Jailed Christian county clerk back at work in Kentucky; gay couples get marriage licences but without her name and title

Kim Davis addresses the media just before the doors are opened to the Rowan County Clerk's Office in Morehead, Kentucky, on Sept. 14, 2015.Reuters

Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis was back at work at her Rowan County office on Monday after spending six days in jail, a punishment meted on her by a district judge who found her in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licence to same-sex couples.

Couple Shannon and Carmen Wampler-Collins were the first to obtain marriage licence since Davis' return, according to USA Today.

The marriage licence has been altered to remove Davis' name and her office to indicate that it was issued based on a federal court order.

This appeared to have satisfied Davis' condition for allowing the issuance of marriage certificates to same-sex couples. She earlier vowed to stop her deputy clerks from issuing such certificates if her name and title appear on the document.

"It's a temporary patch," said Shannon Wampler-Collins. "It will work for right now, but I would like to see her resign if she is not going to do the job."

Davis said she is willing to record the licences as long it doesn't bear her name.

"If these needed to be recorded in the clerk's office, like a vehicle registration, a lien or a judgment, that could be done. That doesn't raise a conflict of conscience because we as clerks are not the authoriser of the licence," Davis said.

Davis had vowed to stop her deputies from issuing same-sex marriage licences to gay couples if her name and title were still printed on the licences.

The order to issue the marriage licences was made by US District Judge David Bunning, who released Davis from jail last week on the condition that she would not obstruct the issuance of marriage licences upon her return to office.

The judge earlier sent Davis to jail without bail on Sept. 8 after she was found in contempt of court for violating a court decision that ordered her to uphold her duty as a public official and issue marriage licenses.

"This case was brought to ensure that all residents of Rowan County, gay and straight, could obtain marriage licences. That goal has been achieved," said William Sharp, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which filed the case against Davis.

"The Kentucky Attorney General and counsel for Rowan County have said the marriage licences are valid. We are relying on those representations, and our clients look forward to proceeding with their plans to marry," said Sharp.

As she stepped inside her office on Monday, Davis told her colleagues and other people gathered at her office that "I am here before you this morning as I return to work to say that I love my Lord Jesus, I love all people and I love my job," according to Christian News Network. "I want to continue to serve all three as I have tried to do until now."

Davis said she has been asking state officials to accommodate her religious beliefs in the issuance of marriage licences.

"Since January of this year, I have asked Governor Beshear, the Kentucky legislature–and more recently, Judge Bunning, for one simple thing: an accommodation for my religious beliefs regarding marriage that would allow me to serve the citizens of Rowan County without violating my conscience," she explained.

"My name or official title on the marriage certificate points to the same person—me, Kim Davis. To affix my name or authoritative title on a certificate that authorises marriage that conflicts with God's definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violates my deeply held religious convictions and conscience," Davis said.

"For me, this would be an act of disobedience to my God," she said.

Davis said all she wants was for her name and title to be removed from all marriage licences, saying, "These licences could be issued under another authority including perhaps the Commonwealth of Kentucky or Governor Beshear himself."