Kim Davis went to jail for not granting marriage licenses to gay people because, she said, that violates the moral codes of her religion.
A federal judge ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail because she refused to issue marriage licenses despite several court orders.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning said he’d free Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis as soon as she agrees to start handing out marriage licenses, which is the responsibility of her office.
Five of her six deputy clerks agreed to issue licenses Friday, with Davis’ son being the lone dissenter, according to the Associated Press. Bunning agreed to let Davis out of jail if she agreed not to interfere. She refused.
So, she sits in the clink.
Here are five facts about Kim Davis and Thursday’s ruling.
1. Davis wouldn’t let straight couples marry, either
The case has its roots in June’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which ruled that the 14th amendment gives same-sex couples the right to marry. Since that decision, Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses not only to gay couples but to straight couples as well.
Judge Bunning ordered her to issue licenses on August 12, a ruling she has continued to ignore. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court both denied her appeals.
2. Davis says she is deeply religious
After the death of her mother-in-law four years ago, Davis went to church and found forgiveness, she said in a statement through the Liberty Council, which has represented her through the ordeal.
She is a member of the Apostolic Church, which follows a “literal interpretation of the Bible,” according to its website. It adds that members “should be dressed modestly and simply” and “are taught to exercise discernment in use of media and avoid unedifying worldly entertainments.”
3. Her job runs in her veins
Davis’ mother, Jean Bailey, served as Rowan County clerk for 37 years before the daughter won office in a narrow election. Davis had worked for her mom as a deputy clerk for 27 years.
“I have never lived any place other than Rowan County,” she said in her statement. “Some people have said I should resign, but I have done my job well.”
4. She has been married four times
Davis has been married four times to three different men and had twins out of wedlock.
It’s all a bit complicated. Here’s the breakdown:
- After divorcing her first husband of 10 years, she had twins five months later; the twins were fathered by the man who would become her third husband, according to NBC News.
- When she married her second husband, he adopted the twins.
- Davis and her second husband divorced 10 years later.
- She then married the father of her children, a union that lasted “less than a year,” according to NBC.
- She remarried her second husband in 2009, and they are still together.
“I am not perfect. No one is,” she said in her statement. “But I am forgiven, and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.”
5. Supporters and protesters
Davis had her fair share of support in the rural, conservative Kentucky county of Rowan.
“Every court system that she’s had to go before is a rigged court,” one supporter told the New York Times earlier in the week. “If she should be fined or jailed, either one, I think it could be one of the most disgraceful things that ever happened in this county.”
But when Bunning ordered Davis to sit behind bars, protesters outside the courthouse cheered and celebrated the ruling.