Lawyers Seek Federal Injunction To Free Embattled Kentucky Clerk

Monday, September 7th 2015, 9:42 pm
By: News On 6

Attorneys for the Kentucky clerk who was jailed last week because of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples said Monday they have filed an emergency motion with a federal court that they hope will result in Kim Davis' freedom.

The filing seeks to have Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear accommodate Davis' "religious conviction," and not compel her to grant licenses to gay couples, Liberty Counsel said in a statement.

"The motion requests an injunction pending appeal for an exemption from the Governor's mandate that all county clerks issue marriage licenses," the statement said.

Davis' lawyer Harry Mihet told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan that there is a "win-win" solution that would make everyone happy. "That solution is for the court or the State of Kentucky to remove Kim Davis' name off of the marriage licenses and to allow someone other than her to sign these licenses that do not bear her name," he said.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, was jailed last week when she flatly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs.

Her critics mock her for being on her fourth marriage, stopped issuing licenses to all couples after the Supreme Court ruling.

"I'm not discriminating because I'm not issuing licenses to anybody," Davis said to Robbie Blankenship and his partner of 20 years, Jesse Cruz, who drove down from Ohio to get a marriage license.

Davis had been sued by one gay couple and one straight couple that she denied license to and had been threatened with fines.

"God's moral law conflicts with my job duties," she told U.S. District Judge David Bunning. "You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul."

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The judge said she left him with no alternative but to jail her, since fines alone would not change her mind. A federal marshal escorted her, without handcuffs, out of the courtroom.

The courts have consistently ruled against her since the high court's ruling. But many supporters have rallied around her, including Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who called her personally the day before.

"A county clerk in Kentucky who, acting on her Christian faith, is criminalized, jailed without bail because she acted on her conscience and according to the only law that is in front of her," said Huckabee.

Others in the community have also come to her defense. "We feel that she is standing for the truth because if they come against her as for her religious beliefs, then the next thing they will be hitting the churches," Morehead, Ky., resident Jeri McClurg told Duncan.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel echoed that sentiment: "Today is a holiday where most people are spending time with family and friends. But for Kim Davis this is day five of her incarceration. While she is content no matter her circumstances because of her deep faith and Jesus, she should be free."

Charla Bansley, communications director for Liberty Counsel, said Davis could be released from jail immediately if the motion were granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.