Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in June, is scheduled to appear in federal court this morning. If U.S. District Judge David Bunning holds Davis in contempt of court, she may face fines or jail time.
Davis, the Rowan County clerk, has stated that her direct defiance of the Supreme Court’s orders stems from her Christian beliefs. On Monday, after the Supreme Court turned down Davis’ request to be excused from marrying gay couples, a man awaiting a marriage license asked her under whose authority she was acting. “Under God’s authority,” she said.
The New York Times notes that Davis will be represented by Liberty Counsel, a self-anointed legal “ministry” that has a history of supporting local officials who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis’ chances in court aren’t good, but if she is found in contempt, that may represent a strange kind of victory for her supporters. “There may be an effort here to create martyrs,” Jennifer C. Pizer of the gay-rights group Lambda Legal told the Times. Davis’ opponents, for their part, are practicing the Christian the value of forgiveness: They’ve asked that she only receive fines, not time in prison, for her legal sins.