Kim Davis back on the job and still defiant — but she won’t stop deputies from issuing marriage licenses
Kim Davis returned to work Monday morning, but she repeated her insistence that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her conscience.
However, the tearful county clerk appears to have struck an attempt at a compromise intended to keep her out of jail.
The Rowan County clerk was jailed on contempt of court charges for five days after refusing court orders to issue the licenses in accordance with the law — which she believes is in violation with God’s law.
Davis said she would not interfere if her deputies issued licenses to same-sex couples, but she would not authorize those licenses.
“To affix my name or authoritative title on a certificate that authorizes marriage that conflicts with God’s definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violates my deeply held religious convictions and conscience,” Davis said during a brief statement after arriving at her office. “For me, this would be an act of disobedience to my God.”
She again asked the Kentucky legislature to accommodate her religious beliefs and allow her and other public officials to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which essentially legalized marriage equality.
Davis asked the legislature to remove her name from marriage licenses or issue those licenses through the commonwealth, instead of the county clerk’s office.
Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat like Davis, has said he would not call a special legislative session to address her concerns, and the legislature does not meet again until January.
Five of her six deputies told U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning they would issue marriage licenses, and one of those deputies — Brian Mason — said he would do so even if Davis ordered him not to do so.
Davis said she would take no action against deputies who issue marriage licenses, but she said they would not be acting under her authority.
“I love my lord Jesus, I love all people and I love my job,” she said.
Davis said Monday morning that until the legislature accommodates her religious concerns, any marriage license issued by her office would not have her name on it.
She said the licenses would state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court’s order.
Her attorneys with the Liberty Counsel have argued that licenses issued without her name are not actually valid.
Davis, who last week asked the Oath Keepers gun group not to intervene in her case, urged supporters to remain peaceful even as emotions run high.
A crowd of supporters carried signs bearing biblical and other anti-LGBT statements outside the courthouse as Davis spoke, with her 21-year-old son Nathan, one of her deputy clerks, stood at her side.
The clerk said she wished to serve quietly and never sought the spotlight, and she told the crowd that she was tired of a being a “whipping post.”
Bunning ordered Davis released last week after her deputies issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples who had filed a lawsuit against her, which the judge found had satisfied his court order.
But he ordered Davis not to interfere with her deputies’ attempts to issue those licenses once she returned to work.
Watch Davis speak after arriving for work posted online by ABC News: