This Thursday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo made available by the Carter County Detention Center shows Kim Davis. The Rowan County, Ky. clerk went to jail Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but five of her deputies agreed to comply with the law, ending a two-month standoff. (Carter County Detention Center via AP)
A defiant county clerk is willing to stay in jail for her beliefs, but she’d prefer to be a free woman.
Attorneys for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis have officially appealed a judge’s decision to put her in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The three-page motion does not include arguments as to why Davis should be released but amends Davis’ earlier appeal of the judge’s order.
Davis, an apostolic Christian, says gay marriage is a sin. She also says it would be a sin for her to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple because the licenses are issued under her authority. She tried in vain to have state lawmakers change the law as a legal challenge to Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban wound its way through the federal appeals court.
Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June the day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling.
But Davis still refused to do it, saying she could not betray her conscience or her God.
Thursday, Bunning ruled Davis was in contempt of court for disobeying his order and sent her to jail. Her deputy clerks then issued marriage licenses to gay couples Friday with Davis behind bars.
“Civil rights are civil rights and they are not subject to belief,” said James Yates, who got a marriage license Friday after having been denied five times previously.
Mat Staver, one of Davis’ attorneys, said the marriage licenses issued Friday are “not worth the paper they are written on” because Davis refused to authorize them. But Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins says the licenses are valid. Bunning said he did not know if the licenses were valid but ordered them issued anyway.
Bunning indicated Davis will be in jail at least a week. She could stay longer if she continues to not obey the judge’s order. Bunning had offered to release …Read More