October 10, 2017 at 10:47 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Kim Davis fights same-sex marriage in Romania

Rowan County (Ky.) County Clerk Kim Davis, left, is in Romania to campaign in support of a referendum on whether to define marriage as between a man and a woman. (Photo courtesy of the Liberty Counsel)

A Kentucky county clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is currently in Romania.

The Liberty Counsel on Tuesday in a press release said Kim Davis and Harry Mihet, who is the anti-LGBT legal group’s vice president of legal affairs and its chief litigation counsel, are “visiting Romania this week to discuss the impact of same-sex ‘marriage’ on religious liberty and freedom of conscience.”

The press release indicates Davis and Mihet — who was born in Romania and grew up during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s dictatorship that ended when a violent revolution overthrew him in 1989 — are holding “conferences” in the Romanian capital of Bucharest and the cities of Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Timisoara and Iași throughout their nine-day visit.

The Liberty Counsel said Davis and Mihet have met with two archbishops of the Romanian Orthodox Church and “are scheduled to meet other leaders of” the religious denomination that is the country’s largest.

“They are also providing numerous television and radio interviews and meeting with civic leaders as well as members of Parliament,” reads the group’s press release. “Their conferences are carried live on social media channels and have so far garnered over 50,000 live viewers.”

The Liberty Counsel said Iași officials on Tuesday honored David and Mihet with a traditional “Bread and Salt” reception.

“I am so glad for this amazing opportunity to finally introduce Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis personally to my Romanian people,” said Mihet in the Liberty Counsel press release. “Her story resonates loudly with them, and they are receiving her tearfully and very warmly, because they can still remember the not-so-long-ago days when they were themselves persecuted and imprisoned for their conscience.”

“The freedom of conscience transcends national, cultural, religious and denominational lines,” he added. “Romanians are determined to prevent such injustice from ever happening again in their country.”

Romanian activist sharply criticizes Davis, Liberty Counsel

Romania is a country in southeastern Europe that borders Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Moldova. Romania joined the European Union in 2007.

Davis is in Romania ahead of a referendum on whether to amend the country’s constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman that could take place as early as next month.

Romanian law currently bans gays and lesbians from legally marrying, but it does not ban civil partnerships between same-sex or heterosexual couples. Opponents of marriage rights for same-sex couples in 2015 collected 3 million signatures — the country’s total population is slightly less than 20 million people — in support of the referendum.

Florin Buhuceanu, director of ACCEPT, a Romanian LGBT and intersex advocacy group, on Tuesday said his organization sent a “letter of protest” to the general manager of the National Theater in Bucharest for “allowing” a conference “that is targeting the LGBTI community” to take place in “a public cultural space.”

Buhuceanu in a statement the Washington Blade obtained said Mihet noted in Timisoara “the homosexual lifestyle is highly detrimental, and blamed those American states in which medical professionals are not able to practice conversion therapy or even express their negative opinion about homosexuality anymore.”

“They play well the role of victims of the homosexual consipracy that is using non-discrimination legislation as a tool for depriving honest Christians basic rights such as freedom of religion,” added Buhuceanu. “Unfortunately, this is the mantra used more and more by the majority church (Romanian Orthodox Church) and several influential political leaders who suddenly feel the urge to save traditional and family values undermined by the homosexual threat.”

Davis in September 2015 served five days in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Obergefell case.

Pope Francis secretly met with Davis in D.C. a few weeks after her release from jail. Vatican officials sought to downplay the meeting amid criticism from Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin and other LGBT advocates.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Larry W. Jones

    Just as dumb, fat, and ugly as ever. Do the taxpayers of Kentucky know they are paying for her to vacation in Romania instead of doing her job?

    • David Andrei

      Didn’t really invite her to our country, any return to sender options ?

      • Larry W. Jones

        How much would you charge us to keep her?

  • Swflmetfan

    This news letter is fake news. A amature rt wing zelous group. The Pope met this uneducated hag in a reception line, which he had no control of. She was invited by conservative Catholics to embrass the Pope. She is part of the deporables destroying America

  • Sadar Acampa

    Religion, all religions, were created to control the masses with brainwashing false morality, and Kim has deputized herself as a pius police to enforce this fake dogma!

    Whatever God is, it cares about the same for gay people as it does straight people! And, the sad thing is, Kim and other self righteous white people who work in jobs that can approve or deny someone what they need to survive, are everywhere. They are playing God and not doing a very good job at it.

    Some of these pillars of society work in Law Enforecement, Human Resources for various companies and they decide if I will get the job based on their religious, social, political feelings!

  • lnm3921

    Kim Davies illustrates the extremist christian conservative agenda of Trump supporters who spitefully go around the world interfering in the politics of other nations to deny GLBT people of their human rights and dignity! They have done it in Africa agitating homophobia there. They criticized Obama for promoting GLBT rights around the world saying we had no business dictating what other people can do but they have no qualms about doing it themselves! So much hypocrisy! We see the Trump administration doing it through Jeff Session’s policy positions here!

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