Metro Weekly

Kim Davis chooses to stay in jail, snubbing court

Even though her deputies were willing, Rowan County clerk refuses to allow them to issue same-sex marriage licenses

The old Rowan County Courthouse (Photo credit: W.marsh, via Wikimedia Commons.)

The old Rowan County Courthouse – Photo: W.marsh, via Wikimedia Commons.

She had a chance to avoid prison time, but Kim Davis has chosen jail over freedom.

The Rowan County clerk stayed in the custody of federal marshals and did not return to the Kentucky courtroom after U.S. District Judge David Bunning had her held in contempt on Thursday. After finding that five of Davis’ six Deputies were willing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Bunning gave the head clerk a chance to avoid jail. In exchange for her freedom, she would allow the licenses to be issued. Davis’ attorney, however, informed Bunning that she will not authorize any employee to issue licenses in her absence.

Noting the intensity of emotions among both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage, Bunning said he hoped that everyone would remain civil.

“This country has always had disagreements, but what makes this country different from other countries is that we respect the rule of law,” Bunning said.

Bunning warned the deputy clerks that they had better comply with his order by Friday morning. According to a tweet from the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s John Cheves, several same-sex couples intend to arrive at the clerk’s office on Friday to ask for licenses.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com