Clerk Who Refused To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Was Released From Jail
The Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples was released from prison today.
According to CBS News, Kim Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses the day after the Supreme Court granted federal legalization to same-sex marriage last June.
Davis, 49, was soon sued by two gay couples and two straight couples. She claimed providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her freedom of religion.
According to ABC News, Davis told the judge,
God's moral law conflicts with my job duties. You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul.
US District Judge David Bunning ordered her to be sent to jail on Thursday after she repeatedly ignored official orders to issue marriage licenses.
The Rowan County clerk's office reportedly gave marriage licenses to six same-sex couples on Friday.
Davis quickly earned immense praise from many evangelical Christians and was scheduled to be visited by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee in jail, according to The New York Times.
But after just five days in jail, Judge Bunning ordered Davis to be released earlier today.
The official order issued by Bunning stated,
After remanding Defendant Davis to the custody of the US Marshal, five of her six deputy clerks stated under oath that they would comply with the Court's Order and issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples. On September 8, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Status Report at the Court's behest. According to the Report, Plaintiffs have obtained marriage licenses from the Rowan County Clerk's Office. The Court is therefore satisfied that the clerk's office is fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.
Judge Bunning added if Davis were to "interfere in any way, directly or indirectly with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples," she would be in "violation" of the order to have her released.
It isn't clear what the penalty would be for such interference, but Bunning warned "appropriate sanctions will be considered."
Citations: Kentucky clerk Kim Davis ordered released from jail (CBS News), Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Set to Be Released From Jail (ABC News), Kim Davis Freed From Jail in Kentucky Gay Marriage Dispute (The New York Times)