Kentucky Clerk Held in Contempt for Failing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis was taken into custody after a judge found her in contempt of court for failing to issue marriage licenses in the state of Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled against the Rowan County clerk before deputy marshals removed her from the courtroom.

Bunning said Davis could be released if she complies with the order to resume issuing licenses. She has refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone, arguing that such a move was a way around discriminating against same-sex couples.


The ACLU had asked that Davis be fined, but the judge did not believe that was enough to persuade her to issue the licenses, according to ABC News.

Davis was called to testify at today’s hearing and she reiterated that she believes issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples is against her religious beliefs, even though she has been ordered to do so as a result of a Supreme Court decision.

“My conscience will not allow me,” she said several times during her testimony.

CNN reports that:

In court documents filed Wednesday, her attorneys argue that she shouldn’t be held in contempt. Instead, they argued, there are alternatives that would allow couples to get marriage licenses in Rowan County without going against Davis’ religious beliefs.

Among the options they offered were allowing other officials to issue marriage licenses in the county, distributing marriage licenses at the state level or changing marriage license forms to remove Davis’ name.


“Government officials are free to disagree with the law, but not disobey it,” U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey said in a statement. “The County Clerk has presented her position through the federal court system, all of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is time for the Clerk and the County to follow the law.”



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