ASHLAND, Ky. (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 overrulled this objection.
Hundreds of people chanted and screamed, "Love won! Love won!" as word of these decisions reached the crowds outside the federal courthouse.
Kim Davis testified about 20 minutes and was very emotional. She described how she became a Christian and said she is unable to believe anything else.
April Miller, one of the women trying to obtain a license, also testified. She said she voted for Kim Davis in the election and that this was only about getting her license, not about trying to change Davis' beliefs.
In front of the federal courthouse, demonstrators shouted at each other, sang hymns and waved signs, which ranged from the violent — turn to Jesus or burn — to simple statements of support. A small plane flew over the courthouse, carrying a banner that said: "Stand Firm Kim."
Davis stopped issuing licenses to all couples in June after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage. Despite rulings against her, she's turned away couples again and again.
The couples who originally sued in the case asked Bunning to punish Davis with fines but not jail time.
Davis, an Apostolic Christian, said earlier this week she never imagined this day would come.
"I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God's word," her statement said.
Her critics mock this moral stand, noting that Davis is on her fourth husband after being divorced three times.
Davis served as her mother's deputy in the clerk's office for 27 years before she was elected as a Democrat to succeed her mother in November. Davis' own son is on the staff.
As an elected official, she can be removed only if the Legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely in a deeply conservative state.
Judge Bunning is the son of Jim Bunning, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies who served two terms as Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator. Former Republican President George W. Bush nominated David Bunning for a lifetime position as a federal judge in 2001 when he was just 35 years old, halfway through his dad's first term in the Senate.
But Bunning has been anything but a sure thing for conservative causes. In 2007, he was part of a three-judge panel on a federal appeals court that overturned Michigan's ban on partial-birth abortion. The panel ruled the state's law was too broad and would outlaw other legal forms of abortion.
In 2003, Bunning ordered the Boyd County School District to allow the student club Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on campus.
Please note that "Blue Laws" are found in the USA, not Europe.
Despite there being a push for a work-free Sunday there is no such thing in any European country. However, all countries have Sunday Trading Laws that regulate (not prevent) shop opening times. These laws may only apply to certain types of goods and sporting activities are not restricted in the same way. Some European countries also had restrictions on Saturday trading.
Whilst the Maastricht Treaty had a clause that directed a minimum of 24 hours continuous rest per week and stated that the rest period should include Sunday the wording was challenged and removed as no reason could be found for including Sunday apart from a religious one. On that basis it was removed as it unfairly favoured one religion's day over others. There are currently moves in regard to Sunday rest and a decision was supposed to have been made on 1st June this year. However, it has been put off to a later date.
This is prophecy in motion. The Judge essentially told her that her religious freedom, her religious conscience were irrelevant. Go against your belief in God, or go to jail. These same people will be telling us this about keeping the Sabbath soon enough. But, given your attitude regarding religions conscience, I suspect you will be in the crowd yelling for Sabbath keepers to be crucified soon enough.
Those Sabbath day Adventists who are only half converted (liberals) will be foremost in persecuting the true believers.
She is entitled to practice her religion, she is just not entitled to her job. Someone could claim a religious freedom not to issue licenses for mixed race couples too. A Christian Scientist could become a pharmacist and then refuse to fill any prescriptions.
Adventists may soon have trouble finding acceptable jobs, but the end issue will not be a "you must work on Saturday law", prophecy tells us it will be a Sunday law.
Shannon this is very true, and of course laws like that are still on the books.
And the fags could have gone and gotten someone else to sign their certificate. However, they got wind of a Christian who didn't appreciate sodomy and specifically targeted her. The Supreme court doesn't give fags the right to violate other people's Bill of Rights as a lawsuit will bear out.
That’s a ridiculous statement. Why should any citizen be forced to go elsewhere, only because a government official won’t officiate to the law because of their own personal religious views? There is a separation of church and state in this country. If her state duties interferes with her religious views, she should resign.
I don't like your religion. I think you should go to jail because you didn't give me what I want. I guess I will press charges against you in whatever district you work in. That seems fair, doesn't it? Then I will get a flash mob, and we will all cheer while you get hauled off.
You would have been the poet during World War II:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
They are coming for you, you just haven't figured it out yet.
Actually, if you read the report you will see that Davis was stopping other clerks from issuing licences as well. It appears that she was also forcing other workers to conform to her beliefs. One of the terms of her release from prison today is that she doesn't interfere with efforts by her deputies to issue licences.
You also ignore the fact that the couple that took her to court specifically said that they did not want her imprisoned.
trust me they (gays) do not want her in prison. They want to always be seen as the victim...
Shannon said, "Sunday laws are coming, but I don't see any link to this."
Hi Shannon, the link is a subtle one and I suspect that many have missed it. Note what the judge said, I have added emphasis to highlight the important part: "The judge said she left him with no alternative but to jail her, since fines alone would not serve to change her mind."
Why was the woman sent to jail and not fined (as even the complainants wanted)? Imprisonment is being used to attempt to change her conscience. The judge's intent appears to not be punitive but as a method of forcing her to compromise her religion. In this respect it sets a precedent of using imprisonment to punish people who do not think "the right way".
I hope this helps.
I doubt Kat will respond so ahead of time, Kat, I will say that I hope you will come close to Christ on this Sabbath and that you are blessed.
From what I have read She has only been a Christian for 4 years. So She can only become a Christian and have Christian convictions if she has a perfect past? What does the Bible say about this?
"I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me," Said Kim Davis."Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God."
"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, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
So because of her sinful past, she should have gone against what she believed? Her life and the life of her family is over as they know it. She will be harassed, threatened, and under a microscope.
How many SDA on this forum have the intestinal fortitude to stand on their beliefs like this woman has whether or not you agree?