A county clerk in Kentucky was jailed Thursday for her refusal to issue marriage licences to gay couples, putting an end to a two month legal battle over the Supreme Court ruling to uphold same sex marriage.
Reuters reports that US District Judge David Bunning found the clerk, Kim Davis, of Rowan County, in contempt. An effort to allow five of six deputies to issue licences was denied by Davis, according to attorneys. Davis questioned the validity of licences that may be issued by the deputies.
Davis has refused to issue licences to any couple since the Supreme Court ruled marriage equality a right under the US Constitution. She cites her belief as an Apostolic Christian as the reason to deny the licences. Deputies were warned that they would be forced to appear in court again if they continued to issue marriage licences. Bunning said that the legitimacy of the licences would be up to same-sex couples to decide. Davis was led away by US Marshalls at the first of the hearings.
“Marriage is a union between one man and woman,” Davis said to the courts.
Josh Earnest, White House spokesperson, called the federal judge’s actions “appropriate” and said, “No public official is above the rule of law, certainly not president of the United States, but neither is the Rowan county clerk.”
Supporters of Davis were quick to criticize the decision. Lobbyist group Family Research Council insisted that religious freedom is under attack in America and are urging Kentucky State legislature to amend the law to accommodate for religious matters.
In an interview, Davis stated that she was ready to go to jail for her beliefs, and said that it was never a gay or lesbian issue for her, rather it was about her “upholding the word of God.”
The clerks office remained closed Thursday, but a sign on the door stated the office would reopen Friday.