Nuptial Dispute

Clerk imprisoned


A county clerk was held in contempt of court and jailed after refusing to abide by a judge's ruling in September. Kim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, maintains that issuing marriage licenses to gay couples violates her religious beliefs as an Apostolic Christian. But in the wake of this summer's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that she did not have a choice.

"Our form of government will not survive unless we, as a society, agree to respect the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions, regardless of our personal opinions," Bunning wrote. Davis' response was to turn away all couples seeking marriage licenses from her office, gay and straight alike. She also refused to allow her deputies to sign the certificates because, she said, the licenses would still go out under her name. When asked on camera whose authority she was operating under, Davis answered, "God's authority."

Following the contempt ruling Davis spent five days behind bars, during which time Rowan County's deputy clerks resumed issuing marriage licenses. Davis' lawyers have asked that her name be removed from the certificates, but as of press time Gov. Steve Beshear had declined to call a special session of the legislature to explore that or other accommodations.