Kim Davis: Kentucky Clerk Arrested For Not Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
After being found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage license to same sex couples, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was taken in custody. However, her deputies said that they will comply with the court’s order and will issue licenses.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled against Davis, who had refused issuing marriage licenses to both same and opposite sex couples, arguing that through this move she could not be labelled discriminatory only towards gay couples. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, had cited her religious beliefs for not complying with the Supreme Court’s June ruling that said that the Constitution gave gay couples the right to get married.
The judge said that she could be released if she complies with the court’s order and starts issuing marriage licenses in the county.
Meanwhile, Karen Roberts and April Miller, who could not obtain a marriage license on Tuesday, said they were looking to tie the knot on Friday and expect that it will hassle-free this time.
“We felt humiliated,” Roberts said, as reported by NBC News.
“Marginalized,” Miller added.
Roberts and Miller have been in a relationship for 11 years and have been unable to obtain a marriage license three times in the past.
“There are five deputy clerks who said that they will be in compliance with the judge’s order,” Roberts said. “The judge said they will be open tomorrow. I don’t want any shenanigans like last week.”
Davis’ request, one that contradicted the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling giving gay couples the right to marry, was rejected on Monday.
According to ABC News, the American Civil Liberties Union requested that Davis be fined. However, the judge ruled that that wasn’t enough, and he ordered that she be taken into custody.
In a statement, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “Everyone is stunned at this development. Kim Davis is being treated as a criminal because she cannot violate her conscience. While she may be behind bars for now, Kim Davis is a free woman. Her conscience remains unshackled.”
Liberties Union is representing Davis.
Also read: Kentucky County Clerk Should Issue Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples, Appeals Court Says
GOP presidential candidate Mike Hukabee tweeted, “Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country. We must defend #ReligiousLiberty!”
Five of six of Davis’ deputies said they would comply with the court’s order after being told that they will also be held in contempt of court and face similar charges if they denied issuing marriage licenses to couples.
Despite the court’s ruling, the case brings to the surface some of the problems same sex couples have to endure, Roberts said.
“We have a long way to go, with this case and everything else,” Roberts said.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a bigger day. A happy day.”