Judge Orders Defiant County Clerk to Jail
(AP) A federal judge ordered a defiant county clerk to jail for contempt Thursday after she insisted that it would violate her conscience to follow court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her deputy clerks were summoned to appear before U.S. District Judge David Bunning after she repeatedly denied them marriage licenses, cited her religious beliefs and "God's authority."
"You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul," Davis told the judge as she explained how the Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide conflicts with the vows she made when she became a born-again Christian.
"I promised to love Him with all my heart, mind and soul because I wanted to make heaven my home," Davis said.
The judge said she left him with no alternative but to jail her, since fines alone would not serve to change her mind. She was escorted out of his courtroom by a deputy, although not in handcuffs, to be turned over to the custody of federal marshals.
The judge also told all five of her deputy clerks that they are free to issue licenses to all applicants, and also face fines or jail if they refuse to comply. He gave them a chance to meet with lawyers before returning to his courtroom to reveal their decisions.
The lawyer for Davis, whose defense is funded by the Liberty Counsel, a religious freedom group, argued that the deputy clerks can only issue licenses under Davis' authority, but the judge [overruled] this objection.
Hundreds of people chanted and screamed, "Love won! Love won!" as word of these decisions reached the crowds outside the federal courthouse.
Fine Wouldn’t Work For Davis Says Judge
(AP) A federal judge says he didn't think fining a defiant Kentucky clerk would force her to comply with his order to issue marriage licenses.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis says her supporters are raising funds for her, but she herself hasn't requested any money. Davis was jailed on Thursday.
Before that, she testified for about 20 minutes and said people are calling her office all the time wanting to send money.
She was asked if the county insurance would pay a fine, and she said: "I was told they would drop me like a hot potato."
Most Rowan County Clerks Agree to Issue Licenses
(AP) Five of the six deputy clerks in a Kentucky county say they will issue marriage licenses to gay couples, despite their boss' refusal to do so.
The lone holdout among the deputy clerk's is the clerk's son, Nathan. His mother was jailed earlier Thursday when she refused to follow U.S. District Judge David Bunning's order to hand out marriage licenses.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs have proposed releasing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis out of custody if she agrees to not interfere with marriage licenses for gay couples.
The judge has agreed to the proposal and is now bringing Kim Davis back to the courtroom to see if she will agree.
White House Weighs In: 'No One Is Above the Law'
(AP) The White House says no one is above the law, including a Kentucky county clerk who was sent to jail for contempt after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
President Barack Obama has yet to express his views on the matter, but White House press secretary Josh Earnest says "on principle, that the success of our democracy depends on the rule of law, and there's no public official that is above the rule of law."
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed Thursday when she refused to comply with a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses.
Earnest added, "what's important ... is that this is the decision that's supposed to be made by a federal judge, and so I would not, from this vantage point, second guess those decisions."
Heated Protests in Rowan County after Gay Couple Gets License
(AP) Dozens of protesters have gathered outside a Kentucky clerk's office where a gay couple has been issued a marriage license after a lengthy fight with a clerk who had long refused to grant the licenses.
One group cheered on the gay couple who got the license, while the other group preached and supported the clerk on Friday. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue the licenses, citing her Christian religion and belief that gay marriage is immoral.
In a heated exchange, supporters of Davis yelled "I'm telling you the truth because I love you" while opponents yelled back that "Jesus loves everyone."
Davis remained jailed after a federal judge held her in contempt for defying several court orders. Her husband says she doesn't plan to resign and will not issue the licenses.
With Clerk Jailed, Licenses Lack Signatures
(AP) As the county clerk, Kim Davis' signature usually appears on marriage licenses, but since she is jailed, her deputy clerks are handing out licenses with no signature.
The Rowan County attorney and lawyers for the gay couples who have sued to get marriage licenses say they are legal and valid despite the lack of a signature.
Davis was jailed Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Bunning because she refuses to issue licenses to gay couples. Bunning was asked during Davis' contempt hearing Thursday about the licenses being valid if Davis refuses to authorize them. He said it was up to the gay couples to take that chance.