Kentucky clerk Kim Davis freed in same-sex marriage dispute

US judge warns woman not to interfere in issuing marriage licences to gay couples

Gay marriage supporters protest in Kentucky as Rowan County clerk Kim Davis rejects requests by same-sex couples for marriage licenses. She says same-sex marriage violates her religious beliefs, and that she won't be swayed by the threats of arrest. Video: @HillaryWKYT

 

A judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk jailed last week for refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples be released and warned her not to interfere in the issuing of licences to legally eligible couples.

Kim Davis was jailed for contempt after defying a court order to issue marriage licences as she cited her “religious conviction” as an Apostolic Christian to same-sex marriage, despite a Supreme Court ruling in June legalising such unions across the United States.

Ms Davis’s case became a cause celebre for conservative Christians who claim their religious beliefs have been oppressed by civil liberties.

“God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” she said before she was jailed on Thursday. “You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul.”

US District Court Judge David Bunning ordered her release after a group of plaintiffs who had brought legal action against Ms Davis told the court that her deputies had granted them licences.

The judge ordered Ms Davis to “not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue licences to legally eligible couples” and that if she did, the court would regard her action as a “violation” of her release.

The order releasing Ms Davis, a clerk of Rowan County in rural north-eastern Kentucky, came shortly before two Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz planned to visit her in jail and as protesters gathered for a rally outside the jail.