Kim Davis wins her bigot medal: Conservative summit will honor anti-gay Kentucky clerk

Nearly every 2016 GOP candidate will also attend the conservative Value Voters Summit later this month

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published September 14, 2015 6:53PM (EDT)

  (AP/Timothy D. Easley)
(AP/Timothy D. Easley)

Tony Perkins' conservative Family Research Council just announced plans to honor Kentucky clerk Kim Davis with a leadership award at its upcoming Value Voters summit featuring a majority of Republican presidential candidates.

Davis, who returned to work as the Rowan County clerk today after spending six days in jail last week for failing to observe a court order, has said that marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by her deputies lacked proper authority.

"I'm no hero," Davis told a crowd of reporters this morning but to at least one conservative group, Davis is just that.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that he invited Davis and her laywer Mat Staver last week to the Value Voters Summit after he traveled to Kentucky for a wild rally in support the wannabe religious right martyr:

After meeting with her last week, I can tell you that Kim Davis wasn’t looking for this fight, but she is not running from it either.  What militant secularists are almost certainly afraid of is what is coming to pass: courage is breeding courage. When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.

Far from the media's portrayal, Kim isn't trying to impose her views on anyone, she is simply asking that her orthodox religious views be accommodated.

The courage of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis isn't just changing the conversation -- it's changing the political landscape. In places like Missouri, where state officials watched with horror as Davis was hauled off to jail for her Christian beliefs, leaders are moving quickly to protect their people from the same fate. The Supreme Court created this mess -- now it's incumbent on states to protect the victims mired in it.

Last year's recipient of the "Cost of Discipleship Award” was a Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy and spent months in a Sudanese prison with her toddler son and newborn daughter

The 1oth annual conservative confab featuring right-wing stars like Rush Limbaugh, Erick Erickson and Bill O'Reilly will be held September 25-27 in Washington, D.C. Right-wing radio stars like Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Dana Loesch and Sean Hannity will also be in attendance along with religious right "celebrities" like Kirk Cameron and Chuck Norris.

But most importantly, nearly every Republican presidential candidate, including Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee, is scheduled to attend the summit. Jeb Bush, however, won't be attending.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who organized a rally in support of Davis in Kentucky last week also infamously stood by former Family Research Council executive Josh Duggar after it was revealed that the one-time TLC star suffered an addiction to pornography this summer. Family Research Council president Perkins blasted Duggar's "deceitful behavior" at the time.

Huckabee: 'Yeah, I Blocked Cruz…Kim Davis Is Mine'

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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2016 Republican Primary Aol_on Family Research Council Kim Davis Tony Perkins Values Voters Summit