Kim Davis, the embattled Kentucky clerk jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was called out by a Mormon elder, and emails obtained by the Associated Press chronicle events that she described as a “firestorm.”
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints elder Dallin H. Oaks denounced Davis’ actions during a closed-door interfaith meeting of attorneys and clergy in Sacramento, California. A copy of the prepared remarks was provided to the Associated Press.
Many view his speech as an attempt to further moderate the Mormon church’s position on homosexuality, which it refers to as “same-gendered attraction.”
“There should be no adversariness between believers and non-believers, and there should be no belligerence between religion and government. Believers and religious organizations should recognize this, and refrain from labelling governments and laws and officials as if they were inevitable enemies.”
— Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) October 20, 2015
While not naming Davis, Oaks referenced a “county clerk” and later confirmed he was referring to Kim Davis. He said that Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky, after the U.S. supreme court legalized gay marriage across the country, was a violation of her duties.
“All government officers should exercise their civil authority according to the principles and within the limits of civil government. A county clerk’s recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal by her office and staff to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples violates this principle.”
Davis’ practices continue to be controversial among religious leaders. She met Pope Francis during his journey to the U.S. However, while Davis said the meeting “kind of validates everything,” Vatican leaders quickly distanced themselves from Davis, calling her one of dozens of people invited to meet Pope Francis.
— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 21, 2015
Meanwhile, emails obtained by the Associated Press under the Kentucky open records law reveal that the Kentucky clerk described herself as a “soldier for Christ.”
The emails shed some insight into Kim Davis’ state of mind in the weeks leading up a five-day stint in jail for defying a federal court order to issue the licenses.
“‘The battle has just begun. It has truly been a firestorm here and the days are pretty much a blur, but I am confident that God is in control of all of this!!’ she wrote to the supporter on July 2, the day the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against her on behalf of the couples. ‘I desire your prayers, I will need strength that only God can supply and I need a backbone like a saw log!!'”
After Davis refused to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Courts ruling in June to effectively legalize gay marriage, a man wrote to ask where to get a marriage license. Davis told him to go to a neighboring county. She turned away a series of couples, both gay and straight, and a federal judge held her in contempt and sent her to jail in September, sparking a fiery debate about religious freedom in public service.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) October 21, 2015
One man from Somerset, Kentucky, Willie Ramsey, asked Davis if lawyers would be around to protect her from the “wicked homosexual mob and their supporters.” Davis confirmed that it was likely but said her faith would sustain her.
“They are going to try and make a whipping post out of me!! I know it, but God is still alive and on the throne!!! He IS in control and knows exactly where I am!!”
— LEX 18 News (@LEX18News) October 22, 2015
Many, including the ACLU, are questioning whether licenses issued while Davis was in jail by a deputy clerk, which were altered to remove Davis’ name, are valid.
Following Davis release from jail, a man wrote her a week after her release, inquiring if the office would issue a marriage license to him and his wife.
Kim Davis responded in all capital letters.
“WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]