Judge Frees Kentucky Clerk Opposed to Gay Marriage

     (CN) – Satisfied that Rowan County, Ky., is fulfilling its duty to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, a federal judge ordered the release of court clerk Kim Davis from jail Tuesday.
     U.S. District Judge David Bunning decided to release Davis from custody after status reports indicted that marriage licenses were being properly issued in her county.
     The judge’s two-page order stipulates that Davis cannot interfere with her deputy clerks issuing marriage licenses “to all legally eligible couples.”
     “If defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this order and appropriate sanctions will be considered,” Bunning wrote.
     With the five deputy clerks who work under Davis pledging to issue marriage licenses to couples, gay or straight, Bunning ordered these workers to file reports with his court every two weeks to ensure compliance, “unless otherwise excused by the court.”
     Hours after being freed, Davis spoke with Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee at a rally on Tuesday afternoon.
     She took the stage in tears before thanking the crowd of supporters.
     “I just want to give God the glory,” Davis said. “His people have rallied and you are a strong people. We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don’t let down, because He is here. He’s worthy. I love you guys. Thank you so much.”
     Ironically, the clerk has met with criticism from the gay-bashing hate mongers at the Westboro Baptist Church.
     Having made a name for itself picketing military funerals, the church calls Davis a three-time divorcee who it believes is committing adultery with her fourth marriage.
     Huckabee meanwhile told supporters at the rally that he would also go to jail for someone who stands up for the biblical definition of marriage.
     “Lock me up if you think that’s how freedom is best served,” Huckabee said before introducing Davis.
     Bunning jailed Davis on Thursday after holding her in contempt of court for refusing to marriage licenses, based on her belief that enabling gay couples to marry violates her religion.
     Bunning said at last week’s contempt hearing that “the idea of natural law superseding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed.”
     He wrote Tuesday “that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell [v. Hodges] and this court’s August 12, 2015 order.”
     “For these reasons, the court’s prior contempt sanction against defendant Davis is hereby lifted,” Bunning added.
     After the American Civil Liberties Union filed contempt motions against Davis last week, the organization’s legal director Steven Shapiro said in a statement that public officials are supposed to enforce the law, not place themselves above it.
     “It is unfortunate that we’ve been compelled to take further action today to ensure that the people of Rowan County can obtain the marriage licenses they’re entitled to receive from their county clerk’s office,” Shapiro said. “The law is clear and the courts have spoken.”
     Davis issued a statement last week through Liberty Council, saying she would not resign.
     “I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage,” Davis said. “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision.”

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