Five of six deputy clerks in Rowan County, Kentucky, agreed Thursday to abide court orders and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The clerks told U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning at the federal courthouse in Ashland that they would issue the licenses after the judge ordered their boss, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, to be jailed on contempt charges for defying multiple court orders.
Bunning told the six deputy clerks they could either issue marriage licenses or join Davis in jail.
The one deputy who refused to comply was Davis’ 21-year-old son, Nathan. The judge said he wouldn’t hold Nathan in contempt.
Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said in a Wednesday interview that the deputy clerks were too afraid to disagree with Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
“The takeaways from the Watkins interview are clear. Davis is acting alone in her zealous mission,” wrote Shannon Ragland, of the Kentucky Trial Court Review. “Her conduct has terrorized not just her staff but everyone that works in the courthouse. And all for a foolish mission aided by out-of-state charlatan lawyers trying to raise money for their ‘religious liberty’ mission.”
Davis stopped issuing licenses in June after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling legalized marriage in all 50 states. She said issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her religious beliefs.