Judge Orders Kentucky Clerk to Jail
Kim Davis held in contempt for refusing to give marriage licenses to gay people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2015 12:21 PM CDT
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

(Newser) – The most famous county clerk in the land is going to jail. A judge in Kentucky today ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail for her repeated refusals to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, reports Kentucky.com. US District Judge David Bunning held Davis in contempt and said she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses. Davis, who says her religious convictions prevent her from doing so, said "thank you" before she was led out of the courtroom by a US marshal to jail, reports the AP. She'd earlier asked for leniency.

This is "the first time in history an American citizen has been incarcerated for having the belief of conscience that marriage is a union between one man and one woman," says Davis' attorney. The attorney for the couples she refused said that Davis "holds the keys to her jail cell." The judge also warned the county's deputy clerks that they must issue licenses or face jail and fines themselves. Scores of protesters on both sides of the issue clashed outside the courthouse in Covington before the ruling came down, reports NBC News. As an elected official, Davis can't be fired, but she could be impeached.