Kentucky clerk Kim Davis faces election challenge from gay man she discriminated against
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is officially facing an election challenge from the gay man she discriminated against.
Kim Davis made the news in 2015 after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry.
The clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, decided to ignore the ruling and subsequent demands from a string of state courts, in order to block the weddings of same-sex couples in the county.
But Davis – who has since become a cause célèbre among the anti-LGBT movement – may end up losing her job to one of the men she blocked from marrying.
David Ermold, who was filmed being denied a marriage license by Davis back in 2015, launched his campaign to become Rowan County clerk today, ahead of the election next year.
Davis, who was initially elected as a Democrat, had announced she plans to seek re-election as a Republican.
But Ermold – who was eventually allowed to marry his partner by a deputy clerk in 2015 0 says Davis has proved herself unfit to hold the office, and will battle to stop her retaining the clerk’s position.
Speaking to AP, he said: “I think we need to deal with the circumstances and the consequences of what happened.
“I have an obligation here, really, to do this and to set things right.
“This campaign we are putting together is about unity and bringing people together and restoring fairness.”
Speaking to NBC, he added: “I believe I can win.”
The candidate added: “I was very disappointed in the presidential election, and I think there needs to be more integrity… I think politicians need to answer some questions.
“We must recommit ourselves to embracing the diversity within our community, and we must stand strong against those who have turned their backs on our people to pursue the divisive agenda of outside politicians and organizations.”
However, the campaign will not be easy – Davis will have the wealth of the evangelical lobby behind her.
He said: “She will have quite a few orgs backing her, and she will get a lot of attention from it.”
And Davis’ lawyer Mat Staver, an avowed opponent of LGBT rights, certainly seemed combative.
He said: “The clerk’s position is more than a single issue position and that’s all David has is one issue.
“He has no idea how to run a clerk’s office. Much of what the clerk does has nothing to do with wedding licenses. It’s a broad service to the public.”
Davis, a thrice-divorced evangelical Christian, insists that issuing licenses to same-sex couples goes against her beliefs.
Her legal troubles only ended when the Republican Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin agreed to change the law to accommodate her – circumventing the need for clerks to issue marriage licenses.
Given issuing marriage licenses is one of the primary duties of a clerk, the decision was contentious – and many suggested that Davis should just have resigned her role if she was unable to perform the duty.
Davis hasn’t just contained her homophobic vitriol to the confides of her constituency since the marriage license controversy.
She recently headed to Romania to support proposals for an anti-gay marriage law.
Staver, who has also lobbied for anti-LGBT laws across the world, said: “She loves her job and she loves the people.
“I’m sure [the election] will probably have more attention because of who she is, but you know she doesn’t have any major concerns about it.”
The election, set to take place next year, will be the first time voters have a say in making Davis accountable for her actions in 2015.