Politics & Government

Politicians and advocates react to jailing of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis

Rowan Co. Clerk Kim Davis, with leg shackles visible, was led away in custody from the Carl D. Perkins Federal Building in Ashland, Ky., Thursday, September 03, 2015. Rowan Co. Clerk Kim Davis was found in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge David Bunning for refusing to issue marriage licenses in Rowan Co. Before the hearing, groups of protesters and supporters gathered in front of the building. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Rowan Co. Clerk Kim Davis, with leg shackles visible, was led away in custody from the Carl D. Perkins Federal Building in Ashland, Ky., Thursday, September 03, 2015. Rowan Co. Clerk Kim Davis was found in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge David Bunning for refusing to issue marriage licenses in Rowan Co. Before the hearing, groups of protesters and supporters gathered in front of the building. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

Politicians and advocates react to the jailing of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis:

"It is utterly unnecessary that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is sitting in a jail cell when there is a simple solution that would respect the rights of every Kentuckian. I first put this solution forward many weeks ago." — Matt Bevin, Republican nominee for governor

"I understand that passions are high on both sides of this issue, but we are nation of laws, and no one can defy an order from a federal judge." — Jack Conway, Kentucky attorney general and Democratic nominee for governor

"Politicians in Kentucky have a long history of believing laws should not apply to them. I hope this is the start of elected officials being legally accountable for their actions." — Drew Curtis, independent candidate for governor

"The future of the Rowan County clerk continues to be a matter between her and the courts. Deputy clerks have said they will commence issuing marriage licenses beginning tomorrow. It appears that the citizens of Rowan County will now have access to all the services from the clerk's office to which they are entitled. ... The General Assembly will convene in just four months and can make any statutory changes it deems necessary at that time. I see no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 of 120 county clerks are doing their jobs." — Gov. Steve Beshear

"I respect Mrs. Davis' strong convictions, but we live in a nation governed by the rule of law. Under the rule of law, federal Judge David Bunning has sole authority over matters before his court." — Andy Beshear, Democratic nominee for attorney general

"Gov. Beshear's inaction continues to escalate conflict over marriage in Kentucky. How many of the 57 county clerks who agree with Kim Davis will have to be arrested before he is compelled to modernize the marriage licensing system in Kentucky? ... All Kentuckians should be alarmed by what this means for our safety to express and hold fast to our beliefs. — state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, Republican nominee for attorney general

"Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is now going to jail because Judge David Bunning is not enforcing Kentucky's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Gov. Steve Beshear will not sign an executive order. Our public officials are now jailing people in America for exercising their First Amendment religious freedoms. This will not end well. — Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation, conservative group based in Lexington

"The jailing of the clerk is certainly not what we were hoping for. We were advocating fines, but it's not wholly unexpected, especially since Judge Bunning did not think that was enough. He saw to it that she cannot sabotage the U.S. Constitution and the law." — Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign

"The success of our democracy depends on the rule of law, and there's no public official that is above the rule of law. What's important ... is that this is the decision that's supposed to be made by a federal judge, and so I would not, from this vantage point, second-guess those decisions." — White House press secretary Josh Earnest

"I'm headed to Kentucky on Tuesday to stand with Kim Davis. We must end the criminalization of Christianity." — Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for president and former governor of Arkansas

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