Rallies held in US to support jailed Kentucky clerk

Hundreds rally in support of US clerk jailed this week after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Supporters rally at the Carter County Detention Center for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who remains in jail for contempt of court in Grayson

Hundreds rallied Saturday as a show of support for the US clerk who was sent to jail this week

for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, local media reported.

Kim Davis, jailed since Thursday for contempt of court, refused to issue the licenses due to her opposition to gay marriage, which the US Supreme Court legalized across the United States in June.

A born-again Christian, Davis says God's authority trumps the laws her job requires her to follow.

The mayor of Grayson, Kentucky, where she is being held, agrees.

"You play a role in this moment of history and may God bless you and God bless Kim Davis," Mayor George Steele told the crowd at the rally, according to local broadcaster WKYT.

Many of the supporters made the 80-mile (128-kilometer) trek from neighboring Rowan County, where Davis is employed, the channel said.

The pink-and-beige detention center at the end of dead-end street in 4,000-person Grayson has become an epicenter for the culture war over gay marriage, seemingly resolved by the Supreme Court's decision.

While Judge David Bunning has said Davis can be released as soon as she agrees to issue marriage licenses to anyone who qualifies, as her position requires, or resigns from that position, she can be held indefinitely if she refuses to do so.

Her attorney said Friday she has no intention to resign or to "violate her conscience and betray her God."

Outside in the sunny parking lot, the supporters admired her defiance.

"She was in good spirits last night (..) She was joking and laughing, saying honey I'm just as comfortable as can be. She'll be fine," her husband, Joe Davis, told WKYT.

A larger rally has been planned for Tuesday by Republican presidential candidate and minister Mike Huckabee, who plans to visit Davis in jail and then protest outside against what he calls the "criminalization of Christianity in this country."