ROWAN COUNTY, KY — Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for contempt of court after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is now a free woman.
Davis walked out of jail Tuesday afternoon and was welcomed by a throng of supporters.
Under the release, the judge ordered Davis not to interfere with clerks in her office issuing marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to jail after finding her in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in Rowan County following June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
Davis says issuing a license with her name on it would violate her Christian convictions against same-sex marriage.
Davis’ legal team has filed several appeals to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is asking that the state take her name off the licenses — a move that her lawyers say would accommodate Davis while allowing same-sex couples to receive licenses.
“If (Davis’ deputies) can issue licenses under someone else’s authority … Kim Davis would not stand in the way of that,” one of her attorneys, Roger Gannam, told CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday.
Davis’ lawyers say removing her name would be a reasonable accommodation, and that such an accommodation is required under Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The 2013 law prohibits the state government from substantially burdening a person’s freedom of religion, unless the government both proves that it has a compelling interest in doing so and has used the least restrictive means to do it.
Davis should not have to resign or be jailed, Gannam said, because “accommodation of religious conscience is the law in Kentucky, including for elected officials.”
“It’s the duty of the Kentucky government to accommodate that, and they very easily could do so,” Gannam said. “Gov. Beshear is the one who should do his job or resign.”