Marriage officiants in several states are quietly refusing to wed same-sex couples by dropping out of the business altogether, a strategy that could test the limits of the US constitution. The most high-profile public official to skirt performing marriages is Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples under “God’s authority.”

Her deputies are now performing the duty. Most other officials who once refused to marry same-sex couples dropped their opposition after enforcement of the US supreme court’s landmark ruling in June. Now, in North Carolina, Alabama and other states, officiants have opted out of marrying both gay and straight couples to express moral opposition to the court’s decision. But some legal experts believe government officials can’t stop all marriage to avoid wedding same-sex couples without running afoul of the constitution. FULL REPORT