September 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Judge orders Ky. county clerk released from jail

Kim Davis, gay news, Washington Blade

Rowan County (Ky.) Clerk Kim Davis (Photo public domain)

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the release of a Kentucky county clerk who has been in jail for nearly a week over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ release on the condition that she does not interfere with her deputies who are issuing marriage licenses to gays and lesbians.

Bunning last month ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians in response to a lawsuit filed by four couples who challenged her decision not to issue marriage licenses in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Obergefell case. The justices on Aug. 31 declined Davis’ request to stay Bunning’s ruling.

Mat Staver, chair of the Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT legal group, is representing Davis.

Staver stood alongside his client as she spoke to supporters during a rally after her release from jail. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was also on stage.

“We serve a living God who knows where each and everyone of us is at,” said Davis.

Dan Canon, an attorney in Louisville, Ky., who represents the couples who sued Davis, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday in a statement that their objective has been met.

“The goal was to get Ms. Davis to issue licenses, and to stop imposing her religious beliefs on the citizens she was elected to serve,” said Canon. “That goal has been achieved, for now. We are hopeful that Ms. Davis will comply with the court’s orders and let her deputies continue to do their jobs.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during his daily press briefing that he didn’t “have a specific comment on” Davis’ release beyond what he said last week, “which is simply that every elected official in this country is subject to the rule of law.”

“That is a founding principle of our democracy, and it’s one that has to be followed by the President of the United States and it’s one that has to be followed by county clerks all across the country as well,” said Earnest.

Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in a statement said it is “imperative” that Davis “follow the law and allow same-sex couples to access their constitutional right to marry the person they love. Period.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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