Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to grant a gay couple a marriage license due to her religious beliefs against homosexuality, was released from jail on Tuesday among a throng of cheering supporters.
Kim Davis left jail Tuesday afternoon flanked by former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and her attorney, Matthew Staver.
“She loves God, she loves people, she loves her work, and she will not betray any of those three,” Staver told reporters.
Licenses that the deputies have issued since Friday are void of the name “Kim Davis,” which has been replaced by “Rowan County.”
Staver added that he believed those licenses were not valid since they did not bear Davis’s name.
Judge David Bunning said in his Tuesday order that Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
If Davis interferes after being released, Bunning wrote, ”appropriate sanctions would be considered.” He issued a similar warning to Davis last week when he gave her a choice of not interfering with her deputies or being locked up. She chose jail, and the judge obliged.
Shortly after her release, Davis attended a rally hosted by Huckabee. She was brought on stage as the song “Eye of the Tiger” played from loudspeakers.
Davis fought back tears as the gathered crowd cheered.
“We serve a living god who knows exactly where each and every one of us is,” she told the crowd. “Just keep on pressing, don’t let down. Because he is here.”
Tuesday’s ruling comes after the couples suing Davis filed a status report to Bunning, saying that they had obtained licenses. In ordering Davis released, Bunning determined that the Rowan County clerk’s office is now fulfilling its duties.
In addition to freeing Davis, the judge’s order directs lawyers for the five deputy clerks who have agreed to grant licenses to file status reports every 14 days, reporting whether hey have complied with the court order to issue licenses to gay and straight couples.
Davis has refused to issue licenses to straight or gay couples, citing her religious beliefs, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage decision in June.
Bunning ordered her in August to grant licenses, but she refused. Appeals to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court were denied.
Huckabee and fellow Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz each visited Davis after her release.
“Praise God that Kim Davis is being released,” Cruz said on his Facebook page. “It was an outrage that she was imprisoned for six days for living according to her Christian faith. Fundamentally wrong, and contrary to KY’s (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) law.”