Davis denies marriage licenses to gay couples in direct defiance of the federal court order. After denying a license to April Miller and Karen Roberts, David Ermold and David Moore, 17 years a couple, demanded to talk to Davis:
Ermold: We’re not leaving until we have a license.
Davis: Then you’re going to have a long day
Later she says:
It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven or hell decision.
U.S. District Court Judge Bunning orders Davis remanded into to U.S. Marshall custody until she complies with his order to issue the licenses as her job requires. Bunning said he didn’t think fining a defiant Kentucky clerk would force her to comply with his order to issue marriage licenses. Davis testifies for about 20 minutes at the hearing and is very emotional.
I didn’t have to think about it. There was no choice there. Marriage is between one man and one woman. You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul.
The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order. If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.
Attorneys for Davis appeal a judge’s decision to put her in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The three-page motion amends Davis’ earlier appeal of the judge’s order
Judge Bunning releases Davis, saying he is satisfied that her deputies fulfilled their obligations to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her absence. Bunning’s new order says Davis, once free, still cannot interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples. Davis is released from jail, and says she plans to return to work this week. When a reporter asks if her stay in jail was worth it, she smiles and nods. Attorney:
I can guarantee you, knowing Kim, she loves God, she loves people, she loves her work, and she will not betray any of those three. She’ll do her job good. She’ll serve the people…and she’ll also be loyal to God, and she’s not going to violate her conscience.
At a rally after Davis’ release Huckabee says he would go to jail in Davis’ place.
God showed up in the form of an elected official: Kim Davis, Today I was proud to stand with Kim Davis as she was released from jail. Kim Davis should have never been locked up for being a Christian and for following her conscience and the law…If somebody needs to go to jail, I’m willing to go in her place.
Davis addresses the rally, walking up to the stage in tears to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. Mike Huckabee and her lawyer stand on either side of her.
I just want to give God the glory. We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and everyone stands. Keep pressing, don’t let down because he is here. He is worthy.
Eye of the Tiger co-writers Peternik and Sullivan are upset about Davis’ use of the song at the rally celebrating her release. Peternik:
I was very surprised and dismayed at the misuse of the song I co-wrote with Frankie Sullivan for Rocky lll. The song has motivated thousands through the years to reach beyond their limits. Its use for the release of Kim Davis does not support my views or my politics. I have contacted my publishers to make sure this usage is stopped immediately.
No! We did not grant Kim Davis any rights to use ‘My Tune -The Eye Of The Tiger.’ I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin!
Davis gives a statement as she returns to work, saying that any licenses issued by her office, with or without her name on the form, would be “unauthorized.”
If any [deputy clerk] feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them. However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.
Davis continued to ask for an accommodation for her religious beliefs against having to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
[Having my name on the marriage certificate, whether I sign it or not] authorizes marriage that conflicts with God’s definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman [and] violates my deeply-held religious convictions and conscience. For me, this would be an act of disobedience to my God. I don’t want to have this conflict. I don’t want to be in the spotlight, and I certainly don’t want to be a whipping post; I am no hero. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience.
The attorney for Brian Mason, one of Davis’ deputy clerks, says he believes Davis has again violated her federal court order by altering marriage license forms by removing her name, making Mason initial the form instead of sign it, and then requiring the form to be notarized. The attorney says it is “really bizarre” that Davis would alter the forms.
A notary has nothing to do with it. Unless she’s got a really good reason, and I’ll certainly be patient and wait to hear it, the only inference I personally can draw from it is she is trying to circumvent the court’s order.
In a separate filing, ACLU attorneys for the gay couples who sued Davis say that the changes on the form require Mason to issue the licenses “in his capacity as a ‘notary public’ rather than a deputy clerk of the Rowan County Clerk’s Office,” changes that “do not comply” with the court’s order to not interfere with her employees who issue the licenses.
These alterations call into question the validity of the marriage licenses issued. Plaintiffs are exploring legal options to address these material alterations.
Davis is interviewed on Good Morning America.
I’m just a normal person that has been touched by the grace of God, and his mercy…I’m good at my job. I have friends who are gay and lesbians. They know where I stand. And we don’t agree on this issue, and we’re OK because we respect each other…I can’t put my name on a license that doesn’t represent what God ordained marriage to be… What people say about me does not define who I am. That’s everybody’s opinion and that’s everybody’s right…What probably hurt me the worst is when someone tells me that my God does not love me or that my God is not happy with me, that I am a hypocrite of a Christian.
While in attending the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, in Washington D.C Davis announces that she has switched from being a long-term Democrat to the Republican Party. She was elected as Rowan County Court Clerk as a Democrat,
My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?
Davis’ lawyers claims that she had a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C on Sept 24. Davis says she was “humbled” and never thought she would be granted an audience. She and the pontiff hugged, and he presented her and her husband with two rosaries, which she is giving to her parents, who are Catholic.
Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a county clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him. Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong’.
The Vatican says the pope’s meeting with Davis was not an endorsement of her decision to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The Vatican wanted to “clarify” what happened “in order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired.”
The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects…Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.