Outward

Kim Davis, Anti-Gay Kentucky Clerk, Found in Contempt of Court and Taken Into Custody

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Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk of Courts, closes the door to her office after denying a marriage license to Robbie Blankenship and Jesse Cruz at the County Clerks Office on September 2, 2015 in Morehead, Kentucky. 

Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images

Update 4:30 p.m. ET: According to the AP, five of the six deputy clerks in Rowan County will be issuing marriage licenses on Friday, Sept. 3. The sole holdout is Kim Davis’ son.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning held Kim Davis in contempt of court. Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, stopped issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s decision brought marriage equality to her state. Bunning ordered Davis to resume issuing licenses—a fundamental component of her taxpayer-funded job—but she refused. An appeals court and the Supreme Court declined to stay Bunning’s decision, but Davis, at the advice of her extremist lawyers, defied his order “under God’s authority.”

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The lesbian couple who asked Bunning—a George W. Bush appointee—to hold Davis in contempt only requested fines. But ThinkProgressIan Millhiser reports that Bunning stated financial sanctions would not be sufficient to make Davis comply and worried that anti-gay advocacy groups would pay them for her. Thus, he has placed her in custody until she agrees to issue licenses.

Under Kentucky law, a county’s judge executive may issue marriage licenses “in the absence of the county clerk.” Presuming Davis is jailed, then, the judge executive may step in to help the gay couples who faced the brunt of Davis’ discrimination. 

Update 4:30 p.m. ET: According to the AP, five of the six deputy clerks in Rowan County will be issuing marriage licenses on Friday, Sept. 4. The sole holdout is Kim Davis’ son.

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