Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

By Steve Bittenbender

ASHLAND, Ky. (Reuters) — A county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds was held in contempt of court by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday and sent to jail.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was led away by U.S. marshals who confirmed she was under arrest.

“The court doesn’t do this lightly,” District Court Judge David Bunning said in ordering that she be taken into custody.

Bunning also said his earlier injunction ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses applied to everyone and not just the four couples whose suit in July had accused Davis of not doing her job.

Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her Christian beliefs.

Before and during the hearing, about 200 demonstrators on both sides of the issue gathered outside the courthouse, some chanting slogans and many holding signs. As word of the ruling emerged, supporters of same-sex marriage erupted in cheers.

Davis’ seven deputies still face their own reckoning as Bunning assigned each of them attorneys and said their fate would be determined at a 1:45 pm EDT hearing, warning them they could face fines or jail.

Davis’ attorney objected, saying Davis had not given her deputies authority to issue marriage licenses.

The hearing in Ashland, Kentucky, lasted just over two hours. Crying at times, Davis maintained that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman and she was unable to recognize same-sex marriages.

“Marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” she said under questioning by her attorney.

Also testifying was April Miller, who along with her partner Karen Jacobs had three times tried to get a marriage license from Davis’ office. They were one of four couples who sued Davis in July.

A U.S. marshal said he did not know to which detention facility she was being sent.

(Additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Emily Stephenson in Washington; Writing by David Bailey and Ben Klayman; Editing by Howard Goller and Chris Reese)

Photo: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis gestures as she refuses to issue marriage licenses to a same-sex couple in Morehead, Kentucky, September 1, 2015, in a still image from video provided by WLEX. REUTERS/WLEX/

73 Responses to Kentucky Clerk Jailed For Denying Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

  1. I will share excellent internet freelancing opportunity… three to five hours of work /day… Payment each week… Performance depending bonuses…Payscale of $6k to $9k a month… Only few hrs of spare time, desktop or laptop, elementary understanding of internet and dependable web-connection (needed…Have a visit to my disqus_profile for more info

      • Yeah, but just imagine how much the town taxes could have been cut with the income from the fines!

        Oh, yeah. GOP control. They don’t cut taxes, they find new ways to spend the money (think: $700 hammers and $1200 toilet seats.)

  2. She should be jailed for not faithfully executing the law. Obama also should be jailed for not faithfully executing immigration laws.

    • I guess you don’t consider holding and deporting more illegal aliens each year of his administration than Shrub did in all 8 years combined as “faithfully executing” the laws.

          • Relevance? The comment was that Obomo ‘had held and deported more illegal aliens than Shrub…’ I didn’t mention sanctuary cities, but pointed out that illegal aliens get deported and return with impunity. All too often they murder. So, Bob. What do you propose that the family of Kate Steinle be told?

          • After a decade of not funding ICE there is only so much you can do – especially if the knobs who refused to fund ICE demanded we have more wars in the ME.

    • Really? So you also want Texas government to be jailed for refusing to adhere to immigration laws too? Remember it was Texas who passed Riddle’s law in 2011 that allowed Texans to hire maids and yard workers with the attitude that this is necessary.

      So..Can we also JAIL all the employers who deliberately refuse to use E-Verify for all of those undocumented workers they are hiring in the tens of thousands?

      And can you man up and admit the reason why these skank employers won’t use E-Verify? It would be a red flag to the IRS on what these employers are doing with the bogus payroll deductions they take out of these undocumented workers paychecks, telling them they are “paying taxes,” when all the time these employers are enriching their bank accounts with those bogus payroll deductions. And, let’s pretend that these employers don’t they would also have to pay their share of employer and corporate taxes if they documented their undocumented workers.

      Some men in this country just can’t get it through their thick skulls that you can’t avoid the laws of this country forever. How about you stop sucking up to employers who do ALL the hiring of these illegals instead of bitching about Obama? Oh but your kind won’t do that…that would mean employers in the US would have to hire Americans at American wages.

      Stand by little man…watch how Americans gravitate right back to unions in the thousands thanks to money hungry men like you.

