Video Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Ky., turned away David Ermold and David Moore, who were seeking a marriage license. Ms. Davis said she was acting “under God’s authority.”
By ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD FAUSSET
September 1, 2015
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Before she ignited a firestorm over same-sex marriage, Kim Davis was known, for decades, as a woman behind the counter of a small county clerk’s office: a mild-mannered conduit for auto tag renewals, lien releases, land records and marriage certificates.
She was not a celebrity, but she was a fixture. Her mother had been the Rowan County clerk for 37 years, and when she announced her retirement, Ms. Davis, who had worked in the office for much of that time, ran successfully as a Democrat to succeed her. A Republican candidate lodged an accusation of nepotism, to no avail.
She knew her clients, and their stories. If she knew a family member was sick, or feeble with age, or in trouble with the law, she would ask after that person while conducting county business. She would often offer her prayers.
It was not a job likely to lead to notoriety, but after she defied court orders to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples, there she was Tuesday, hailed and berated by placard-wielding strangers outside Rowan County’s tidy, six-columned courthouse. Some had taken to the Internet to praise her for her stand. Others excoriated her, accusing her of hypocrisy and citing her family history, which includes four marriages — two to her current husband.
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It was an unlikely scene for this rural county in northeast Kentucky and for Ms. Davis, a 49-year-old mother of four and a worshiper at Solid Rock Apostolic Church. But she said she had no choice.
“I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me,” she wrote in a statement issued by Liberty Counsel, a conservative group that is representing her in federal court. She added: “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of a marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, …Read More