A day after a federal judge jailed
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, six gay and lesbian couples were issued
marriage licenses at the county courthouse.
The first couple to arrive were James
Yates, 41, and William Smith, 33. The men waded through a throng of
reporters and news cameras as they made their way to the counter.
Brian Mason, a deputy clerk, offered his congratulations in
presenting the couple with their license.
The men faced cheers and jeers from
dozens of protesters as they emerged from the courthouse.
“I think it shows that equality is
everywhere,” an emotional Smith said.
But the standoff was far from over.
Davis, an elected official, remains
behind bars. Her lawyer, Mat Staver of the Christian conservative
Liberty Counsel, told reporters that the licenses issued Friday were
not valid without his client's signature.
“They are not worth the paper they're
written on,” Staver said.
Cecil Watkins, the Rowan County
attorney, disagreed, saying that the licenses would be valid.
Outside the courthouse, Joe Davis, Kim
Davis' fourth husband, protested his wife's jailing by holding a sign
that read, “Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah.” He said that his
wife would remain jailed “as long as it takes.”
Staver agreed, saying that Davis is
“not going to resign and she's not going to violate her
Davis was taken into custody on
Thursday after a federal judge found her in contempt for refusing to
comply with his ruling ordering her to issue marriage licenses to all
qualified couples. Rather than issue marriage licenses to gay
couples after the Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans in all
50 states, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples.
Four couples, two of whom are gay, filed a federal lawsuit. The
Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the case.