GRAYSON, Ky. (AP) — The latest on the case of a Kentucky county clerk who’s in jail over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (all times local):
The Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs will be released from jail, where she’s been held since Thursday on a contempt of court charge.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order Tuesday and ordered Rowan County clerk Kim Davis released. Bunning ordered her not to interfere with the issuing of gay marriage licenses.
Bunning sent Davis to jail on Thursday after she refused to comply with his order that Davis issue marriage licenses. She had refused to grant licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage.
Outside the jail where Davis is held, word spread slowly through a crowd of supporters Tuesday afternoon. Some said they couldn’t believe the news.
A Republican congressman from Kentucky says a federal judge’s decision to jail a Kentucky clerk was premature because the state legislature hasn’t had time to update its marriage laws since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage.
Republican U.S. Rep Thomas Massie said Tuesday outside the jail where Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is being held that state law is in flux.
He pointed out that Kentucky’s law still requires the woman in a relationship to apply for a marriage license. It makes no mention of same-sex relationships. He says the legislature needs to update that and several other laws, including ones that require marriage licenses to be issued under the county clerk’s authority.
Massie says: “I’m here because five Supreme Court justices stole my job. They legislated. They wrote law.”
Dozens of people are crowding the lawn outside the detention center where two GOP presidential candidates will meet with a Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Candidate Mike Huckabee will host a rally Tuesday in front of the jail after he meets with Rowan County clerk Kim Davis. He says Davis is simply exercising her religious freedom. Their visit is scheduled for about 2 p.m. Fellow candidate Ted Cruz says he’ll meet with Davis about 1 p.m., after he holds a news conference.
Fifty-seven-year-old Tom Baker drove more than two hours from his home for the rally. He says: “She hasn’t committed any crime. I don’t see how anybody can force anybody to go against their religion.”
Local officials scrambled to manage the crowd. A fire truck blocked access to the jail. Businesses along Main Street put up yellow caution tape. Some wanted to prevent visitors from clogging their lots. Others charged as much as $20 for parking. At red lights, men handed out literature urging people to write letters to Davis and to the judge who put her in jail.
Three of the four couples whose lawsuit led to the jailing of a Kentucky clerk on a contempt charge have received marriage licenses.
Attorneys for the couples filed a report Tuesday. It notes that two same-sex couples and one straight couple have received licenses since Rowan County clerk Kim Davis was ordered to jail.
Davis refused to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. Four couples, two gay and two straight, sued her. Davis defied court orders, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning sent her to jail Thursday.
Bunning also asked the couples’ attorneys to submit a report detailing the status of their attempt to receive licenses. Five of Davis’ six deputy clerks agreed to issue the licenses. In the document filed Tuesday, attorneys attached the licenses the three couples received. The forms were altered to exclude Kim Davis’ name and were initialed by a deputy clerk.
It’s unclear whether the report will factor into the judge’s decision over Davis’ continued imprisonment.
Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will join protesters at a Tuesday rally outside the jail where a Kentucky clerk is locked in a cell over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
The rally is scheduled to begin in the afternoon after Huckabee’s planned private visit with Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
Davis was jailed by a federal judge last week after defying several court orders.
Her lawyers spent Labor Day weekend filing appeals in an effort to force her release, but she remains there on a contempt charge.
Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who often reaches out to religious conservatives, says Davis is simply exercising her religious freedom by denying the marriage licenses.