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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to sign gay ‘marriage’ licenses runs for re-election

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

ROWAN COUNTY, Kentucky, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Kentucky woman who became famous for refusing to sign homosexual “marriage” licenses and spent nearly a week in jail for her Christian convictions has officially registered for re-election.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis announced in November that she would run for a second term, but this time as a Republican. She switched parties after her confrontation with the court system over same-sex “marriage.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision imposed homosexual “marriage” nationwide, Davis refused to sign county-issued licenses.  She said that as a Christian, she believed marriage was exclusively the union of one woman and one man.  

“It’s a Heaven or Hell decision,” Davis asserted.  While she said she has “no animosity toward anyone,” she refused to violate “marriage and God’s Word.”

Even after U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered her to sanction same-sex “marriage” with her signature, she refused because of her sincerely-held beliefs. With the help of Liberty Counsel, Davis argued that the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution, and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected her from being forced to give the licenses.  

Bunning did not agree and sent her to jail.  

Then-presidential primary candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Davis’ imprisonment “tyranny” designed to drive Christians from public office. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee agreed, saying, “I am appalled at our government’s willingness to accommodate the religious beliefs of all religions but Christianity.”

Six days later, the same judge ordered her released, changing his ruling: Davis was not required to personally sign licenses and she must not interfere with other clerks signing them.

Davis maintained her position that she would not sign because to do so would constitute her participation in something the Bible deems sinful. And, she changed the license form so it did not mention the county or her name.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to force Davis to issue the old certificates with her signature, something Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver called a “bully tactic.”  Judge Bunning turned the ACLU down, deciding that Davis’ revised certificates were legal.

Davis insisted that from the beginning all she asked for was a reasonable accommodation to remove her name as the Clerk of Rowan County from the marriage licenses. With the help of Liberty Counsel, Davis defended her right to believe in marriage and fought her contempt conviction all the way to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

The state legislature reacted positively to Davis’ conviction, and passed a bill removing county clerks’ names, personal identification, and authorization from state marriage licenses.  Newly elected pro-life Governor Matt Bevin – who in part ran on his support for Davis while incumbent Steve Beshear stood against her – signed the bill into law.

Davis dropped her suit because the new law provides her the religious accommodation she sought from the court.

Despite the convenience of 130 offices across the state which issue marriage licenses, three homosexual couples sued Davis for damages because she didn’t personally sign their “marriage” licenses.  But Bunning dismissed the lawsuits because the new Kentucky law made them moot.  

On appeal, however, the Sixth Circuit revived at least one of the cases, giving it back to Bunning for reconsideration because the homosexuals were seeking “damages for a particularized harm allegedly suffered.”

Since her public ordeal, Davis was invited to meet the Pope, although Pope Francis kept the meeting secretive and the Vatican inexplicably refused to confirm the meeting took place.  She attended President Obama’s last State of the Union Address. And, she went to Romania to encourage conservatives to defend real marriage.

Davis was elected Rowan County Clerk in November 2014, after working in the clerk’s office over 25 years.  Her mother worked there for 36 years.  

This fall’s election will be the first time Davis faces the voters after taking her very public stand. One of the homosexuals initially denied a Rowan County marriage license because of Davis, David Ermold, is running against her, along with three other Democrats.

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