By Nyttend (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nyttend (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kim Davis Jailed for Refusing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

A federal judge ordered a county clerk in Kentucky to jail on charges of contempt Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was very emotional as she testified shortly before being placed in the custody of U.S. marshals and taken to Boyd County jail.  She described her conversion to Christianity and her inability to bend on her deeply held religious beliefs.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning said jail was the only option because he believed Davis would continue to defy his order with only a fine and that she would remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals until she complied with orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

“Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” said Bunning, adding, “Oaths mean things.”

Demonstrators on both sides of the issue gathered in front of the courthouse.  Same-sex marriage proponents chanted, “Love won!” as Bunning’s decision was announced.  Supporters of Davis held signs and sang hymns while a small plane flew over the courthouse towing a banner that said, “Stand Firm Kim.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused Davis’ request to be excused from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  The following day, a crowd of protestors and journalists packed the Rowan County Courthouse as two gay couples were turned away by Davis – an Apostolic Christian – who declared she was doing so “under God’s authority.”

“I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will.  To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue.  It is about marriage and God’s word,” Davis said in a statement released earlier this week.  She also said she never imagined this day would come. 

A democrat who took office in January, Davis succeeded her mother who served as county clerk for 37 years. Because she is an elected official, the Legislature must impeach her to remove her from office – a move that is unlikely in the conservative state of Kentucky. 

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