Kentucky Clerk Ordered To Jail For Contempt of Court

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ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) – The defiant Kentucky clerk who told a judge that she can’t comply with an order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it would violate her conscience has been jailed for contempt of court.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed Thursday after she refused to comply with U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order. Davis testified for about 20 minutes and was very emotional. She talked about when she became a Christian.

“You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul,” she told the judge.

After she was jailed, hundreds of people outside the courthouse started chanting and screaming, “Love won! Love won!”

A federal judge is warning deputy clerks in Kentucky that they must issue marriage licenses to gay couples or face fines or jail.

The judge gave the deputy clerks time to go meet with public defenders before a hearing was set to resume at 1:45 p.m.

Davis has refused to issue marriages licenses for two months since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. She argues that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing the licenses.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the courthouse, including a small plane that flew over the courthouse, carrying a banner saying “Stand Firm Kim.” On the courthouse sidewalk, gay marriage supporters shouted “love is not a sin” while at least three preachers with bullhorns called them sinners.

Signs ranged from the violent – turn to Jesus or burn – to simple statements of support. The hearing starts at 11 a.m. EDT.


The couples who originally sued in the case have asked Bunning to punish Davis with fines but not jail time.