A Kentucky county clerk in Kentucky who has been making a name for herself by defying the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to license same-sex marriage has been summoned along with her entire staff to court again this morning to explain to a judge why she shouldn't face stiff fines or jail time. U.S. District Judge David Bunning moved swiftly Tuesday after a lesbian couple asked him to find Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt. Davis told couples and a crowd of supporters and protesters that, due to her religious beliefs, she had every right to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples - in a sense, sanctioning gay marriage, and retreated back into her office.
On Monday, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene, leaving Davis no legal ground for her continued refusal on Tuesday, leading lawyers of the two gay couples who originally sued to asked the judge to find her in contempt, but punish her with only financial penalties, not jail time. A hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in Ashland.
Davis succeeding her mother in the in the County Clerk's office last November, who held the office for 37 years. Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation in June. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal religious faith. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, and an appeals court upheld that decision.
Davis, who feels it's immoral for same-sex couples to be married as it defies the sanctuary of marriage because of her literal interpretation of the Bible has herself been married four times and conceived twins by having sex outside her marriage, according to court records. She gave birth to twins five months after she divorced her first husband. The father of those twins was her third husband. Her past marriages and apparent adultery raised questions of hypocrisy, but her supporters said her past actions did not matter because she has been born again since then.
In last year’s election, Davis said, “The public is my boss. Being a public servant is ingrained in me and I want (to) continue providing the high level of customer service we do while treating people with respect, kindness, and helping them with whatever situation they have.”