- The Magazine
Now that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is out of jail, she’ll be taking a few days off before returning to her job.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Tuesday issued an order releasing Davis, saying he was satisfied that the Rowan County clerk’s office would remain in compliance with his original order — which Davis defied — to issue marriage licenses to any and all qualified couples, including same-sex couples. But Bunning warned Davis that attempting to stop her deputies from issuing marriage licenses would be considered a violation and could subject her to further sanctions, including re-imprisonment.
According to the Associated Press, Davis could return to the office as early as Friday of this week or next Monday. But her lawyer, Mat Staver, of the conservative law firm Liberty Counsel, did not promise that Davis would comply with the terms of release set forth by Bunning.
“Kim Davis cannot and will not violate her conscience,” Staver told CBS News.
But in a positive development for gay and lesbian couples, Deputy Clerk Brian Mason told the AP that the office would continue issuing marriage licenses to any couple seeking them. He said that if Davis returns to work and tells him to stop, he’ll tell her that he can’t obey and instead must follow Bunning’s order. Bunning previously interviewed all six deputy clerks in the office and discovered that five of them were willing to issue marriage licenses. He then ordered the deputy clerks to report back to the court every two weeks to prove they are in compliance with his order.
What is unclear is whether deputy clerks who adhere to the judge’s order will be able to defy Davis, who could attempt to fire or discipline them. Already, Davis’ lawyers have argued that the licenses given out to seven same-sex couples and three opposite-sex couples on Friday and Tuesday while Davis was in jail are invalid, as she refused to authorize her deputies to issue them. However, the AP reports that the Kentucky attorney general’s office believes the licenses are valid. The attorney general’s office has also said it will not pursue charges of official misconduct against Davis, which could have resulted in additional jail time.
Davis, who appeared at a rally yesterday with GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) and also met with presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas), was overwhelmed with emotion as she addressed the crowd of hundreds who gathered outside the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Ky.
“I love you all so much,” Davis told the crowd, shedding tears of joy. “I just want to give God the glory. 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 and he is worthy.”
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