April Miller and Karen Roberts
A county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds was held in contempt of court by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday and sent to jail.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was led away by U.S. marshals who confirmed she was under arrest.
“The court doesn’t do this lightly,” District Court Judge David Bunning said in ordering that she be taken into custody.
Bunning also said his earlier injunction ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses applied to everyone and not just the four couples whose suit in July had accused Davis of not doing her job.
Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her Christian beliefs.
Before and during the hearing, about 200 demonstrators on both sides of the issue gathered outside the courthouse, some chanting slogans and many holding signs. As word of the ruling emerged, supporters of same-sex marriage erupted in cheers.
Davis’ seven deputies still face their own reckoning as Bunning assigned each of them attorneys and said their fate would be determined at a 1:45 pm EDT hearing, warning them they could face fines or jail…
The hearing in Ashland, Kentucky, lasted just over two hours. Crying at times, Davis maintained that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman and she was unable to recognize same-sex marriages…
Also testifying was April Miller, who along with her partner Karen Jacobs had three times tried to get a marriage license from Davis’ office. They were one of four couples who sued Davis in July.
Throw away the key!
I have no sympathy for someone who runs for elective office and then refuses to obey the law of the land.
This is an individual who individually and as a member of her religion claims that violating the civil rights of other Americans is somehow godly. Just plain old-fashioned crap. The same lies used to hinder normal lives for people of color, of minority religions, of nationalities somehow unacceptable to this year’s favorite flavor of bigot.
She gets no sympathy from this jailbird who willingly entered cells in a half-dozen states because local law decided whether or not someone could go to school or sit down and have a crappy soft drink – based on the color of their skin.
I never expected to see anyone like Ms. Davis sitting-in alongside me. And never did. That’s not condemnation of all religious folk. You should know that, by now. Second-best time I ever had in a jail cell was discussing religious history with a Catholic priest busted in the same demonstration in Chicago.
She adds to the number of people who reject her kind of religious beliefs out-of-hand because of her denial of civil rights, civil liberties, for all Americans.
UPDATE: 5 of 6 deputy clerks say they will start issuing kicenses tomorrow. Davis wants to be released, then – but, the judge rightfully doesn’t trust her to keep from interfering. Not so incidentally, the one deputy who wouldn’t obey the law is her son. Not enough she’s paid $80K/year – she puts her kin on the payroll, too.