Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage license to same-sex couples, is now officially in contempt of court after defying the federal court’s ruling to resume issuing the licenses.
Davis has stated her religious beliefs and her First Amendment rights as the reasoning for not issuing the licenses. Previously, a federal judge told her to issue the marriage contracts and an appeals court agreed with the decision. Davis still refused to do so and a request for a temporary stay to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied on Aug. 31, leaving Davis with no other options, WTVQ reported.
Because it is a federal case, local law enforcement in Rowan County cannot arrest Davis for refusing to sign the licenses.
Davis is also facing hefty penalties, from a large fine to possible prison time. Prosecutors have asked the judge for financial penalty instead of imprisonment.
The judge has ordered Davis and other deputy clerks to appear in federal court on Sept. 3.
On Sept. 1, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion in federal court to have Davis held in contempt of court for ignoring the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The ACLU asked the court not to put Davis in prison, but to impose financial penalties “sufficiently serious” to force her compliance and grant marriage licenses, CNN reported.
In court documents, lawyers for Davis said that her “conscience forbids her from approving a (same-sex marriage) license — because the prescribed form mandates that she authorize the proposed union and issue a license bearing her own name and imprimatur.”