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Marriage Equality

Kim Davis to Appeal Contempt Ruling

Kim Davis to Appeal Contempt Ruling


The appeal will be filed by the end of business today, says her attorney.

Kim Davis will appeal the contempt of court ruling against her by the end of the day, her attorney told reporters today at a press conference outside the detention center where she is being held.

Thursday's hearing, at which U.S. District Judge David Bunning found the Kentucky county clerk in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and ordered her into the custody of U.S. Marshals, was a "charade," Mat Staver of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel said at the press conference. Bunning "knew he was going to incarcerate Kim Davis before hearing one word of testimony," Staver said, according to the New York Daily News.

The Rowan County clerk "has no remorse," he added, saying her "constitutional rights were violated and her conscience trampled." He and the rest of Davis's legal team had just visited her at the Carter County Detention Center in Kentucky, where she has been held since yesterday.

Staver also asserted that the marriage licenses that Davis's staff began issuing to same-sex couples today invalid. They are "not worth the paper they are printed on," he said, according to the Daily News.

Davis ceased issuing all marriage licenses shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for nationwide marriage equality in June. She said that because of her Christian beliefs, she could not facilitate same-sex marriages, so her solution was to end all marriage license services in her office.

Four couples, two same-sex and two opposite-sex, sued Davis over her action. That resulted in an order from Bunning that she do her job and grant licenses to all eligible couples, regardless of gender. After she appealed that order all the way to the Supreme Court without success, she still refused to issue licenses or allow her deputies to do so, leading to Bunning's contempt of court ruling yesterday. Five out of six deputies in her office, however, said they would be willing to grant licenses to same-sex couples, and at least three such couples have obtained them today. Davis's son was the only one who refused.

Staver said his group will continue to advocate for an accommodation for Kim Davis's religious beliefs. For instance, Bunning could have ordered that her name be removed for the licensing form rather than send an "innocent woman" to jail, Staver said at the news conference, according to Talking Points Memo.

Two other Kentucky county clerks, Kay Schwartz of Whitley County and Casey Davis of Casey County (no relation to Kim Davis), also refuse to license same-sex marriages, but so far neither has faced legal action.

Kim Davis's supporters will hold a prayer service outside the detention center at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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