Renegade county clerk Kim Davis is back on the job, saying she won't issue marriage licenses to any gay or lesbian couples who might apply but will not interfere with her deputies, who will issue the documents instead.
Today is Davis's first day of work in her Rowan County office since being released from jail on contempt of court charges. Davis was released last week but took time off to plan her next steps.
According to CNN, Davis returned to work and is allowing her deputy clerks to continue issuing licenses, saying she will "take no action against them." In a news conference this morning, she stressed that the licenses could only be issued if her name and title are not on the documents. But licenses issued without the clerk's name may or may not be valid, according to legal experts following the situation.
"Any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me," she warned, adding, "I want the whole world to know." The news conference was broadcast live on CNN and other networks. Meanwhile, Davis also said, "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."
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Davis was jailed after repeatedly violating court orders. She first stopped issuing licenses to both straight and gay couples following June's Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. After four couples of a variety of sexual orientations sued her for refusing to do her job, a federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses. Her multiple appeals of the decision have all failed.
Still, she defied the law and was jailed September 3 for contempt. Davis spent five days there before being released because her deputy clerks began issuing licenses, as required by the judge.
Davis's legal team filed an emergency appeal on Friday, arguing that the judge ruled improperly by extending his order to all couples seeking marriage licenses instead of narrowly tailoring his decision to the four couples who sued her. The appeal is not expected to win.
Watch video of the newest Kim Davis news conference below:
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