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Christian Clerk Kim Davis Appeals Jail Order for Not Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Christian Clerk Kim Davis Appeals Jail Order for Not Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is shown in this booking photo provided by the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky, September 3, 2015. Davis was jailed on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and a full day of court hearings failed to put an end to her two-month-old legal fight over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding same-sex marriage. | (Photo: Reuters/Carter County Detention Center)

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling, on Sunday appealed a judge's decision to put her in a jail for listening to her conscience.

The attorneys of the Rowan County clerk filed the appeal Sunday, her fourth day in jail after being held in contempt of court for defying a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage across the country, according to USA Today.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses, but she cited "God's authority" as the reason to defy the Supreme Court ruling. The judge ordered her arrest Thursday, and warned that any clerk who refuses to issue licenses could be found in contempt of court.

"While most Americans are enjoying the extended holiday weekend with family and friends, Kim Davis sits in isolation for the fourth day in jail," Mat Staver, Davis' lawyer and founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement Sunday. "We are working through the holiday to secure Kim's freedom."

Staver added, "Liberty Counsel attorneys are continuing to work on the legal brief that will later be filed in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will be asked to expedite the appeal and set the contempt order aside."

Staver argued that Davis was "entitled to proper notice and due process when she is threatened with the loss of her freedom. There was no indication that she would be incarcerated. We will be presenting our arguments on appeal and asking for an expedited ruling."

Davis looks determined. "God's moral law conflicts with my job duties," she told the judge before her arrest. "You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and your soul."

Davis defied several court orders to issue marriage licenses.

Bunning chose a prison sentence over a fine because he believed Davis, who makes $80,000 per year, would not comply with his order if fined, according to USA Today. The judge also ruled that that she will be released from prison once she has agreed to comply with the court order to issue marriage licenses.

"The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order," the judge said at the hearing. "If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that's what potentially causes problems."

Traditional marriage advocates and some of the Republican presidential candidates are also backing her.

"She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said in a statement.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that Davis' arrest would only "harden the resolve" of traditional marriage advocates. "I think it's a real mistake [to jail Davis], and even those on the other side of the issue, I think it sets their movement back," he said on CNN.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal both said that Christians should be able to serve in elected office and not have to compromise their conscience. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said that the First Amendment guaranteed Americans' freedom of religion.

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