Kentucky clerk to let deputies issue gay marriage licenses | Inquirer News

Kentucky clerk to let deputies issue gay marriage licenses

/ 01:32 PM September 15, 2015
Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, left, at her side, greets the crowd after being released from the Carter County Detention Center, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in Grayson, Ky. Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, was released Tuesday after five days behind bars. AP Photo

CHICAGO, United States—The Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing in the name of her Christian faith to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples said Monday she will not prevent her deputies from doing so.

Kim Davis has become a heroine to gay marriage opponents in the United States after spending six days in jail on contempt of court charges, with several Republican presidential hopefuls rushing to defend her controversial stance in the name of religious liberty.


READ: Kentucky clerk again asks for delay on gay-marriage licenses

The born-again Christian is the most high profile of a handful of local officials who have sought to defy a landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage across the United States.


“I love my deputy clerks, and I hate that they have been caught in the middle,” Davis told a press conference outside the Rowan County Courthouse on her first day back at work since her release from jail last Tuesday.

“If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.”

READ: Kentucky clerk who fought gay marriage released from jail

She added, however, that any license they issue to gay couples “will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.”

The elected public servant stopped issuing all marriage certificates following the Supreme Court’s landmark June 26 ruling legalizing gay marriage.

On the bandwagon

A number of gay couples—often surrounded by journalists—tried to obtain marriage licenses from Davis but were all turned away.


“We are not issuing marriage licenses today,” the bespectacled 49-year-old is shown to say in one video of a confrontation posted online.

When asked under whose authority, Davis responds calmly: “Under God’s authority.”

Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee jumped on the Davis bandwagon last week, capitalizing on the image of an outspoken Christian woman sent to jail for her beliefs as evidence for their claims that people opposed to gay marriage are suffering religious persecution.

But legal experts—and other Republican contenders from Donald Trump to Jeb Bush or Carly Fiorina—have argued that Davis was duty-bound to either do her job or resign, as made clear by the federal judge who ordered her held on contempt charges.

Davis was released after five of six deputy clerks stated under oath that they would issue marriage licenses “to all legally eligible couples,” including homosexual couples.

She was ordered not to “interfere in any way, directly or indirectly” with the issuance of licenses, Judge David Bunning wrote, warning of “appropriate sanctions” should she do so.

The clerk called on Kentucky’s government to provide a way for people who disagree with public policy on gay marriage to object without risk of imprisonment.

“They have the authorization and the authority to provide these types of accommodations and there’s no reason why they cannot do so,” Davis told reporters.

“Are we not a big enough, a loving enough and a tolerant enough state to find a way to accommodate my religious convictions?

“While my case may be the most visible, there are millions of others out there in the private and public sector who face and are in the same position. They also need reasonable accommodations.”

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