Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis greeted an
enthusiastic crowd of supporters as she walked free Tuesday after
serving five days in jail over refusing to comply with a judge's
ruling ordering her to issue marriage licenses to all qualified
The day after Federal Judge David L.
Bunning found Davis in contempt of court and sent her to jail, her
deputies in the Rowan County Clerk's Office started issuing marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Davis has said that issuing such
licenses would violate her conscience.
In a two-page order issued Tuesday,
Bunning said that he decided to release Davis because her office was
“fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all
legally eligible couples.”
Bunning's order included a warning:
“Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or
indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage
licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
Flanked by her lawyer, Mat Staver,
founder of the Christian conservative law group Liberty Counsel, and
Mike Huckabee, the Republican presidential candidate, Davis spoke
briefly to her supporters who had gathered outside the Carter County
Detention Center where she had been held.
“Thank you all so much. I love you
all so very much,” an emotional Davis said. “I just want to give
God the glory. His people have rallied and you are a strong people.
Just keep on pressing. Don't let down. Because He is here.”
When asked by reporters whether she
would abide by Judge Bunning's order, Davis remained silent.
Staver insisted his client would not
“violate her conscience.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is also
vying for the GOP presidential nomination, stood near Davis but
reportedly kept a low profile.