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.
Mike Huckabee! Well, no one is above the law, and that would be amusing. If you or I refuses a judge’s order, we will be subject to arrest and imprisonment too. In America you can worship the religion of your choice freely, but you cannot subject others un-willfully to your views just because you believe you are righteous. She may keep her religious convictions, she just have to do her duties as county clerk; if she cannot do that because of her religious convictions maybe she should step aside.
And no group of people has the right to abrogate another person's right to religion or political speech. This is guaranteed by the First Amendment. She is going both, so her civil rights under the color of law have been violated. So, I hope she sues under Bivens and then owns her country after the settlement.
The color of law will probably not apply in this case, she was found in contempt, nothing else.
…Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis followed her “conscience” into a jail cell Thursday, telling a federal judge she refused to sign marriage licenses and wouldn’t let her deputy clerks do it either. Davis, 49, was held in contempt and led from the courtroom by a U.S. marshal.
She was charge with contempt of court. CONTEMPT OF COURT is any willful disobedience to, or disregard of, a court order or any misconduct in the presence of a court; action that interferes with a judge's ability to administer justice or that insults the dignity of the court; punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
Her civil rights are not being violated, but on the contrary, she as an elected official could probably be charged with violating the civil rights of others by denying them that which is legal under the law.
(Judge)Bunning said she would be held in custody until she was ready to do her job. “Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” said Bunning. “I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs. (But) I took an oath. Mrs. Davis took an oath,” he said. “Oaths mean things.”
U.S. District Judge David Bunning later offered Davis an out, telling her he would release her from custody if she promised to let her five other clerks issue marriage licenses. But the Apostolic Christian — now on her fourth marriage — refused that, too.
So, when the Pope gets Congress to pass National Family day, I assume you will be attending Mass a the National Cathedral when it becomes the law of the land? You would then have the duty of a citizen to attend Mass or be jailed, or even as a governmental official to attend Mass and lead by example. So, no one is above the law, I am guessing you will be front row center?
They didn't bow down the Statue of Liberty and say, we surrender our beliefs to the King, and will worship the graven image. Yet, you insist others do.
Kim Davis, because she followed her convictions, is put in jail and not given bail. This is an unbelievable moment in American history, and I think it may wake people up because, who's next? -Mike Huckabee
With the Pope coming to address the UN, the President, both Houses of Congress to push for a National Sunday Law. It is pretty obvious who is next.
I thought you were a pastor, Pastor T? Have you seen the numerous examples throughout scripture when the children of God disobeyed the civil law when it goes against the word of God?
So, when there is a global Sunday Law what will you do? Say the State must be obeyed and go to Mass?
Pastor T..In Queen Esther case, well take a look at this verse
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16
Right there that's a woman of action, bravery, who is willing to break the law in order to save her people and ready to face possible death.
They prayed, they fasted but she took immediate action and willing to pay the consequences of her civil disobedience. As a result, she was able to solve her primary objective.
Why does Kim specifically target homosexuals?
Because God has instituted marriage between a man and woman. It's in the Book of Genesis.
What does God think about homosexuality? (Genesis 19), (Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13) (Romans 1:26-27)
Final Words, these are the kind of people that will inherit the kingdom of God.
Also one more thing about Muslims, they have extreme views against homosexuality.