
The three clerks have stopped issuing any marriage licenses from their offices.
Davis spoke briefly, saying "I need your prayers ... to continue to stand firm in what we believe." A federal judge has ruled Davis must issue the licenses, but her attorneys are appealing the decision.
Whitley County Clerk Kay Swartz and Casey County Clerk Casey Davis are also denying gay marriage licenses. Neither of them wanted to speak on camera on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, on the other side of the river, there was an event for the fairness campaign.
Event organizers say it's a coincidence that their event was the same day as the rally.
"You know it's a free country. They're on that side of the river and we're on this side of the river and we're not planning on swimming across," Karen Hatter, event coordinator for the fairness campaign, explained.
The Frankfort Fairness Group had no intention of protesting the rally. Instead, they say they were celebrating because Saturday was the two-year anniversary of Frankfort passing the Fairness Act.
The Fairness Act prohibits discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.