Judge orders defiant Kentucky clerk to jail after she refuses to issue marriage licenses

By Emily Maher | WLKY

Outside the federal courthouse in Ashland, Ky. | Image via WLKY

Outside the federal courthouse in Ashland, Ky. | Image via WLKY

This story was reported by WLKY and is reposted here with permission.

A federal judge ordered defiant Rowan County clerk Kim Davis to jail on Thursday after she refused to issue marriage licenses.

Hundreds of protesters filled the street outside the federal courthouse in Ashland as Davis faced a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning told 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 marriage licenses for two months since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. She argues that her Christian faith should exempt her from signing the licenses.

(View images from the courthouse.)

Bunning warned deputy clerks that they must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or face fines or jail.

The judge gave the deputy clerks time to go meet with public defenders and said the hearing would resume at 1:45 p.m.

The judge ordered Davis to start issuing licenses last month. When she refused, Bunning ordered her to appear in court Thursday.

“Kim Davis is going to obey God, not man, and if she has to lose her job because of it, I say praise the lord. God’s got something better,” Davis supporter John Williams said.

“Her getting any traction on this will result in civil chaos. This cannot happen. She must be stopped,” protester Levi Wade said.