Nationwide protest didn’t stop her. Neither did a state supreme court judge. A mocking billboard isn’t working, and neither did five days in jail. Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who’s refused marriage licenses to gay couples all summer, has returned to work with the promise that her fight will continue.
However, NBC News has reported that Davis will not stop her deputies from issuing licenses. They’ve done so ever since Kim was thrown in jail for her defiance of a court order to essentially do her job and provide the document to anyone — gay or straight — seeking one.
At the same time, Kim has said that these licenses — though provided by her office, and by her deputies — aren’t valid until intervention from the governor, courts, or the legislature. The county’s attorney and the governor has already said they are legitimate.
Local paper the Courier Journal provided a bit more clarification about Kim Davis’ plans: she won’t “take action” against her deputies, but at the same time insists the forms aren’t “under her name of authority.”
“I am no hero. I’m just a person that’s been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work, be with my family. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience.”
After Kim was released from jail last Tuesday, she was told not to interfere with her staff; at least one deputy, Brian Mason, has been issuing the documents freely and told the paper he’ll continue to do so, even if Davis orders him to stop.
Even as a huge billboard — erected by a nonprofit that, among other things, champions LGBT rights — towered over a Rowan County road to point out some discrepancies in Kim’s Christian beliefs, the clerk told the press outside the courthouse that issuing licenses to same-sex couples is an “impossible choice… her conscience or her freedom.”
But for Planting Peace, there is no choice, because Davis’ Apostolic faith has nothing to do with the administration of a legal task. Further, Kim isn’t enacting the tenants of the Bible consistently, NBC News added.
The billboard will be up for a month, at a cost of $500. Its message is very clear.
“Dear Kim Davis, the fact that you can’t sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we’ve already redefined marriage. There are LGBTQ youth across the world who are taking their lives at an alarming rate because of these messages from society that make them feel broken or less than.”
Planting Peace put up the sign to point out the “narrow interpretation by Davis and others that they use to defend their discrimination against the LGBTQ community,” the Washington Post added. “The group contends that the anti-LGBT movement picks and chooses ‘what rules to follow and how they choose to define “traditional” institutions or values.’ “
“We put up this billboard just kind of reminding her that from a religious perspective, the definition of marriage has been constantly changing, and this isn’t actually about religion,” said Davis Hammit of Planting Peace. “We’re talking about government-issued marriage licenses here.”
The courts are on the side of the LGBT activists. The clerk stopped issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, citing a conflict with her religious beliefs. The court told her she was wrong, ordered her to issue the documents anyway, and she consistently refused. The battle ended with a five-day stint in jail.
The mocking billboard is part of a greater effort to support LGBT youth, who may be disheartened by the clerk’s words and actions. Planting Peace said Kim and those who support her are dangerous to the community.
Underneath the message to Davis is this one to the community she’s been discriminating against: “You are loved, valued, supported, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you, and we will stand by you. You are not alone.”
[Photo Courtesy Ty Wright / Getty Images]