Kim Davis Stays Mum About Plans To Issue Licenses Post-Release
As we told you yesterday, Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk who was jailed for refusing to obey court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because of her religious beliefs, was released from jail. A rally was held on her behalf after her release yesterday, which Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attended, and she was welcomed by the sweet sounds of “Eye of the Tiger.” Yeah. So what led to her release?
U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning, who originally found her in contempt of court, released Davis because he was satisfied that her deputies were fulfilling court orders in Davis’s absence. Davis will be taking the next few days off, but will return to work on Friday or Monday. She declined to indicate whether or not she plans to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples, going forward.
Davis’s deputy clerk, Brian Mason, said that if Davis orders him not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples when she returns, he will defy her order. Judge Bunning noted upon releasing Davis that if she defies court orders again, she’ll be held in contempt again and go back to jail.
Davis, meanwhile, has put her deputies in a double-bind on behalf of her religion: Mason and the other deputies shouldn’t have to choose between defying the Supreme Court and defying their boss. The rallying cry behind Davis has been “religious freedom,” but if what if her version of religious freedom entails forcing her deputies not to practice their own religious and moral beliefs by issuing licenses to couples who are legally eligible to marry? What if these gay couples’ religious beliefs entail marriage? Whose religious freedom matters – only Davis’s, or everyone’s?
I guess we’ll find out when she returns to her job.
Image via Getty
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