Kim Davis, a Kentucky law clerk, was released from jail yesterday in Rowan County. Davis was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon after she defied both federal and state orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses, to which Davis strongly objects on moral grounds.
Davis plans to return to work in her Rowan County office as a government employee and does not plan to resign from her post. But while Davis refuses to issue the licenses, U.S. District Judge David Bunning conditioned her release from jail with the added measure that she is not allowed to pick and choose who receives marriage licenses. Five of her six deputy clerks swore that they would issue them to all eligible couples, so Davis is outnumbered in her office. The judge said that Davis cannot do anything to interfere with her duties in issuing marriage licenses to all who should legally receive them—otherwise she could face more jail time.
Davis’ attorney, Mat Staver, did not directly answer questions about what Davis would do when confronted with the problem she has resisted. Staver said that Davis “loves God, she loves people, she loves her work, and she will not betray any of those three.” What that means for Davis’ position remains unclear.
Many people, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, stand proudly with Davis. “We cannot criminalize the Christian faith,” he said in an interview, adding—probably symbolically—that if someone had to go to jail, he would be willing to go in Davis’ stead. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz also spoke out in defense of Davis to say that he is proud of her.
Davis, who describes her faith as apostolic Christian, wept during her recent testimony. Davis said that she is “always a good person,” but that her love for God and her faith prevented her from doing anything that conflicts with that faith. She said that she “gave her heard to the Lord in 2011,” promising “to love Him with all my heart, mind and soul because I wanted to make Heaven my home.”
Davis is set to resume office later this week.