A Democratic county clerk in Kentucky refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses to two couples “under the authority of God.” She’s standing firm despite the Supreme Court refusing to back her. In July, Kim Davis denied marriage licenses to two couples, April Miller and Karen Roberts and David Ermold and his partner David Moore. When they returned in August, Davis asked those couples to leave her office. They told her that they weren’t going anywhere without a marriage license, to which Davis responded, “Then you’re going to have a long day.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Davis Has Been Jailed
Despite the national media attention and protests outside of her offices in Rowan County, Kentucky, Davis continues to deny same-sex marriage licenses. On August 31, the Supreme Court denied her appeal to be excused from this part of her job on religious grounds, reports the Washington Post. On September 1, when David Ermold and David Moore went to try to get a license, Davis wasn’t working the front desk, but she had instructed her employees to deny the men their request. She later appeared to to talk to Ermold and Moore:
Plaintiffs have established a prima facia case, in that they have shown by sufficient evidence that Defendant Davis, in refusing to grant Plaintiffs Miller and Roberts a marriage license following the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of her most recent (and final) attempt to stay the August 12, 2015, preliminary injunction, has, in fact, violated a definite and specific order of this Court.
Because Davis cannot show either that she is unable to comply with the August 12, 2015, order or that she has taken all reasonable steps to comply, this Court is left with no choice but to hold her in contempt. Plaintiffs do not seek to compel Davis’ compliance through incarceration. Since Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform, Plaintiffs urge the the Court to impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis’ immediate compliance without further delay.
Davis, and her staff, attended a federal hearing on the morning of September 3. As a result of that hearing, she was held in contempt and jailed by Judge David Bunning, telling Bunning “Thank you” as she was taken away by bailiffs.
2. She’s Been Married 4 Times
Davis has been married four times and been divorced three times, according to Think Progress. Her husband, Joe Davis, showed up at a protest at the Rowan County courthouse to support his wife. Yahoo News quotes Joe Davis saying his wife was “standing for God.” He also issued a thinly veiled threat to protesters, saying, “I’m an old redneck hillbilly, that’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.” Matthew 19:9 in the Bible states that remarrying after divorce is regarded as adultery.
3. Her Daughter Allison Was Accused of Stealing a Poodle in Morehead & Trying to Play Down the Allegations Due to Her Mother’s Political Aspirations
In November 2013, a poodle named Charlie Brown went missing in the town of Morehead. The dog’s owner, Ross Madden, has openly accused Kim Davis’ daughter Allison of stealing his dog. The blog Page One Kentucky claimed that Allison stole the dog while driving her mother, Kim Davis’, car. At the time, Kim Davis was running for the job as count clerk. The Page One Kentucky article says that due to Allison’s political connections at a local level no action was ever taken.
4. Davis’ Profile on the Kentucky County Clerks Website Says She Strives to ‘Provide Essential Services in a Friendly Efficient Manner’
On the official website of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, Davis writes that she strives to ‘provide essential services in a friendly efficient manner.” She was elected to the office as a registered Democrat in November 2014. She describes her duties as:
I am responsible for providing many services to the people of Rowan county. These duties include general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, and conducting election duties and tax duties.
5. Her Mother Held the Position of County Clerk for 37 Years in Rowan County
Upon her election in November 2014, the Morehead News wrote that Davis’ mother, Jean Bailey, had been the county clerk for 37 years. The paper quoted Davis at the time saying:
I don’t even know where to start. I am so humbled and feel so blessed that the people put so much confidence in me. My words can never express the appreciation but I promise to each and every one that I will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter…
I have learned from the very best and it is an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of one of the most well-respected clerks in the state…
I want to thank the people who voted for me, supported me, and, most of all, who prayed for me. It meant so much to me and I will never forget it
She officially began in her role at the office on January 5, 2015.