KY clerk Kim Davis ordered jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

Thu. September 3, 2015 7:29 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

A federal judge on Thursday found Kim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, in contempt for defying a ruling ordering her to issue marriage licenses to all qualified couples.

Rather than serve gay and lesbian couples after the Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans in all 50 states, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether and vowed never to issue a marriage license to a gay couple because it would conflict with her religious beliefs.

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case. Despite having exhausted all of her legal options, Davis continued to turn away gay couples.

"The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order," said Judge David L. Bunning of Federal District Court. "If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that's what potentially causes problems."

Bunning ordered Davis jailed. He said she would be released once she agreed to comply with his order.

Lawyers representing the four couples, two of whom are gay, who initially sued Davis asked Bunning to hold her in contempt, arguing that she "continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform."The lawyers asked the judge to fine the clerk, but not to jail her.

Davis, who has rejected calls for her resignation, on Tuesday said that issuing such licenses would lead her to hell.

"To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience," she said. "It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven or hell decision."

Supporters and opponents of Davis clashed outside the federal courthouse in Ashland. Opponents waved rainbow flags and said she should do her job, while supporters said that she had a right to follow her beliefs.


Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine