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Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed last week for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has been released from prison.
Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Ky., was incarcerated Thursday for refusing to comply with several court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June on the basis of her “religious conviction.”
Her attorney, Roger Gannam, told Yahoo News that U.S. District Judge David Bunning, who jailed Davis, ordered her release early Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s six days too late,” Gannam said, “but we’re glad to report Judge Bunning has ordered that she be immediately released from custody.”
Huckabee, left, Davis, center, and her attorney, Matt Staver, address supporters at a rally outside the Carter County Detention Center. (Screengrab via ABC News)
Bunning, Gannam said, was satisfied that the marriage licenses Davis had refused to issue were subsequently granted by her deputies. But Gannam stressed his client “never changed her mind” on the issue.
Davis emerged from the Carter County Detention Center flanked by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who met with her before her release.
“God showed up in the form of an elected official: Kim Davis,” Huckabee said. “Today I was proud to stand with Kim Davis as she was released from jail. Kim Davis should have never been locked up for being a Christian and for following her conscience and the law.“
Davis, center, hugs her attorney, Matt Staver, as Huckabee stands by her side. (Photo: Jonathan Palmer/The Courier-Journal via AP)
Earlier Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Davis should be given another government job, because those licenses “have to be issued” under the law.
“People have a right to practice their religion,” Christie said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning. “Now, I’ve said what I would do with this woman is to move her to another job where this is not an objection for her. Because you have to follow the law — and the law has to be these licenses have to be issued.”
“I think we should give her an option to do another job where her religious concerns are not going to be put into the cross hairs on this. So we have to have respect for people, but the government also has to function,” Christie said, adding that fellow 2016 Republican candidates shouldn’t “play politics” with the case.
Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, planned to host a rally for Davis Thursday afternoon. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also traveled to Kentucky Tuesday to meet with Davis.
Kim Davis (Photo: Carter County Detention Center via AP)
On Sunday, Huckabee likened the Supreme Court decision to “judicial tyranny.”
“What we’ve seen here is the overreach of the judiciary,” Huckabee said on ABC’s “This Week.” “This, if allowed to stand without any congressional approval, without any kind of enabling legislation, is what [President Thomas] Jefferson warned us about. That’s judicial tyranny.”
Last week, Cruz called Davis’ jailing an “outrage.”
“For the first time, we’re seeing a Christian thrown in jail for standing up for her faith,” Cruz told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “I’ll tell you, I stand with Kim Davis unequivocally. I stand with her or anyone else the government is trying to persecute for standing up for their faith.”