Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, has defied an order from a federal judge to issue marriage licences to couples regardless of their gender. Davis had previously refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claiming that it violated her beliefs as a Christian.
Attorney Laura Landenwich, a lawyer representing several same-sex couples, said earlier on Thursday that there has been discussion on how to proceed after Davis defied judge’s orders to follow the ruling of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Ladenwich has said that they are considering asking a judge to hold Davis in contempt.
A charge of contempt could leave Davis with a heavy fine or the possibility of time in jail.
Davis has previously claimed in court that signing a marriage license is the equivalent of approving of a marriage license, which in the case of same-sex marriage would go against her religious beliefs.
U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning disagreed, writing in a 28-page ruling, ‘Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.’
Deputy Clerk Nathan Davis said that the office has been advised by attorneys with Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm, to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses while it appeals.
‘Kim Davis is just an example of what’s going to be happening not only to other clerks but to other people who are going to be confronted with this issue and we think that this is a serious matter that needs to be decided by a higher court, even the Supreme Court,’ Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver said.
Davis has filed to appeal Judge Bunning’s ruling.