U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered Kim Davis released from U.S. Marshall custody on Tuesday. Davis, the Rowan (Kentucky) County Clerk, was found in contempt of court and remanded into custody last week after disobeying a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her county.
Davis contended that issuing the licenses would violate her religious conscience. She also did not allow her office to issue any marriage licenses (in order to avoid charges of discrimination) because her signature is affixed to any license regardless of who in Davis’ office issues the license.
Davis’ name no longer appears on printed license forms. Bunning in his order noted that five of the six deputy clerks under oath said that they would issue the licenses. Bunning said Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” If so her sanctions could be reinstated.
Read the court order here.
Update: Some reaction…
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee held a rally outside the jail where Davis was being held and was able to escort her outside when she was released. His comments:
Today I was proud to stand with Kim Davis as she was released from jail. Kim Davis should have never been locked-up for being a Christian and for following her conscience and the law.
I am appalled at our government’s willingness to accommodate the religious beliefs of all religions, but Christianity. Kim Davis sitting behind bars in an orange jumpsuit for six days leaves no doubt about the criminalization of Christianity in America. I refuse to sit silently as our Constitution is torched and the courts violate our fundamental rights. We did not fight a revolution against the tyranny of one unelected monarch so we could surrender our freedoms and abandon our Constitution to the tyranny of five unaccountable, unelected lawyers.
This shredding of the most fundamental civil rights of our citizens cannot stand. As president, I will fight for, and protect, the religious liberty of every American.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz tweeted…
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 8, 2015