September 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Kim Davis celebrated as hero at conservative summit
Kim Davis, gay news, Washington Blade

From Left, Liberty Council Chairman Matt Staver, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Joe Davis and Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis at the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25, 2015. Kim Davis was presented with the ‘Cost of Discipleship Award.’ (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, opponents of the decision have found their poster child: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.

On Friday evening, the anti-LGBT Family Research Council awarded the “Cost of Discipleship” award to Davis, who spent five days in jail after refusing to do her job and enforcing a “no marriage licenses policy” in her Kentucky office despite multiple court orders.

Upon taking the stage at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C., Davis was handed a bouquet of flowers and wiped tears from her face as she took to the podium to applause.

“I feel so very undeserving,” she said. “I want to start by thanking my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, because without him this would have never been possible, for he is my strength that carried me.”

Raising her arms in the air, Davis shouted, “I am only one, but we are many!”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, compared Davis to civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., in remarks prior to giving Davis an award and urged others to follow the example of the Kentucky clerk.

“It is time that Christians in American began to stand for their faith,” Perkins said. “Kim Davis should not be an outlier. Kim Davis should not be something that surprises America.”

Perkins added “there should be Kim Davises in every elected office at every level that say ‘no’ to judges” who have ruled for marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Mat Staver, chair of the Liberty Council, which is defending Davis in court, dismissed the contention Davis is unsuited for being honored for defending marriage because she’s been married four times, noting her conversion to Christianity four-and-a-half years ago.

“At that moment, Kim became a broken woman, she wept and gave her life to Jesus Christ, and from that moment on, she has not been the same person,” Staver said. “Once she was blind, but now she sees.”

Staver said the litigation against Davis is still proceeding. While that’s technically true, she’s unlikely to win based on her arguments. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have declined to stay pending appeal the order from U.S. District Judge David Bunning against her “no licenses” policy.

Stephen Peters, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, said the decision by the Family Research Council to recognize Davis with an award isn’t surprising.

“What is actually shocking is the number of Republican candidates who, in 2015, are prepared to attend a conference sponsored by an anti-LGBT organization and applaud someone for depriving same-sex couples of their Constitutional rights,” Peters said. “We are going to make sure that the overwhelming majority of pro-equality voters in this country don’t forget that.”

Davis wasn’t the only person at the summit honored for engaging in anti-LGBT discrimination. Prior to her award presentation, the twin brothers David and Jason Benham, baseball players-turned conservative activists, moderated a panel featuring seven individuals who faced consequences for engaging in anti-LGBT bias.

Those individuals were Casey County Clerk Casey Davis from Kentucky, fired Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Air Force Sgt. Philip Monk, Baronelle Stutzman from Washington State, Richard and Betty Odagaard of Iowa as well as Melissa and Aaron Klein of “Sweetcakes by Melissa” in Oregon.

Earlier on Friday, Davis announced in an interview with Reuters she was switching to the Republican Party after having been elected to the office of county clerk as a Democrat.

“My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?” she’s quoted as saying.

Kim Davis, gay news, Washington Blade

Kim Davis addresses the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25, 2015. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Perkins is a dickbag.

  • I hope I have the strength and courage Kim Davis had if I ever find myself in a situation as tough as hers. She has more guts than most men I know.

  • Yeah, she’s just standing for her “religious freedom”, she’s not an attention whore or anything is she.

  • What a sad and pathetic humanbeing.

    • leave out the last two words and replace them with “kluxer” yes there are lots of them – almost all repubs and she just became a repug

      she supports traditional marriage by being married 4 times, the last time was to original hubby

      and she had two children out of wedlock

      white trash is another common term for them, and you can bet the “n-word” is used by her

      mat staver is from liberty council, a hate group per the southern poverty law center, a spin off of jerry fallwells original and only recently allowed inter-racial dating “university” check on the following list for both liberty counclil hate group and btw for the perouka piece of used food.

      I knew that perouka was an extremist rright winger, didnt know he was a reconstructionist (anything but) xtian – these people believe that until all the jews (I am one) are convertered to xtianity , violently if necessary, Jesus wont return –

  • Christian conservative always think that because they’ve “given themselves to Christ” that negates all the wrongs they’ve done in the past. She’s been married several times and divorced but that doesn’t matter anymore because she’s born again. I’m so sick of them giving each other a free pass!

    This only proves what I’ve said all along, Christian conservatives will continue to oppose marriage equality despite the SCOTUS ruling just like they do abortion despite Roe.V. Wade. Davis’ actions are only the tip of the iceberg.
    This will continue to be exploited as a wedge issue at elections in an attempt to elect more social conservatives to office to oppose our equality and freedom in America and attempt to reverse our gains.

    Now more than ever it’s important to elect a President that will not elect social conservatives to the federal judiciary especially the SCOTUS. It’s mainly through the courts that we have made our gains rather than the legislature. If activist right-wing judges are appointed to office, you can expect an assault on our liberties.

    Our recent marriage equality win hinged on one single vote by Justice Kennedy with 4 very strong opinions against it from the court’s conservatives.

  • I got tired of writing about this awful woman who has now become accustomed to being a celebrity. This was never about anything other than “look at me — look at me!” She wanted to go to jail and she got her wishes.

    The notion that, because her name is pre-printed on form, she is approving same-sex marriage was absurd per se. Surely her god – if he is worth any worship – is smart enough to know the difference.

    I might think that Davis is more honest if her religious beliefs didn’t take a back seat to her paycheck. That doesn’t seem to be the case. With any luck she is now at 14:50 or so. The ACLU has asked Judge Bunning to appoint a receiver if she continues not to comply with his orders.

  • Republicans are stuck with her now. Kim Davis is the face of intransigent bigotry.

    Her endorsement of the GOP is almost as good as William Griffin’s, Grand Dragon of Florida’s KKK, announcement that he was endorsing Richard Nixon for President in 1960.


    This is a Pope who disclosed that at an younger age, he had stolen his
    best-friend’s cross/crucifix off the body of the dead friend while he
    was laid in a coffin. This is the kind of Pope who says – Do not judge,
    who am I to judge? But at once, he does Absolutely Nothing to change his
    own Mythology, his own moronic Religion to move out of the Dark Ages of
    ignorant biases and prejudices and to respect WOMEN’s equal rights and
    LGBTQ’s rights.
    At the other hand, as far as this seemingly
    Democrat-tuned-Republican, Attention-Hungrey-Grabber & Mainstream
    Big / Rich Religion Critter… She has no RIGHT at all to impose her
    RELIGION unto Other people who don’t believe and who do not subscribe to
    her invisible man in the sky and her moronic mythology/religion.
    the end, it is all men-made socio-religio-politico fodder on behalf of
    this party or of that party, in a nutshell, just only pure rubbish and
    of course, as expected all along from people like that.
    KD and Pope?
    It should not mean anything to anybody, two people who fib very well on
    their feet…They would make good salesmen!!! Sadly, absolutely
    meaningless and worthless to the world!

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