Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Was Just Released from Jail

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Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue any marriage licenses because of her objection to gay marriage, was met on Thursday afternoon by a large, raucous crowd of supporters after spending over five days in jail. In front of news cameras, a visibly emotional Davis left most of the talking her lawyer, and to Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, who declared Davis “an incredibly brave lady.”

US District Judge David Bunning, who held Davis in contempt last Thursday, ordered her release this morning after receiving a report that the Rowan County clerk’s office is now complying with the court’s ruling. But the judge threatened additional sanctions if Davis impedes the process, and has called for status reports to be filed every two weeks. From The New York Times:

In a two-page order issued Tuesday, the judge who sent her to jail, David L. Bunning of the Federal District Court, said he would release Ms. Davis because he was satisfied that her office was “fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”

Judge Bunning ordered that Ms. Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” He he said that any such action would be regarded as “a violation” of his released order.

Still, the storm is far from over. Davis, an Apostolic Christian who cited “God’s authority” in her refusal to adhere to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling ending bans on gay marriage, has gained national notoriety, provoking rallies from both sides of the issue. Heralded as a hero by Christian conservatives, she was joined by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who spoke at the rally for her release, which he helped organize.

Watch Huckabee’s full post-release comments below, including his declaration that, “If somebody needs to go to jail, I’m willing to go in her place.”

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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