ASHLAND, Ky. (BP) — David Bunning, a federal judge, ordered Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ release from jail today after he became convinced the deputy clerks in her Rowan County office had obeyed his order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Louisville’s The Courier-Journal reported. He ordered Davis to jail Sept. 3 when she again refused to comply with his previous order to grant licenses.
In a two-page order, Bunning said Davis’ release was on the condition she not “interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples,” according to the newspaper. He would consider “appropriate sanctions” if Davis interferes, Bunning said. Liberty Counsel, which is representing Davis, did not confirm immediately whether Davis would obey Bunning’s order, The Courier-Journal reported.
Deputy clerks in Davis’ office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Sept. 4. After Bunning sent Davis to jail for contempt of court, 5 of the 6 deputy clerks told the judge Sept. 3 they would comply with his order.
Liberty Counsel had asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in two filings to provide for Davis’ release. Today it requested the Sixth Circuit Court block Bunning’s contempt of court order. Yesterday the legal team urged the appeals court to halt enforcement of Gov. Steven Beshear’s order for all county clerks to issue licenses bearing their names to gay couples.
Davis’ jailing is the latest repercussion from the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” nationwide. Citing her Christian beliefs about marriage, Davis halted the issuance of licenses from her office to all couples after the opinion.
Some Republican presidential candidates have rallied support for her cause. An “I’m With Kim” rally — sponsored by candidate Mike Huckabee — was scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT today. Huckabee and another GOP candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, reportedly were to meet with Davis in jail the same day. Since her jailing, crowds have gathered outside the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Ky., to support her.