Kim Davis -- the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk who earlier today brazenly defied the Supreme Court's order to issue marriage licenses citing "God's authority" -- has been ordered to stand before U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Thursday and explain why she shouldn't be jailed and fined for her actions.
In a statement released after she refused, for the fourth time, to issue David Moore and David Ermold a marriage license, Davis said that "[t]o issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision."
"I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk," she continued, and "I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience." That she is an elected official has become a point of contention, because as such she can't be fired for refusing to abide by the Supreme Court's ruling. Removing her from office would entail impeachment proceedings, which will either have to wait until the next legislative session or require the calling of a special session, which could be prohibitively expensive.
In the meantime, no one in Rowan County will be issued a marriage licenses.
Lawyers representing the four couples who were denied licenses told the Associated Press that "[s]ince Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform," they want Judge Bunning to "impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous" -- but that they are not seeking for her to be jailed for contempt.
The scene at Davis' office this morning was raucous, with supporters of both side lining the walkway into it and occupying the tiny building. "Praise the Lord!" yelled one, "Stand your ground!" Another demanded Davis "Do your job!"
One of her supporters was her husband, who noted that his family has received death threats and warned people that he's a firm believer in the Second Amendment. "I'm an old redneck hillbilly," he warned. "That's all I've got to say. Don't come knocking on my door."
Watch video via the Courier-Journal below.