      • Eleanore!!! Back on this site, eh? Why do continue to spread misinformation? I already told you that the amendment proposed by Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle was NOT enacted. Knowing this, you still persist in spreading lies. Why?
        Obomo has chosen NOT to enforce immigration laws in this country. That’s why ICE sits back and doesn’t act to stop the torrent of illegals pouring in to the U.S. daily.
        Americans gravitating back to Unions? Ha Ha Ha. Not as long as we have states with Right to Work laws. Unions? Right, so many workers are clamoring to belong to a union that they are flocking to states that don’t have a Right to Work law. Reality check — New Joisey doesn’t have a Right to Work law! As a result, it ranks as the top state in 2014 that had people LEAVING it.
        I guess people just don’t want to live there. I know I wouldn’t.
        Now, take your medicine and relax. Just think about your heating bills that are soon to be here! You have gotta love Big Oil!!!

        • David, If illegals are pouring in to the US daily, why are there less of them then 10 years ago? Did you know that ICE has 20,000 employees and would have more if congress would give the money to pay for them. Obama can’t enforce the immigration laws completely so he pick and choose. 20,000 to deal with 11.000,000, sure that will work. As far as the people leaving the right to work states, if the jobs leave because employers want cheep labor the workers have to follow if they want any job at all. If you take the jobs away how can the people stay. Enjoy your holiday week end, thanks to the unions. .

        • Hey folks! Look! The Texas swaggering, drawling phony, David Big Oil boy, has returned. And as usual, posts posts posts with not one word of fact or truth.

          The reality is that Texas is violating the very same immigration laws every time a dipshit like you denies that they are hiring undocumented workers who work in their Big Oil mansions and do all that landscaping dirt cheap.

          Americans are not going to continue to feed Big Oil Barons. The Big Oil days of glitz and phony glory are over. But, Texans never do face facts until it’s too late. Leave your state once in a while Cowboy Phony. You’d see the huge surge in the solar industry which is providing many states with high unemployment rates with jobs.

          You make no sense, not even to that horse beneath your butt. Try again jerk boy. Your goddamn state is raking in part of that $50 billion for border protection and your state is the biggest violator of immigration laws. Come off the BS already.

          • Eleanore!!! Thank you for providing me my chuckle for the day. First, you say that my “state is the biggest violator of immigration laws.” What specific laws are Texas violating? Is your complaint that ICE won’t enforce the law? Well, that’s one of mine!
            Secondly, ‘solar power’? Hmmm… I know! Let’s be like Obomo and piss $535 million down a rat hole — oops, I’m sorry, it wasn’t a rat hole, it was Solyndra! Solar power is great. But, it won’t be replacing fossil fuels in our lifetime.
            Face the cold facts Eleanore. You are a bitter spinster living in the Northeast who believes using insult and cursing somehow gives substance to her factually bereft rants. I will say prayer for you and hope you find peace. Have a blessed day.

          • Most Texas drunks like you do have the “hangover giddies.” I imagine since you started your typical Texas boozer weekend, you’ll be preaching your miscreant gospels by Sunday?

            I make plenty of sense. Mentally ill men like you cannot be reasoned with or possibly facilitate common sense everyone but you recognizes

            Solyndra was just Big Oil’s ONLY example of a company that went belly up.. If they’d checked, right here in NJ, Trinity Solar has nearly half a million customers and they are just one of a few thousand solar energy companies in NJ alone.

            Do yourself a favor. Stop the boozing, clear your brain and get help. All that oil pollution has damaged your brain.

            Here in NJ, which by the way is No. 3 in the nation for solar energy production, jobs in solar are plentiful for design, mechanical, construction and civil engineers. It’s also created jobs for plumbers, electricians and construction managers.

            Go have another drink of Jack Daniels boozer boy. Solar is going to force your Big Oil stock to drop if China’s economic problems and dumping the Iran Oil sanctions don’t do it first.

          • Eleanore!!! I still can’t believe that you are unable to control your desire to publish false information. New Joisey #3 in solar energy production? Sorry, that is just not true. In fact, New Joisey produces .3% of the nation’s solar power. Texas produces 4.03% of the solar power. energy
            Texas produces over 13 times the solar energy your little Yankee state does. Am I surprised? No. Everything is bigger in Texas! How do those facts make you feel?

          • Yes NJ is No. 3. This was reported for the past 5 years by Solar Engineering Magazine, Solar Industry Magazine and by the NY Daily New, NY Post and all of NJ’s papers. Really hate that don’t you?

            Texas isn’t Big Gun No. 1 and Cowboy David is eating his liver with envy. According to the US Dept. of Energy, the top three states for the past 5 years in solar energy are in order:
            CA – No. 1
            AZ – No. 2
            NJ – No. 3

            Hey looks folks…Texas is even in the top three….and that phony Swaggering, Drawling Cowboy David hates, hates, hates for his befrigged state to not be No. 1. It is…as a top US polluter of fossil fuel contamination. As a top polluter in underground pipelines that have split and are causing plumes in OK and now that’s to Bakken oil crude, in ND.

            Ooooh….and little David BS Boy hates that he can’t play blowhard and tell us how TX is no. 1 in solar energy.

            Oil prices in NJ have never been lower…$1.99/gal. When Bush was president? These prices were nearly $4/gal. Now thanks to so many people in NJ buying hybrids and battery powered cars. So much so that our dipshit Republican governor is sweating out how to keep the gasoline tax that funded road repairs now that gasoline revenues in NJ are way down.

            Also, unlike Texas, who is No. 10 in hi-tech industry growth, NJ is No. 4. Eat your heat out blowhard!

          • Solar Engineering Magazine? I Googled and could not find it. You claim New Joisey is No. 3 in solar energy. No.3? In what?
            Total Production
            Production per capita
            Total usage
            Usage per capita
            Number of solar production facilities

            What is it that you claim New Joisey is No. 3 in? Oil is not sold by the gallon. If you mean price of gasoline, I feel sorry for you Yankees if it has never been below $1.99/gallon. Hell, it was a $1.57 last year here.
            How is Texas responsible for oil problems in North Dakota?
            High tech industry growth? What is your authority to claim Texas No. 10 and New Joisey No. 4? Methinks that is another Eleanore misstatement of facts. By the way, I guess you looked it up and found out Texas WAS a sovereign nation. How does it feel to have a Texan correct you time, after time, after time, after time! Take your medicine and have a blessed day.

          • P.S. Eleanore— the price per gallon of unleaded in New Joisey is $2.155 cents not $1.99. Looks like you lied again!

    • I would consider support for your recommendation as soon as Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld etc. are jailed and tried for treason and war crimes. Also let’s not forget the treasonous group that sought to undermine the president’s diplomacy in Iran.

      • We can also include the treasonous group that vowed to make Obama a one term President. Of course they couldn’t even do that very well.

    • The primary distinction here is that a President has constitutional authority to do what Obama did. Do you remember Bush’s wide use of “Signing Satements?” Probably not. Apparently in the right wing view of things — I’m not saying you are right wing, but this is a very common right wing view — Republican presidents have powers and authorities that are not afforded Democratic presidents.

        • No prosecutor is obligated to pursue every possible case. The Justice Department does have discretion, as has always been recognized.

          • Prosecutors have discretion on a case by case basis, Obama chose not to enforce the law against an entire class of criminals. Also, just because a prosecutor chooses not to prosecute certain crimes, it does not mean those crimes are lawful, but the Obama administration is treating the beneficiaries of its (illegitimate) discretion as if they were here legally.

          • There is no distinction between “case-by-case” and “class” discretion: you just made that up. If states or localities decide that they are not going to pursue small-amount marijuana possession cases, for example (to take a real example), there is nothing wrong with that.
            Nor is anybody being treated as if they were here legally (made eligible for green-card application etc.)

          • There is a distinction, courts have ruled the discretion cannot be a general policy that amounts to an abdication of statutory duty. It was beyond simply not prosecuting, they were given work permits and allowed to apply for other benefits.

          • No, courts have never ruled any such thing. As I pointed out, it is actually rather commonplace. In every state there are a huge number of 19th century “clinkers” on the statute books that no prosecutor has followed up on in years. It is illegal in Indiana to operate an automobile unless a man walks ahead with a lantern (it was decided long ago not to charge people if the automobile has headlights, but the statute has not been repealed).

          • Heckler v. Chaney stands for the exact opposite of what you are claiming. It gives a lengthy explanation of why courts do not review prosecutorial discretion at all. The only hypothetical under which Rehnquist would be willing even to look at such a case would be if the agency stopped acting at all. If ICE did not prosecute *any* illegal aliens, so that the agency was not functioning, then and only then would the courts even *look* into the matter. Reno v. Flores has no apparent relevance to this issue whatsoever.

          • In Heckler the Court characterizes the standard for intervention as “a situation where it could justifiably be found that the agency has “consciously and expressly adopted a general policy” that is so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities”, which is the case with Obama administration’s non-enforcement of immigration laws.

            Reno states that the exercise of discretion requires “some level of individualized determination.”

          • The meaning of the passage in Heckler is a reference to an agency not pursuing any cases *at all*. It is not remotely the case that ICE is “abdicating” its responsibilities when it is still deporting immigrants by the busloads. Its discretion not to deport every single person it can get its hands on is simply not reviewable by courts, at all.

            “Reno states that the exercise of discretion requires “some level of individualized determination.” ” Reno was about DETAINING people, exercising coercion over them; when you are depriving any person of liberty (“person”, not “citizen”) there are due process implications. Heckler specifically notes that a decision NOT to prosecute something is the opposite of an exercise in coercion, which is why such discretion is not subject to any due process analysis and has never been subject to judicial review. You cite a dictum where Rehnquist tries to construct an extreme hypothetical in which judicial review might be appropriate, but no such case has ever occurred.

          • Then there is Obama’s own Office of Legal Counsel, who advised:

            “Before DACA was announced, our Office was consulted about whether such a program would be legally permissible. As we orally advised, our preliminary view was that such a program would be permissible, provided that immigration officials retained discretion to evaluate each application on an individualized basis. We noted that immigration officials typically consider factors such as having been brought to the United States as a child in exercising their discretion to grant deferred action in individual cases. We explained, however, that extending deferred action to individuals who satisfied these and other specified criteria on a class-wide basis would raise distinct questions not implicated by ad hoc grants of deferred action. We advised that it was critical that, like past policies that made deferred action available to certain classes of aliens, the DACA program require immigration officials to evaluate each application for deferred action on a case-by-case basis, rather than granting deferred action automatically to all applicants who satisfied the threshold eligibility criteria.”

        • Actually he does. Executive orders have been used by every president since Washington. No where does it say that it is necessary to get your approval

  3. I disagree with the jail sentance. She should have lost her job, not for her views but for not doing her job according to State and Federal law. The jail was a bit much.

    • For her to lose her job takes a Bill of Impeachment by the Kentucky State Legislature. Given as how the Republican Senate Leader (i.e. the guy in charge of 2/3 of their Senate) has vowed to support her, her impeachment is about as likely as Lindsay Graham getting the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

    • She’s an elected official and paid by the people she refused to serve. Kinda arrogant hateful Christian. She deserves more than a jail. Maybe stoning her for she refuses compassion to straight and gay by not issuing them the license to marry, what a hypocrite.

    • The couples waiting for her to do her job did not deserve to have to wait for the impeachment process; they mercifully asked the court for fines rather than jail time, but the judge decided that she would fund-raise to cover the fines (and maybe make some profit off it).

        • I do not at all. Abusing governmental power is a very serious offense. If Nixon had gone to jail, maybe Iran-Contra wouldn’t have happened. If Oliver North had gone to jail, maybe the Bush-Cheney administration would not have abused their power in so many ways. At a lower level, police who abuse their position should be treated more harshly, not more leniently, than civilians who commit similar offenses. That’s my view, anyhow.

    • The Judge went back to her, in jail, offering to let her out immediately if she would follow the law – she refused. Someone, somewhere has promised her a “payday” in this. She is not a martyr and her claims to being a Christian appear specious to me – she is a grifter. She is expecting Palin’s slot on Fox where they will promote her as an “expert” on religion and the law.

        • I picked Palin as the most intellectually challenged female Fox contributor i know; this was made more difficult because I do not watch Fox.
          The judge indicated that he choose jail because others had indicated willingness to pay Ms. Davis’s fines. Fines are imposed either to teach the miscreant a lesson or as a deterrent; they would not have worked in Ms. Davis’s case.

          • Still can’t see her taking Gov. Palins spot on TV. I do not see her as a miscreant. just someone who was unwilling to do what her State, through the federal government said to do. Granted, issuing marriage license to homosexuals was not in the job description when she took the job but the second her state decided to follow the decision of the supreme court it did become part of her job description. At that point her choices became: 1) bite the bullet and issue the license. or 2) Step down. i still do not agree with the jail sentence… it does smack a bit of violating her first amendment right to free exercise of religion… just like forcing the Little Sisters of Mercy to pay for insurance that provides abortion. It will all be reviewed eventually by either this sitting supreme court or a different supreme court down the road. The jail sentence is a bit over the top.

          • WTF there is a religious exemption in the ACA and there has been from the beginning, then too there is the recent Hobby Lobby decision. The Little Sisters of Mercy are not paying for insurance that provides abortion unless they want to. No one is infringing on Ms. Davis’s religious freedom. Ms. Davis violated the law when she failed to abide by the decision rendered by the court. If we allow elected officials to pick and choose which laws they want to follow based on their individual religious beliefs than we will have anarchy. Why do you assume that some professed Christians religious rights should trump the rights of a whole class of people. What makes Ms. Davis so very special?
            Based on your comments I will assume that you do watch Fox and consider it news.

          • The Little Sisters of Mercy case is still being adjudicated in the courts. I do not have cable TV therefor do not watch Fox. As for Ms. Davis being special, she was Jailed without bail for refusing to obey a new federal mandate thus not doing her job… yet the President has continued to refuse to obey long standing immigration laws, refused to live within the separations of powers found as a bedrock of our Constitutional mandated govern and he has not been put in jail without bail… and even Jeffery Dalmer had bail set. So when she is jailed for a much more minor offense than the President of the United States of America AND has been denied bail that even notorious mass murders have been granted.. i would say those two things alone make this a special case. Should she loose her job… yes. Should she be jailed … not in my opinion. You yourself said If we allow elected officials to pick and choose which laws they want to follow then we will have anarchy. Why is the President allowed to pick and choose which laws he will follow and which ones he will not and not be jailed without bail for that?

  4. Do Kentucky county clerks take an oath? Is it an oath to uphold the
    Constitution? Does the Constitution give the Supreme Court the last say in what
    is constitutional? Did the Supreme Court not rule that same-sex marriage is
    constitutional? Put her in jail and keep her there.

    • I understand that she swore to uphold the Constitution “So help me God.” ( How hilarious is that?

      And what do these admirers of hers do when they think Muslims are putting their religion above the Constitution? They scream and yell about SHARIA LAW!!! SHARIA LAW!!!

  5. I will share excellent internet freelancing opportunity… three to five hours of work /day… Payment each week… Performance depending bonuses…Payscale of $6k to $9k a month… Only few hrs of spare time, desktop or laptop, elementary understanding of internet and dependable web-connection! needed…Have a visit to my disqus_profile for more info

  6. Being jailed and fined for contempt to a Court order is not uncommon. What is uncommon is to allow insubordination. We are all free to believe in whatever we wish, but when we accept a job we are expected to do what our employers tell us to do, within reason, or we have to look for another job before we get fired.

  7. Meanwhile, Warren Jeffs is already behind bars because of the mockery that he made of marriage!
    His crimes included polygamy and the “marriage” of children!
    Might I suggest adjoining cells?

  8. It should never have reached this point. When she refused to perform the job she had been hired to do, she should have been fired. If her beliefs warranted a legal challenge, the burden would be hers. But of course this is government and the simple, least-costly solution can’t possibly be applied.

  9. It seems that this woman is picking and choosing those bible verses she agrees with, much as many of us do. She actually thought she was marrying the gay couples. Is she that stupid? Her own past history should have made her more understanding of how events and people change. Oh, but she’s found god and she’s atoned for her past sins. Mrs. Davis should not judge others. Do the job you were elected to do and keep your Christian faith to yourself.

  10. The same religious dogma was used against negroes citing justification because of theological or biblical far right christian beliefs.

  11. She is a hypocrite. Married to her 4th husband and suppose to be a devout catholic. If it is yo hot in the kitchen then leave.

  12. Can we get her emails to see who is paying her to do this. She’s an elected official so we should get all her emails. I’m sure we would find someone promised to pay her to do this.

  13. “She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first
    husband. They were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her
    second.” All is now cool, though. According to her lawyer, Davis
    converted to Christianity a few years ago and her slate was wiped clean.

    Would it be churlish to mention here that Davis has denied a marriage
    license several times to David Moore and David Ermold, who have been
    together for 17 years? Also, exactly what part of “separation of church
    and state” doesn’t she understand?

    Ignorant, backwards, back-woods, bigoted hick. Hope she enjoys her jail cell. Moron.

  14. I want to show great work opportunity… three to five hours of work daily… Weekly paycheck… Bonus opportunities…Payscale of $6k to $9k /a month… Just few hours of your free time, any kind of computer, elementary& understanding of web and stable connection is what is required…Get informed more about it by visiting my profile>page

Leave a reply