MOREHEAD, Ky., September 3, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Kentucky marriage clerk Kim Davis has just been ordered to jail by a federal court for refusing to issue licenses to gay couples. This marks the first time a clerk has been jailed since the Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay "marriage" in all 50 states.
Citing God's authority, Rowan county clerk Kim Davis has been refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay or straight couples ever since the High Court's June decision in Obergefell v. Hodges making gay "marriage" a constitutional right. Despite repeated federal court orders to issue the licenses, Kim Davis has been firm in her refusal based on her sincerely held religious beliefs. A video showing her refusal to a gay couple has gone viral.
The couples who sued Davis in July filed a motion on Tuesday asking U.S. District Judge David Bunning to hold Davis in contempt of court, seeking fines for the clerk but not jail time. In addition, they filed a motion asking the judge to clarify that Davis must issue licenses to all couples, not just to the four in this case.
Bunning ordered Davis to appear back in court today, and promptly ordered that she be jailed until she complies with the ruling to issue marriage licenses. Davis said "Thank you" before being led away.
This marks the first time any marriage clerk in the United States has been jailed for conscientious refusal to issue gay marriage licenses.
According to the Associated Press, hundreds of demonstrators had gathered today in the hours before the hearing, filling up the streets in front of the courthouse.
The American Civil Liberties Union had sued Davis in federal court in July on behalf of the couples, and Davis lost, the district judge ordering Davis to issue the marriage licenses. On appeal to the 6th Circuit, Davis lost again, the appellate court upholding the lower court's decision and denying Davis' request for a permanent injunction against the order, thus mandating her to issue licenses to both gay and straight couples.
Despite receiving calls for her resignation and even death threats, Davis claims she feels no anger towards her detractors.
"I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will," she said in a statement issued Tuesday. "To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word. It is a matter of religious liberty."
"It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven or hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience," she said.