Martyr to the Cause of Intolerance

Martyr to the Cause of Intolerance
Rowan County Clerk Kimberly Jean Bailey Davis was led off by federal marshals, fingerprinted and photographed, and locked behind bars in the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky. Federal District Court Judge David L. Bunning found her in contempt for refusing his order to comply with the 14th Amendment and perform her sworn duty, issuing civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples. “Ms. Davis took an oath,” he said. “Oaths mean things.” She can get out when she agrees to provide equal protection under the law.

The judge chose not to fine Mrs. Davis, since her equally intolerant supporters would raise the money for her and she would feel no sense of compulsion to obey the law. Some Davis fans tried to set up a fundraising website for her, but GoFundMe’s policy forbids campaigns that aid any criminal defense. That doesn’t keep them from thinking of Kim Davis as the homophobe Rosa Parks, though.

Judge Bunning  ordered Rowan County’s deputy clerks to begin issuing mariage licenses to all couples on Friday morning, and five of the six agreed to comply. The holdout is Nathan Davis, Kim Davis’s son. That’s right; last year when she was elected Kim Davis hired her son to work in her county government office, just like her own mother, Rowan County Clerk for 37 years, hired her. Mr. Davis won’t be charged, since the five other clerks will serve the citizens he won’t. There may be some question as to the validity of all Rowan County marriage licenses issued while Mrs. Davis is in the slammer, since they technically require the signature of the county clerk.

We expect to see bouquets and candles left in front of the Carter County Detention Center as it becomes a shrine to Saint Kim of Kentucky, Our Lady of Intolerance.


“Kentucky clerk jailed for denying same-sex marriage licenses,” Steve Bittenbender, Reuters

“Meet The Hate Group Trying To Turn Kim Davis Into The Anti-Gay Rosa Parks,” Brian Tashman, Right Wing Watch

“Kim Davis Jailed for Contempt in Kentucky Gay Marriage Dispute,” Alan Blinder, New York Times

“Kentucky clerk ordered to jail for refusing to issue gay marriage license,” James Higdon and Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post

“Report: Every Deputy Clerk But Kim Davis’ Son Agree To Issue Licenses,” Katherine Krueger, TPM Livewire

“An Unnecessary and Bogus Martyrdom,” Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly blog

“Kim Davis’s denial of same-sex marriage licenses is not what Jesus would do,” Rev. Broderick Greer, The Guardian

“Twitter Users Hijack #FreeKimDavis To Lampoon Jailed Kentucky Clerk,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Kentucky gay marriage row: Rally for jailed clerk Kim Davis,”  BBC News

“Kim Davis Supporters Rally In Front Of Detention Center,” Eyder Peralta, NPR News


“Why a Kentucky clerk can’t use her religion as an excuse to avoid marrying gay couples,”German Lopez, Vox


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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