LEXINGTON, Kentucky (AP) — A county clerk has appealed a judge’s decision to put her in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Attorneys 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 licenses in June after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling.
But Davis still refused to do it, saying she could not betray her conscience.
Thursday, Bunning ruled Davis was in contempt of court for disobeying his order and sent her to jail. Her deputy clerks then issued marriage licenses to gay couples Friday with Davis behind bars.
“Civil rights are civil rights and they are not subject to belief,” said James Yates, who got a marriage license on Friday after having been denied five times previously.
Mat Staver, one of Davis’ attorneys, said the marriage licenses issued Friday are “not worth the paper they are written on” because Davis refused to authorize them. But Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins says the licenses are valid. Bunning said he did not know if the licenses were valid but ordered them issued anyway.
Bunning indicated Davis will be in jail at least a week. She could stay longer if she continues to not obey the judge’s order. Bunning had offered to release Davis from jail if she promised not to interfere with her deputy clerks as they issued the licenses. But Davis refused.
Staver called the contempt hearing “a charade” saying that Bunning had his mind made up before the hearing began.