Carly Fiorina: 'Not Appropriate' for Christian County Clerk Not to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

By Melanie Arter | September 2, 2015 | 10:24am EDT
GOP presidential candidate and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (AP Photo)

( – GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told the Hugh Hewitt show on Tuesday that it was inappropriate for a Kentucky clerk to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Given the role that she’s playing, given the fact that the government is paying her salary, I think that is not appropriate. Now that’s my personal opinion,” said Fiorina.


Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, an elected official, vowed not to resign Tuesday under threat of fines and jail time after deciding not to issue marriage licenses to any couples - straight or gay - rather than be forced to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses, and an appeals court affirmed that order. The Supreme Court refused to intervene Monday, leaving her no legal option to refuse. She faces a potential misdemeanor charge of official misconduct for refusing to perform her duties, the Associated Press reported.

“And let me close our conversation by throwing a hard one at you. There’s a Kentucky county clerk today. She’s refusing to issue licenses to same-sex marriage couples. She’s in comtempt of court in essence. What would your advice be to her?” Hewitt asked Fiorina on Tuesday.

“First, I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now, because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways. Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role,” Fiorina said.

“When you are a government employee as opposed to say, an employee of another kind of organization, then in essence, you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government, and while I disagree with this court’s decision, their actions are clear,” she said.

“And so I think in this particular case, this woman now needs to make a decision that’s [about] conscience: Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government, in which case she needs to execute the government’s will, or does she feel so strongly about this that she wants to sever her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount over her duties as a government employee,” the former Hewlett Packard CEO said.

“You don’t counsel that she continue civil disobedience?” Hewitt asked.

“Given the role that she’s playing, given the fact that the government is paying her salary, I think that is not appropriate. Now that’s my personal opinion. Others may disagree with that, but I think it’s a very different situation for her than someone in a hospital who’s asked to perform an abortion or someone at a florist who’s asked to serve a gay wedding. I think when you’re a government employee, you are put into a different position honestly,” said Fiorina.

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