Judge jails Kentucky clerk for refusing marriage licenses
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge ordered a defiant county clerk to jail for contempt Thursday after she insisted that it would violate her conscience to follow court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her deputy clerks were summoned to appear before U.S. District Judge David Bunning after she repeatedly denied them marriage licenses, cited her religious beliefs and "God's authority."
"You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul," Davis told the judge as she explained how the Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide conflicts with the vows she made when she became a born-again Christian.
The judge said she left him with no alternative but to jail her, since fines alone would not serve to change her mind.
She was escorted out of his courtroom by a deputy, although not in handcuffs, to be turned over to the custody of federal marshals.
Davis stopped issuing licenses to all couples in June after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage. Despite rulings against her, she's turned away couples again and again.
Her critics mock this moral stand, noting that Davis is on her fourth husband after being divorced three times.
As an elected official, she can be removed only if the Legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely in a deeply conservative state.
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Posted on Fri, September 4, 2015
by Associated Press