County Clerk Jailed for Gay Marriage Stance Set Free
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is now free from jail after U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted a contempt order against her, saying he was satisfied that her deputies were granting licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it goes against her deeply held Christian beliefs.
Her supporters had rallied outside the Rowan County Detention Center before news of her release came. Those gathered included GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, other conservative speakers, and authors David and Jason Benham.
CBN's David Brody is on the scene in Rowan County, Kentucky, and he spoke with reporter Heather Sells about this latest development. Click play to listen to the interview.
Upon her release, Davis addressed the huge crowd, encouraging them that "We serve a living God."
There has been growing pressure for her to back down -- even from some on the right.
"I respect the fact that this lady doesn't agree, but she's also a government employee," Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, said. "She's not running a church -- I wouldn't force this on a church -- but in terms of her responsibility, I think she has to comply."
The Christian clerk offered a tear-filled message to her supporters Monday, quoting 2 Timothy 1:7, "God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control."
The Liberty Counsel, which is representing Davis, had filed a second appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"She has no intention of stepping down because she loves her people and loves her job," Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said.
Her lawyers had asked the state of Kentucky to accommodate her beliefs by simply removing her name and title from marriage certificates.
"This accommodation would cost the tax payers nothing," Staver said. "You change the form and amend the statute."
Her lawyers suggest Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear could issue an executive order to solve the problem. But his office said he would not respond because the case is between Davis and the courts.
Judge Bunning has warned Davis not to interfere with her deputies--who are issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
Yet many Americans are asking why she was jailed at all. Couldn't some other way have been found?
"Is clapping this woman in jail really the only solution?" William McGurn asked in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Conservatives, including Huckabee, have been outraged over Davis's imprisonment.
He calls it a clear case of "judicial tyranny" because Davis is simply trying to exercise her religious freedom.
"So when is it that liberals get to choose which laws they support but a county clerk in Kentucky who, acting on her Christian faith, is criminalized, jailed without bail," Huckabee said.