MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A jailed Kentucky clerk asserted that marriage licenses issued without her authority Friday to gay couples in Rowan County are void and “not worth the paper they are written on” because she didn’t authorize them, her attorney said.
Kim Davis now wears an orange jumpsuit and “has already been doing Bible studies with herself” in jail, her attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel told reporters after meeting with her behind bars. He said Davis is in very good spirits, and is prepared to stay as long as it takes to uphold her religious freedoms.
“She’s not going to resign, she’s not going to sacrifice her conscience, so she’s doing what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, which is to pay the consequences for her decision,” Staver said.
Meanwhile, Staver said he’s preparing to appeal U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s contempt finding as one of several legal challenges on her behalf.
At least three gay couples received marriage licenses Friday from one of Davis’ deputies, embracing and celebrating after repeatedly being turned away before Davis was jailed on Thursday.
Marriage licenses in Kentucky usually have the elected clerk’s signature on them; those handed out Friday lacked any signature. The Rowan County attorney and lawyers for the gay couples said they are legal and valid nevertheless. When the judge was asked if the licenses will be considered valid without Davis’ authorization, he said it was up to the gay couples to take that chance.
William Smith Jr. and James Yates, a couple for nearly a decade, were the first through the door. Deputy clerk Brian Mason congratulated the couple, shook their hands and accepted their fee of $35.50. Yates then rushed across the courthouse steps to hug his mom.