A defiant Kentucky county clerk was jailed on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples ever since the Supreme Court outlawed state gay marriage bans in June.
The clerk, one Kim Davis, holds elected office as clerk of Rowan Co. in northeastern Kentucky.
Citing her religious beliefs as a born-again Christian, Ms. Davis explained her refusal to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling by telling U.S. District Judge David Bunning that, “God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties.”
The case was brought by a lesbian couple, one April Miller and Karen Roberts, who attempted and were denied a marriage license four times in Rowan Co.
Now that Davis has been jailed indefinitely, the couple will be able to legally join in matrimony as five deputy county clerks told the judge that they’d start issuing same-sex licenses on Friday.
“Her good faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” said Judge Bunning from the bench. “I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs . . . but I took an oath.”
The judge even offered to release Ms. Davis on Friday if she agreed to stand-down and let her deputy clerks issue the same-sex licenses, but she refused.
While Davis remains in jail for an unspecified amount of time, the judge said he will reconsider his decision sometime next week.
Judge Bunning was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in 2001 by President Bush. He has made rulings against conservative principles before, such as striking down a ban on partial birth abortions, and ruling against an attempt to dismantle a high school heterosexual/homosexual partnership club.