US county clerk jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licences appeals

US county clerk jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licences appeals

A US county clerk has appealed a judge’s decision to put her in jail for refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.


Lawyers for Kim Davis officially appealed the ruling on Sunday.

The three page motion does not include arguments as to why Davis should be released, but amends Davis’ earlier appeal of the judge’s order.

Davis objects to same-sex marriage for religious reasons and stopped issuing all marriage licences in June after the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage nationwide.

Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her and US District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licences, while the Supreme Court upheld his ruling.

But Davis still refused to do it, saying she could not betray her conscience.

On Thursday, Bunning ruled Davis was in contempt of court for disobeying his order and sent her to jail.

Her deputy clerks then issued marriage licences to gay couples on Friday with Davis behind bars.

“Civil rights are civil rights and they are not subject to belief,” said James Yates, who got a marriage licence on Friday after having been denied five times previously.

Mat Staver, one of Davis’ lawyers, says the marriage licences issued on Friday are “not worth the paper they are written on” because Davis refused to authorise them, but Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins says the licences are valid.

Bunning said he did not know if the licences were valid but ordered them issued anyway.

Bunning has indicated Davis will be in jail at least a week, but she could stay longer if she continues to not obey the judge’s order.

Bunning has offered to release Davis from jail if she promises not to interfere with her deputy clerks as they issued the licences, but she refused.

Davis’ plight has reignited the gay marriage debate and the limits of religious freedom and her imprisonment has inspired spirited protests from both sides.

Another rally is scheduled for Tuesday with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.