Kim Davis refuses to back down, even under the threat of being jailed until 2016
Rowan County, Kentucky has been all over the news this week thanks to county clerk Kim Davis. The 49-year-old refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples citing ‘God’s authority’. On Friday, she was charged with contempt and put in isolation at the Carter County Detention Center. In her absence, same-sex couples are flocking to the courthouse to get married.
Alas, this story will not fade from the news anytime soon. Fox News pundits and Republican presidential candidates have all seen fit to weigh in on the issue. The result is that this small town bigot has become international news.
With Davis refusing to back down, the state legislature would be needed to resolve this issue. However, they are not in session again until January. Some suggested a special session be called, however, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear said it would be a waste of tax payers money to have the whole legislature come in to deal with a situation that really only affects one employee.
Davis could very well be in jail until early next year.
“She’s not going to resign, she’s not going to sacrifice her conscience, so she’s doing what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, which is to pay the consequences for her decision,” said Mat Staver, one of Davis’ attorneys from the Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based legal group.
Davis plans to appeal the court’s ruling. She told her attorneys that she would “never violate her conscience or betray her God.” It is said that she has taken her Bible with her to jail.
The US District Judge David Bunning, who sentenced Davis, said that she would not be released until she agrees to obey the law. Davis wishes to change the state law so that marriage licenses will not longer be issued under the authority of the county clerk.
Supporters of Davis held a ‘Free Kim Davis’ rally on Saturday in front of the jail. Mike Huckabee is taking time out of his busy campaign schedule to visit Davis on Tuesday.
There is some question about the legality of the marriage licenses issued in Davis’ absence. Technically, such a certificate needs to be authorized by the county clerk, who is in fact an elected official. Even Judge Bunning does not know if the licenses will be truly valid. He ordered them issued nonetheless.
It is the deputy clerk, Brian Mason, who is now issuing the licenses.