The Jackson County Board of Commissioners opens its public meetings with an invocation delivered by one of its nine Commissioners. The Commissioners—all of whom are Christian—deliver Christian prayers, often in the name of Jesus Christ, and do not allow members of other faiths to lead the prayer. Citizens who attend the meetings in order to petition the Commissioners have little choice but to participate, even if doing so violates their conscience.
In June 2015, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to any couple, be they same-sex or different-sex. Davis stated that her religious beliefs forbade her from giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples, so she would not give out any marriage licenses at all.
A graduate counseling student at Eastern Michigan University refused, as part of her required practicum, to counsel any University client who might require advice about a homosexual relationship or a relationship involving sexual activity outside of marriage. Although the student stated that her religious beliefs prohibited her from counseling patients on these topics, she was expelled by the University for refusing to fulfill program requirements.