Those of us who support the progress this nation has made in terms of marriage equality will find a way to leave Kim Davis and her non-progressive denial in the dust. They do not want her name on any official document that permits same-sex couples to get married. The state auditor’s office confirmed that officials don’t accumulate vacation, sick or comp time. Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins cited a conflict of interest and passed the complaint to Conway. And while I’m mentioning that article, I’d like to say that the only reason couples seem to be “forcing Kim Davis to violate her central religious belief about marriage” is because that is her job – she is the clerk.
Davis, 49, has refused to resign her $80,000-a-year job.
However, it remains unclear whether or not Davis will follow this order once she returns to work.
But it’s a big, diverse country, and she appears to be one of only a few county clerks refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples. The Republican president of the state Senate spoke at a rally at the state Capitol and filed an amicus brief asking Bunning not to hold Davis in contempt. Several lawmakers have already filed legislation for the 2016 session to exempt county clerks from having to issue marriage licenses. He also ordered her not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses from her office. At that point, the judge released Davis, with the clear understanding that she would allow her subordinates to issue certificates to all couples who are legally authorized to receive them – gay or straight.
“The ante has been upped at this point”, Nashia Fife, secretary-elect of the Rowan County Rights Coalition, which supports the rights of gay couples to get marriage licenses, said of Bunning’s warning to Davis not to interfere.
Two gay couples and two heterosexual ones sued her. Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses, and the Supreme Court backed him.
Davis’ office opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday as scheduled.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was held in jail for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, was released from jail on Tuesday.
It is unlikely the Kentucky state legislature would impeach Davis. Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason works the marriage license counter, Wednesday September 9, 2015, at the Rowan County Clerk’s office in Morehead, Ky. The judge threw her in jail, prompting a swarm of protesters and satellite trucks to invade the courthouse lawn.
In the meantime, deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issues licenses Wednesday in Davis’ absence if anyone seeks them. Tabor says she wants people who’ve seen her hometown on the news to know something: “We are so much more than what’s going on today”.
If Davis orders her deputies not to issue licenses after she returns to work, she would push them into their own thorny legal conundrums: Defy their boss, or a federal judge?
Shortly thereafter, and after almost a week in jail, Davis was released. However, her lawyer, Mat Staver, founder of Christian religious advocacy group Liberty Counsel, said on Tuesday her position had not changed, raising the possibility she could return to jail if she moves to block the issuance of licenses.
An employee in the office of the Kentucky clerk who was released from jail after a five-day stint for contempt says workers there will issue marriage licenses Wednesday. How sad that one of its public officials refuses to serve the people in the way she swore she would.
What the Davis story illustrates, in other words, is how much, and how fast, her side has lost.
Like Wallace, Davis is a public official, and she has acted in defiance of modern interpretations of the Constitution.
An attorney for the gay couples that sued Davis said they will ask the judge to punish Davis if she continues to defy his order.