A Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against her because of a new state law that will take effect next month.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively legalized gay marriage last year. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, but she refused and went to jail.
The state legislature approved a new law in April removing the county clerks’ names and authorizations from state marriage licenses. Davis said the law accommodates her religious beliefs and makes the lawsuit against her unnecessary.
Arguments in the case had been scheduled for next month.
In a news release, Davis thanked state lawmakers, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, her attorneys and Jesus Christ, who she said “redeemed me and is my solid rock on which I stand.”
“I am pleased that I can continue to serve my community as the Rowan County Clerk without having to sacrifice my religious convictions and conscience,” said Davis, who was elected as a Democrat but switched to a Republican after her incarceration. She will be up for re-election in 2018.
Davis’ attorneys are asking the appeals court to dismiss the lawsuit and to vacate all of the court orders issued in the case, including the contempt order from U.S. District Judge David Bunning that sent Davis to jail. Davis’ attorneys also ask the court that “no costs be taxed against her.”
A spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union, who sued Davis along with the gay and straight couples, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
SOURCE: The Associated Press