LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail for refusing to license same-sex marriages in defiance of federal court orders has been given tickets to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address, an invite-only event for members of Congress.
Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, announced Tuesday morning that he and Davis would attend the speech. But he declined to say which member of Congress provided the tickets, fueling hours of speculation over who invited the divisive clerk.
The mystery was solved Tuesday evening when Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, acknowledged that his staff gave Davis a ticket.
First lady Michelle Obama, on the other hand, invited Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage across the nation. He will sit in the box with the first lady.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, Davis cited “God’s authority” and refused to issue marriage licenses. She quickly became a darling of the religious right.
The Family Research Council, a conservative organization that opposes gay marriage, arranged the invitation, said spokesman J.P. Duffy. That group declined to identify the lawmakers who gave them passes.
Staver said they would be sitting in the House chamber “to stand for religious freedom and to represent Judeo-Christian values.”
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