Lawyers for a jailed Kentucky court clerk have asked a federal appeals court to force the state’s governor to allow her to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses in accordance with her religious convictions.
Kim Davis’ attorneys sought emergency relief from the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Monday, for the second straight day, asking the court to exempt Davis from “the governor’s mandate that all county clerks issue marriage licenses.”
“As a prisoner of her conscience, Davis continues to request a simple accommodation from the governor,” wrote Mat Staver, chairman of the Liberty Council, a religious rights group that is providing legal counsel to Davis.
Kim Davis, a born-again Christian, has been in jail since Thursday for contempt of court after she refused to issue same-sex licenses because she said that authorizing the gay marriages would violate her religious beliefs.
Davis' lawyers filed an appeal of the contempt of court order on Sunday.
“Coercing Mrs. Davis to authorize and personally approve same-sex marriage in violation of her religious convictions and conscience is wrong,” said Staver.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in a ruling in June.
District Judge David Bunning has said that Davis, the Rowan County clerk, will be freed when she agrees to issue the licenses, as her position requires, or she resigns. But Davis has refused to do either.
On Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is planning to hold a rally in support of Davis front of the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky, where Davis is being held.
About 300 people gathered in support of Davis Saturday. Her husband addressed the crowd outside the detention center. "She won't bow, I promise you," Joe Davis told the crowd.
Davis, 49, worked in the Rowan County clerk’s office for 27 years before being elected county clerk last November.
After she was jailed, several deputy clerks started issuing the licenses to same-sex couples, allowing them to marry in accordance with the Supreme Court decision.
Davis’ supporters question whether such licenses are valid.
A gay couple, James Yates and William Smith Jr., received a marriage license Friday from a deputy clerk at Davis' office.
"This means at least for this area that civil rights are civil rights and they are not subject to belief," said Yates.