Attorneys For Jailed Kentucky Clerk Ask For Emergency Release

September 8, 2015

Attorneys for Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis have filed an emergency motion with a federal court asking that Davis be immediately released from jail. The motion also reportedly requests that Davis be exempted from issuing marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning found Davis in contempt of court and ordered her jailed on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses; Davis has been protesting the legalization of same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

We reported on Davis’ lawyers filing the appeal on Sunday. But NBC News says they are now pulling a “parallel maneuver” involving Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear.

“They asked the appeals court to set Davis free while they fight Beshear for bureaucratic changes that would accommodate her religious opposition.

“Davis already has sued Beshear on the issue. Monday’s motion asks the panel to allow Davis to leave jail while the case moves through the courts.”

Legal documents obtained by CNN offer the option of allowing Davis to return to work but have her name removed from the marriage licenses and allow one of the deputy clerks in her office to issue the licenses. The documents say Davis cannot do it herself because it “irreparably and irreversibly violates her conscience.”

The day after Davis was jailed, deputy clerk Brian Mason issued a marriage license to James Yates and William Smith, who had tried five times with Davis. NPR’s Eyder Peralta was at the Rowan County courthouse in Morehouse. to see Mason hand over the license.

“Mason was all business. He checked their licenses, asked them if they were related, took their $35 and, in about five minutes, handed them an envelope and said, ‘Congratulations.’

“Yates and Smith had become the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license from Rowan County.

“They exited to chants of ‘Love has won. Love has won.'”

Peralta also reported that the legality of the licenses handed out in Davis’ absence are being questioned because they don’t bear her signature.

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