On August 12, District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses to all couples that met the criteria for marriage in Kentucky. However, she refused, citing “the authority of God,” as her reason.
Davis said she would go to hell for violating “a central teaching” of the Bible if she were to comply with the orders.
Davis was denied her emergency request for a stay by the U.S. Supreme Court which meant her case went back into the Sixth Circuit.
According to a petition, Davis “holds an undisputed sincerely-held religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, only. Thus, in her belief, [same-sex marriage] is not, in fact, a marriage.”
The petition did not, however, touch on Davis’ religious beliefs regarding divorce, something she has gone through three times.
Davis, who divorced in 1994, 2006 and 2008 (and has since remarried her second husband again), worked in the clerk’s office during all those times. She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband. The twins were adopted by the second husband but fathered by her third husband.
According to the leader of the organization providing Davis legal representation, Mat Staver, her divorces weren’t relevant in the case.
“It’s something that’s not relevant to the issue at hand,” he said, adding that she converted to Christianity about four years ago so her slate has been wiped clean. “She was 180 degrees changed.”
According to NBC News, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee voiced his support for Davis on Wednesday, saying he talked with her on the telephone.
“I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty,” he said in a statement.
“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience,” she said Monday. The Liberty Counsel, a nationwide group of lawyers who litigate on behalf of religious freedom, is representing her.
“You don’t lose your conscience rights or you religious freedom rights or constitutional rights just because you accept public employment,” says Matt Staver, a lawyer for the organization.
However, the Court disagreed. “When a citizen enters government service, the citizen by necessity must accept certain limitations on his or her freedom.”