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Rowan County Clerk Brings National Focus To Small Town Jail

Protesters are gathering Friday at the Carter County Detention Center, where defiant Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is being held in contempt for refusing a judge’s order to issuing marriage licenses.

Most of the attention this summer has been on the Rowan County seat of Morehead, where Davis took a stand by repeatedly refusing to issue licenses to couples. The town of Grayson, about 40 miles driving from Morehead, is beginning to brace itself for a possible pilgrimage of Davis supporters standing vigil outside of the county jail where she is held. Grayson has a population of about 4,000.

Carter County Jailer R.W. Boggs said he’s gotten calls from across the country requesting interviews with Davis, and several groups have said they’re organizing rally’s at the jail, though it’s unclear if any of them will gain momentum.

“You can look at Facebook and if it’s correct, then yes, there could be a lot of people down here,” Boggs said. “But at this point, it’s only speculation. You never know what’s going to show up and what’s not going to.”

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, scheduled a rally for 3 p.m. Tuesday at the jail.

Boggs wouldn’t comment extensively on Davis’ living situation in the jail, which bills the federal government $54 per day to house her, he said.

“Her stay here will be no different than anyone else’s,” Boggs said. "The difference with hers is if she decides to comply, obviously the judge’s order is she shall be released.”

When asked about Davis’ demeanor, Boggs said she appeared resolute.

“She’s a very admirable, strong lady. She is doing as well as anyone would be doing their first day in jail,” Boggs said.

Deputy county clerks in Rowan County on Friday morning resumed issuing marriage licenses for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions in June.

An Apostolic Christian, Davis has said her religious beliefs prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her office stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples to avoid being accused of discrimination, she has said.

Her defiance of the court order has drawn national attention.

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