Controversial US County Clerk Kim Davis is campaigning for re-election on 6 November.
The Rowan county clerk made headlines around the world in August 2015 when she was briefly jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple in Kentucky. This came after the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the US.
From comments she made last night, she still thinks she was in the right.
Davis successfully stood for election as a Democratic nominee in 2014. However, after claiming the Democratic party ‘abandoned’ her in the wake of her stance on same-sex marriage, she switched to the Republican party. She’s now standing for her second four-year term.
Kim Davis vs. Elwood Caudhill Jr.
Last night, Davis took part in a candidate forum in Morehead, Kentucky, with her Democratic rival, Elwood Caudill Jr.
Asked about her decision not to issue licenses, Davis said it’s a common question.
‘I have had many people ask me, “Why didn’t you do your job? Why didn’t you do your job? Why didn’t you just quit?” Well if you will read our Kentucky state statutes, they still say that marriage is between one man and one woman. That’s what we voted in. Our Constitution has not changed.
‘I did not treat anybody unfairly. I treated everybody equally because I quit issuing marriage license[s] altogether.’
She reasoned, ‘I took an oath to stand up and uphold our Kentucky constitution and federal constitution, that’s exactly what I did.’
Kentucky did indeed pass legislation in 2004 to amend its constitution to recognize marriage as only being between a man and woman. However, the 2015 US Supreme Court ruling takes precedence this.
In August 2015, Davis claimed to be acting on ‘God’s authority.’ She was sentenced to jail but released after five days in September 2015. As she holds an elected official position, she could not be fired and returned to work.
However, to avoid again running foul of the law, she announced she would stop issuing marriage licenses to everyone. Instead, clerks in her office issue the licenses. The licenses now state they are authorized by ‘the office of the Rowan County Clerk’ but no longer bear Davis’ name.
Addressing the same issue, her opponent, Elwood Caudill Jr., said he would issue marriage licenses to all couples. He said he had to ‘uphold the law of the land.’
‘I have to go by the law. You have to issue what the law tells you do.’
Local radio station WIVY broadcast the forum live.