Few people take moral stands today that could land them in prison, but Kim Davis (shown) is an exception. The Rowan, Kentucky, county clerk has made national news by refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone — homosexual or straight — since the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional June Obergefell faux-marriage ruling. And now Davis has doubled down, defying courts that have ordered her to resume issuing licenses, even though the Supreme Court has just decided not to support her position. In explaining why she is unbowed, Davis says that she’s acting “under the authority of God.” The New York Times provides some background:
After the state’s governor told county clerks to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples [in Obergefell’s wake], Ms. Davis filed suit in federal court, arguing that she should be excused from the obligation, given her religious beliefs. A District Court judge ruled against her, as did the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she appealed to the Supreme Court.
On Monday, a stay granted by the District Court expired, and the Supreme Court rejected without comment Ms. Davis’s emergency application for a new stay, pending the outcome of her appeal. That left her no legal grounds to refuse to grant licenses to same-sex couples.
But moral grounds are enough for the intrepid Davis. This is despite the scene Tuesday at her Rowan County Courthouse, which included activist-minded same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, clamorous protesters on both sides of the issue, and camera-wielding media. It is also despite the great legal risk Davis is taking. As Daniel Canon, a lawyer for some of the same-sex couples seeking licenses, said, reports the Times, “‘She’s certainly in contempt of court by any definition of the term, so the District Court has an array of sanctions it can resort to, to deal with that.”