First Gay Couple Can Marry in County Where Clerk Went to Jail


On Friday, William Smith and James Yates became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Since the Supreme Court’s historic decision invalidating gay marriage bans nationwide in June, county clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue licenses to gay couples citing her religious beliefs. Her continued refusal to do so finally landed her in jail yesterday, after a federal judge held her in contempt of law.

US District Judge David Bunning offered to release the defiant clerk if she promised not to prevent her deputies from processing same-sex couples. Five of the six deputies have agreed to do so. Davis’ son, a deputy clerk, was the only one to refuse.

Davis’ husband, who insisted his family’s opposition to same-sex marriages did not mean they “hate these people,” was reportedly seen outside the clerk’s office on Friday holding a sign, “Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Smith and Yates’ license effectively ends the months-long showdown.