Kim Davis is a Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk, who has refused to issue, or permit other clerks in her office to issue, marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court ruled that any law denying marriage to same-sex couples while granting it to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional. Davis spent six days in jail recently on a contempt of court charge, after defying a court order to issue marriage licenses, or to at least permit other clerks in her office to do so.
Davis was released from jail on Tuesday, September 8. The court issued a new order: Kim must not interfere with those clerks in her office who had agreed to issue marriage licenses (which amounts to all of the deputy clerks except Davis’ son). Davis was not asked if she agreed to the conditions, and did not express that she did.
When pressed for an answer in an interview outside the jail, Davis’ lawyer, Matt Staver of the Liberty Counsel, would only repeat that Davis would not violate her conscience when she returned to work. According to the Courier-Journal, Davis returns to work on Monday.
While Kim Davis was jailed, her deputy clerks — with the exception of Davis’ son — began issuing marriage licenses to opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Though Davis has not been ordered to issue licenses herself, she has been ordered to allow the deputy clerks to begin doing so. At least one clerk has vowed to continue, though, even if Davis orders him not to do so.
Meanwhile, the Support Kim Davis Facebook page has announced a rally outside the Rowan County Courthouse on Monday when Davis returns to work to show their support, and there’s no indication Davis intends to change anything about her position. According to ABC, she has again requested that the court order be rescinded or delayed, with her lawyer arguing that the order shouldn’t stand since the couples who initially sued received licenses while Kim Davis was in jail. Unless there is an order early Monday morning, Davis, and possibly her clerks, will have a decision to make.
If she does choose to order the deputy clerks not to issue licenses, they’ll be placed in a tough position; Davis is their boss, but a Federal Judge has warned that any who fail to issue licenses could also face consequences. Davis, too, has been warned that there will be consequences if she ignores the order not to interfere with the other clerks.
The Liberty Counsel announced that Davis received hundreds of supportive letters while she was in jail, and that she has been encouraged by the support.
If that encouragement helps Kim Davis choose to prevent deputy clerks in her office from issuing marriage licenses, then Monday could turn out to be another workday filled with controversy in the Kentucky office.
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]