Global News

Who Is David Ermold? Gay Man Enters County Clerk Race After Discrimination

Who Is David Ermold? Gay Man Enters County Clerk Race After Discrimination

A Kentucky man who was repeatedly refused a marriage license by county clerk Kim Davis after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 announced Wednesday he is running to unseat her.

Davis set off an global furor when she denied a marriage license to Ermold and his partner, David Moore, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the right for same-sex couples to marry. Davis, the chief clerk of Rowan County, cited "God's authority" and said her stance was motivated by her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

Like many gay couples, after watching history take place in June 2015, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision, Ermold and his partner David Moore headed to the local courthouse for a marriage license.

"My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness and responsibility to the clerk's office", Ermold said. She made sure Ermold had all of his paperwork and signatures to file for office, softly humming the old hymn "Jesus Paid It All" as her fingers clacked across a keyboard. "I don't think the other candidates are looking at a larger message". But last month, Davis announced she would run for re-election and face voters for the first time since refusing to issue the licenses.

Davis's mother was the previous clerk, and Davis's son works in the clerk's office, as well.

Now, he's confident he can defeat Davis in the race despite her having a number of organizations supporting her. Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, both former 2016 Republican presidential candidates, also previously supported Davis when she was in jail.

However, Ermold and Moore obtained a license on September 26, 2015, Reuters reported. Ermold has two master's degrees from Morehead State University, and has worked at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Maysville Community College.

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He is also the leader of the local gay rights organization Morehead Pride.

Davis has become a darling of the religious right.

In the two years since then, things have quieted down in this Appalachian town.

"I'm not being disrespectful to you", she told the pair. He said he's aware that Davis could get a lot of outside help in the campaign, but hopes Rowan voters will recognize the importance of restoring integrity to the office. Davis said she felt betrayed by her party and switched her registration to Republican.

"This is how gay people are treated in this country, this is what it's like, this is their experience, this is how it feels", Ermold said.

Ermold said Davis' position within the religious right is bringing more politics to the job.


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