A defiant US county clerk went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples, but five of her deputies agreed to comply with the law, ending a two-month church-state standoff in Rowan County, Kentucky.
US District Judge David Bunning said he had no choice but to jail Kim Davis for contempt after she insisted that her “conscience will not allow” her to follow federal court rulings on gay marriage.
“God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” Davis told the judge before she was taken away. “You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul.”
All but the clerk’s son, Nathan Davis, promised to comply. The judge said his refusal wouldn’t matter and that his mother could go free as long as she promises not to interfere with issuing of marriage licenses to all couples.
But Kim Davis rejected the offer, choosing jail instead, her attorneys said.
With that, the hearing ended, and gay and lesbian couples vowed to appear at the Rowan County clerk’s office yet again on Friday, to see if the deputy clerks keep their promises.
“We’re going to the courthouse tomorrow to get our marriage license and we’re very excited about that,” said April Miller, who has been engaged to Karen Roberts for 11 years.
As word of Davis’ jailing spread outside the federal courthouse, hundreds of people chanted and screamed, “Love won! Love won!”
But Davis’ lawyer, Roger Gannam, compared her willingness to accept imprisonment to what Martin Luther King Jr. did to advance civil rights, and said “everyone should lament and mourn the fact that her freedom has been taken away for what she believes.”
Speaking earlier from the bench, Bunning said it would set up a “slippery slope” to allow an individual’s ideas to supersede the courts’ authority.
“Her good faith belief is simply not a viable defence,” Bunning said. “I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs ... but I took an oath.”
“Mrs. Davis took an oath,” he added. “Oaths mean things.”
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
There is “a time to be silent, and a time to speak”. (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Now is the time to speak, so please speak up and defend children, truth and freedom. Craig Manners
“What the world needs most is a voice that courageously speaks the truth, not when the world is right, but a voice that speaks the truth when the world is wrong.” Fulton Sheen