September 10, 2015

Released From Jail, KY County Clerk to Return to Work

 ©2015 USA TODAY

Kim Davis, the embattled Kentucky county clerk at the center of a dispute over gay marriage and religious liberty, is out of jail but “needs time to rest” and won’t return to work until Friday [September 11] or Monday [September 14], her lawyers said.

Liberty Counsel, the legal group representing Davis, said she plans to spend time with family after the six-day ordeal in the Carter County Detention Center.

The Rowan County clerk was jailed on September 3 for refusing to comply with a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While she was being held, her deputies complied with the order, which satisfied the court.

But her attorneys say the licenses issued so far are not valid and that Davis still refuses to authorize the forms, even after six days in jail. However, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, never directly addressed whether Davis would try to reestablish the policy upon her return.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning released Davis from jail on September 8 on the condition that she does not interfere with her deputies issuing the licenses.

Bunning said he was satisfied that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office would comply with his order. But he warned her she would be sanctioned again if she violates the conditions of her release and ordered the court-appointed lawyers for her deputy clerks to report every 14 days on whether they are continuing to comply with their sworn pledge to issue licenses to all couples.

Five of her six deputy clerks — all except her son Nathan — said under oath they would do so.

The dispute has served as a rallying cry for religious groups who championed Davis’ actions as an expression of her religious liberty. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was on hand in front of the detention center to escort her to a podium for a rally of about a thousand supporters.