Dallas Black of Morehead, Kentucky, called The Daily Beast after the anti-gay marriage clerk said in an interview on Good Morning America that she had gay friends.
Black said he’s known Davis his whole life—her first husband is even a distant cousin of his—but said he and Davis became close after she helped him with paperwork at the Rowan County clerk’s office after his mother died. While he said Davis wasn’t someone he “would get lunch with,” she would give him advice. Black even had her home phone number.
“Even after this all started, I went in a few days later and we spoke,” he said. “We talked about how each other were feeling, and how we’re gonna be friends even after all this.”
Now he said he doesn’t recognize her.
“I really don’t know who Kim is at the moment. I really want to believe that the kind, sweet person who was there when my mom passed away is still there,” he said. “I was friends with Kim in the past, but I don’t know this woman I’ve been seeing.”
Black said he was surprised just how hard she’s fought against gays getting married.
“I somewhat feel like she is taking this to an extreme, because she didn’t become a Christian until four years ago,” Black said of the “media fiasco” she created.
Black said he tolerates Davis’s views—even members of his own family don’t support same-sex marriage—but turning the town into a “backwoods” laughingstock is really upsetting.
“Kim Davis has become the face of Morehead, and that’s not the face we want to portray,” he said.
Morehead is one of the most progressive college towns in Kentucky, Black proudly said. In 2013, its city council unanimously passed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, only the sixth city in Kentucky to do so. With its arts scene, students, and coffee shops, Black said many LGBT Kentuckians choose to make it their home.
“This is kind of like a sanctuary for people who came to [Morehead State University]. They live here now, they’ve made it their home because it’s so progressive,” he said. “And now it’s like, what is this place we live in? This is not the home we know. We don’t feel safe now. That’s ultimately what she did. She made us feel like our home was invaded by strangers, and she made us strangers to it.”
Black said the town has changed a lot since he came out in 2002, when he faced a “backlash.” Now a local bookshop is printing shirts that read, “Small town does not mean small-minded.”
But if she came to him for support, Black says he would be there for her just like she was there for him in his time of need. “Morehead is like a big family, a big community,” he said.
She wouldn’t be on his wedding guest list, though—he’d keep it small, to close friends, and ones who support same-sex marriage wholeheartedly.