ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — The latest on the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage (all times local):
A federal judge has ordered a defiant Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses. Davis said “thank you” before she was led out of the courtroom by a U.S. marshal. She was not in handcuffs.
Davis has refused to issue marriages licenses for two months since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. She argues that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing the licenses.
As hundreds of protesters gathered at the courthouse, there was no sign of the Kentucky clerk who was summoned to appear before a federal judge because she refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
It’s possible that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis used a gated entrance in the rear to enter the courthouse. She was ordered to appear before U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning at 11 a.m., but by that time, she had not entered through the front, where the crowds had gathered.
Davis faces the possibility of being held in contempt and could face hefty fines or even jail time.
A small plane flew over the courthouse, carrying a banner that said: “Stand Firm Kim.” On the courthouse sidewalk, gay marriage supporters shouted “love is not a sin” while at least three preachers with bullhorns called them sinners.
Hundreds of protesters have filled the street in front of the federal courthouse in Ashland as they wait for a hearing to start on the gay marriage case in Kentucky.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has defied federal court orders to hand out marriage licenses, saying her religious beliefs don’t let her endorse same-sex marriage. A judge has ordered her to appear Thursday. If she continues to refuse to follow the law, she could be hit with fines or jail time.
The demonstrators outside are waving signs, chanting and singing hymns as they wait for Davis to arrive.
Signs ranged from the violent — turn to Jesus or burn — to simple statements of support. The hearing starts at 11 a.m. EDT.
A county clerk in Kentucky who has repeatedly defied court orders by refusing to issue marriage licenses will appear before a federal judge who could hold her in contempt of court.
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has been summoned to the hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday before U.S. District Judge David Bunning. He’s also ordered all of Davis’ deputy clerks to appear. Bunning could hold Davis in contempt, which can carry hefty fines or jail time.
Davis stopped issuing licenses to all couples in June after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Despite rulings against her, she’s turned away couples again and again, citing her Christian beliefs and “God’s authority.”
The couples who originally sued in the case have asked Bunning to punish Davis with fines but not jail time.