The Family Research Council will honor Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed six days for being in contempt of federal court after refusing to issue marriage licenses due to her biblical opposition to same-sex marriage, as the recipient of this year's "Cost of Discipleship Award" later this month.
FRC, a social conservative activist group, announced Monday that the 49-year-old Rowan County clerk will be honored with the award at the organization's 10th annual Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C.
Davis follows in the footsteps of last year's award winner, Sudanese mother Mariam Ibraheem, who was sentenced to death on charges of apostasy for marrying a Christian man, and was forced to give birth while her legs were chained in a Khartoum prison.
FRC President Tony Perkins met with Davis before her release from the Carter County Detention Center last week to personally invite her to the summit.
"We are pleased to announce that Kim Davis will be honored at this year's Values Voter Summit. After meeting with her last week, I can tell you that Kim Davis wasn't looking for this fight, but she is not running from it either," Perkins said in a statement shared with The Christian Post on Monday.
"What militant secularists are almost certainly afraid of is what is coming to pass: courage is breeding courage. When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded."
Davis fell into the national spotlight in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Although Davis has no objection to her office issuing same-sex marriage licenses, doing so herself violates her Apostolic Christian faith to have her name and title on a certificate authorizing a marriage that she believes goes against God's definition of marriage.
After the Supreme Court's ruling, Davis instructed employees not to approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples to prevent having her name on the certificates.
Upon her return to her office Monday, Davis issued a statement saying that she would not interfere if her deputies chose to issue same-sex marriage certificates in order to obey a federal court order. She added, however, that certificates will be unauthorized and will not have her name or title on them.
"While the court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment," Perkins added. "Thank goodness for people of courage like Kim Davis, who refuse to let religious liberty be trampled by legal tyranny. We applaud her. In the face of intense pressure, she's shown more courage than 99 percent of the elected officials in Kentucky."
Davis has repeatedly asked the Kentucky state government to create an accommodation so that same-sex marriage licenses can be issued without requiring her name and title. North Carolina passed an accommodation law earlier this year that allows clerks to opt-out of issuing marriage licenses, while at the same time, same-sex couples are ensured that they can get married.
"Far from the media's portrayal, Kim isn't trying to impose her views on anyone, she is simply asking that her orthodox religious views be accommodated. The courage of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis isn't just changing the conversation — it's changing the political landscape," Perkins stated.
"In places like Missouri, where state officials watched with horror as Davis was hauled off to jail for her Christian beliefs, leaders are moving quickly to protect their people from the same fate. The Supreme Court created this mess — now it's incumbent on states to protect the victims mired in it."