MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A county clerk in Kentucky who is continuing to deny marriage licenses to gay couples says she’s doing so “under God’s authority.”
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis emerged from her office Tuesday morning after some couples were denied the licenses. She asked David Moore and David Ermold, who’ve been rejected four times, to leave. They refused, surrounded by reporters and cameras.
Ermold said: “We’re not leaving until we have a license.”
Davis responded: “Then you’re going to have a long day.”
Davis’ supporters whooped from the back of the room: “Praise the Lord” and “stand your ground.”
Others shouted that Davis is a bigot and told her: “Do your job.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the case, leaving Davis no legal grounds to refuse to grant licenses to gay couples. A district judge could now hold her in contempt, which can carry steep fines or jail time.
Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said Tuesday morning that Davis, along with the deputy clerks who work in her office, has been summonsed to a federal court hearing at 11:00 Thursday morning. Attorneys for two gay couples who originally sued in the case are seeking for Davis to be held in contempt, but they want her only to pay fines and not to receive jail time.
Davis has previously testified that of her six employees, four share her beliefs, one is uncertain, and one employee doesn’t have a problem issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The clerk released a statement Tuesday, saying that she owes her life to Jesus Christ.
“Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ,” her statement said.
She also says that “to issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience.”
Davis calls it a “Heaven or Hell decision,” one that deals with a question of obedience to God. She says that she has done her job as clerk well, and she won’t resign.
Meanwhile her husband, Joe Davis, arrived at the Rowan County Courthouse Tuesday morning to check on his wife. He said that despite the court’s decision, she remains committed to her faith, and is “standing for God.”
Joe Davis says his wife has received death threats, and the couple changed their phone number. But he says he’s not afraid and believes in the Second Amendment.
He said: “I’m an old redneck hillbilly, that’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.”
Joe Davis compared his wife to the biblical figures Paul and Silas, sent to prison and rescued by God.
He pointed to the gay rights protesters gathered on the courthouse lawn and said: “They want us to accept their beliefs and their ways. But they won’t accept our beliefs and our ways.”