From NBC News:
A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.
Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.
District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.
The Associated Press is reporting that any other clerks who refuse to comply can be jailed too.
Hillary Clinton has just tweeted her support for jailing Kim Davis:
Marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law—end of story. https://t.co/9WfxgULBga
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 3, 2015
As Clinton and other gay marriage supporters are cheering the incarceration of Kim Davis, Nicholas Frankovich points out that the movement to legalize gay marriage was rife with defying the law, yet none of those lawbreakers were put in jail. He writes:
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of California state law.
In 2004, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of New York state law.
In 2010, attorney general Jerry Brown declined to answer legal challenges to California’s marriage law, which, after Proposition 8, was that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.” His job was to represent the state of California in legal matters and defend its laws, including those he didn’t like.
In 2013, D. Bruce Hanes, an official of Montgomery County, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of Pennsylvania state law.
The history of the movement to redefine marriage is shot through with defiance of laws that those who broke them sincerely felt were deeply wrong. To be consistent, anyone who thinks that Newsom, West, Brown, and Hanes were courageous and principled must now judge Davis by the same standard.
The Washington Post has this lede in its report:
A county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was found in contempt of court Thursday and taken into custody.
“The idea of natural law superceding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed,” U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning told Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.
“Thank you, judge,” she replied before being removed from the courtroom by U.S. marshals.
Christian conservatives have disagreed whether Kim Davis’ approach in this case was the right one (see Doug Wilson, Ryan Anderson, Rod Dreher). Hopefully, we can all agree now that it is a travesty that she has been incarcerated. Lord, have mercy.