Homophobic clerk remains in jail, but deputies will allow gays to marry
A homophobic county clerk who was jailed earlier today will remain in jail, as her deputies have agreed to allow gay couples to marry.
Found guilty of contempt of court, Kim Davis was remanded in custody by federal marshals.
The Rowan County clerk has continually ignored court orders instructing her to stop discriminating against gay couples.
She approached the US Supreme Court last week, asking for an order allowing her to continue turning away gay couples – the court declined.
Plaintiffs in the case asked that Davis be fined as punishment, but the judge in the case said she needed to be taken into custody.
The attorney for the gay couple who sued Davis told reporters that the clerk “holds the keys to her jail cell”, through her refusals.
Davis rejected a deal proposed by attorneys for the plaintiffs in a case against her, who said she could be released if she agreed to allow her deputies to marry gay couples.
US District Judge Dave Bunning said she should be remanded in custody until she complies with several orders, including one issued by him, that she stop discriminating against same-sex couples.
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By 4pm on Thursday, five out of six of Davis’ deputies had agreed to Bunning that they would issue marriage licences to gay couples.
The one remaining holdout is Davis’ son, but he has been told he won’t face fines or jail for doing so, as the others, some reluctantly, had agreed to issue the licences.
The White House has commented on the case, saying nobody is above the law.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “On principle, that the success of our democracy depends on the rule of law, and there’s no public official that is above the rule of law.”
He added: “What’s important … is that this is the decision that’s supposed to be made by a federal judge, and so I would not, from this vantage point, second guess those decisions.”