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Attorney: Kim Davis Won't Issue Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis
Ryland Barton

The attorney representing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis says she will not issue marriage licenses now that she is out of the Carter County Jail.

"She's not getting out because she violated her conscience," Mat Staver, of Liberty Counsel, said. "Her conscience remains clear today as it was when she first walked into these jail cells, and it will remain clear in the future."

It wasn't immediately clear whether she would attempt to block her deputy clerks from issuing the licenses. A federal judge said she could not interfere with the process as a condition of her release.


As she exited the jail Tuesday, Davis got a rock star welcome from a crowd of thousands of evangelicals, who cheered as she walked onstage to the song "Eye of the Tiger." Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had already planned the rally, before Davis was unexpectedly released after spending five days in jail. Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was also at the rally, as was Republican candidate for governor Matt Bevin.

"Just keep on pressing, don't let down. Because he is here," a tearful Davis told the crowd, referring to God.

After the Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in June, Davis, an Apostolic Christian, cited her religious beliefs and stopped issuing licenses, which county clerks in Kentucky are required to sign.

Federal Judge David Bunning ordered her to resume and found her in contempt late last week, after she refused. She is being sued by four couples — two same-sex, two straight — over her refusal to issue licenses.

The case will continue in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Davis' attorneys have filed several appeals of Bunning's decisions. The judge will also hear the merits of the case in federal district court in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Davis and other supporters are urging the state legislature to consider bills that would exempt county clerks from the marriage license process.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.