Update (9/3/2015, 1:09 p.m. EST): A federal judge has found Kim Davis in contempt of court. She has been taken into federal custody.
BREAKING: Judge sends Rowan Clerk #KimDavis to jail until she agrees to comply with his order to issue marriage licenses.
— heraldleader (@heraldleader) September 3, 2015
Explaining his decision, US District Judge David Bunning told Davis, “You don’t strike me as someone who’s contentious. I simply [find that] making this contempt finding is necessary.”
“Oaths means things,” he added, according to the Guardian. Davis will be released if she agrees to comply with the judge’s order to issue marriage licenses. “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” the judge said.
Judge Bunning said that he wasn’t convinced fines would have compelled Rowan County clerk Kim Davis comply with order to issue licenses
— Ryland Barton (@RylandKY) September 3, 2015
Kim Davis, the defiant Rowan county clerk who cited “God’s authority” for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, appeared in court Thursday in Kentucky. Groups both supporting and opposing Davis held dueling, boisterous rallies in front of throngs of journalists outside the courthouse. US District Judge David Bunning heard a motion from lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union Davis arguing Davis should be held in contempt of court.
The appearance came amid Davis’s ongoing failure to comply with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that invalidated gay marriage bans nationwide. Since the decision in June, Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to both straight and same-sex couples. Despite the Supreme Court denial of her emergency application requesting a delay on Monday, Davis continued to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, creating testy scenes inside and outside the clerk’s office, and drawing national attention.
The showdown in Kentucky, the first time the issue of same-sex marriage has returned to the Supreme Court since June, has become a lightening rod for gay marriage opponents who argue that Davis’ religious beliefs should allow her to defy the constitutional mandate. Both legal experts and same-sex marriage supporters say she has no legal standing.
The scene on Thursday:
Supporters of KY Clerk Kim Davis are demonstrating outside federal courthouse in Ashland for 11am contempt hearing. pic.twitter.com/7wFKTtOBlM
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) September 3, 2015
“The ACLU has asked she be fined in an amount sufficient to compel her compliance to the court’s ruling,” Ria Tabacco Mar, an ACLU attorney, told Newsweek. “No one wants Kim Davis to go to jail, we just want her to follow the law and do her job.”
This is a breaking news post, and we’ll update with more information as it becomes available.