Kim Davis Update: Judge Orders County Clerk Released From Custody
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who was found in contempt of court after refusing to issue marriage licenses, has been released from jail.
Kim Davis Release
Judge David L. Bunning, believing that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office has heeded his call to issue marriage licenses to heterosexual and homosexual couples alike in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, has ordered Davis’ release. Upon her release, Davis is not to interfere with the deputy clerks’ issuance of marriage licenses to any couple that is legally permitted to marry.
“Defendant Davis shall be released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith. Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples,” reads Bunning’s decision. “If Defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this Order and appropriate sanctions will be considered.”
Last week, U.S. District Judge Bunning had ruled that Davis would be jailed until she decided to start issuing marriage licenses to all couples who wish to be married. She had reasoned that by not issuing licenses to either heterosexual or homosexual couples, she was not practicing discrimination and had found a loophole – but Bunning was unconvinced.
At the time, Bunning had opted against merely fining Davis, believing that the impact would be minimal since her supporters would raise the money, according to Bluegrass Politics. The judge also shared that as a Catholic he understands Davis’ religious convictions, but that as a public official, she must respect the laws of the land.
Bunning’s decision arrived hours prior to a scheduled rally, which was attended by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, who were there to show their support for Davis.
As for the American Civil Liberties Union, which had sued Davis for her failure to issue marriage licenses to a number of gay couples, it is pleased with the end result of the lawsuit.
“The goal was to get Ms. Davis to issue licenses, and to stop imposing her religious beliefs on the citizens she was elected to serve. That goal has been achieved, for now,” attorney Dan J. Canon told The Washington Post in an e-mail. “We are hopeful that Ms. Davis will comply with the Court’s orders and let her deputies continue to do their jobs.”