Kim Davis, the Christian Kentuckian who made national headlines during the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary for refusing to sign homosexual “marriage” licenses and was jailed for nearly one week, has officially announced she’s running for re-election as a Rowan County clerk.
She’s served the county clerk for nearly 30 years, but only recently as a Republican. She switched parties after her ordeal with the judicial system and same-sex marriage.
Davis is well-known in Rowan County. In fact, she’s well-known internationally for her stand against same-sex marriage, against a county judge and a U.S. Circuit Court.
In 2016 Davis found herself being unable to violate her convictions despite a Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage and an order from a U.S. District Court judge. As a Christian, she could not sign a marriage license for two men or two women, as she maintained that she could not violate “marriage and God’s Word.”
The Liberty Counsel quickly came to her aid and defended her First Amendment rights. Davis argued that the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution, and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected her rights to freedom of religion and conscience. She and the Liberty Counsel fought her contempt conviction, which she ultimately won at the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) both came to Rowan County to defend her, and criticized Circuit Judge Bunning’s decision to send her to jail. Gov. Huckabee remarked that he was “appalled at our government’s willingness to accommodate the religious beliefs of all religions but Christianity.”
Davis was released after being in jail for six days, and the judge changed his ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union sued to require Davis to sign her name on marriage licenses, and lost. Three homosexual couples sued Davis for refusing to sign their licenses, and their suits were dismissed.
The problem of marriage licenses in Kentucky was eventually solved by the legislature, which amended the law by no longer requiring clerks to have their names on marriage licenses. Davis, and anyone else, is not required to personally sign licenses if doing so violates their convictions. Likewise, no interference should be made that could prohibit any clerk from signing marriage licenses.
Despite all of the controversy, being jailed and sued by multiple parties, Davis remained steadfast in her convictions and committed to doing her job as a county clerk. The ordeal took place after she was reelected in November 2014 to a position that she had held for 25 years. If she wins in November 2018, she’ll nearly reach the amount of time that her mother served as a clerk before her– for 36 years.