An attorney for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ refused to back down during a press conference on Friday afternoon, telling reporters that Davis “has no intention of stepping down,” and that she doesn’t believe that the gay marriage licenses issued earlier in the day are valid.
“It is our position and the position of the clerk … that those licenses are void,” Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver said outside a Kentucky jail. “They’re not worth the paper that they are written on.”
He reiterated his own personal surprise over the fact that U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis’ arrest during a contempt hearing on Thursday.
“I think it has stunned the American people,” he said. “It has shocked me.”
Staver said that Davis stands by her Christian faith, will not issue gay marriage licenses and has “no remorse,” commending her “incredible resilience and faith.”
The attorney also said that he believes that there are options that would remedy the legal conundrum by affording Davis’ religious protections.
“You change the form and amend the statute. This can be done by the governor quickly,” Staver said of marriage licenses. “It can be done by the legislature … Judge Bunning himself … could have ordered that the forms be changed accordingly.”
Watch some of the press conference below:
The lawyer had tough words for Bunning, claiming that Thursday’s proceedings were a “charade” and that the judge had already decided he would incarcerate Davis well before he heard “one word of testimony.”
“We will immediately appeal by the end of the day his contempt ruling to a higher court,” Staver said, explaining that Davis’ release is his immediate goal. “We will not allow her to just continually sit here and have her constitutional rights violated.”
Staver and his legal team met with Davis before the press conference, telling reporters that she is doing well and had a good night’s sleep on Thursday, despite being incarcerated.
“She was encouraging to us and I think she never envisioned herself to be here, but this is where she is,” Staver said. “She is here because of her conscience. She’s a prisoner of her conscience.”
The lawyer said that his client is “prepared for the consequences,” though, as Davis had previously said that she knew jail was a risk.
Staver announced that there would be a rally in support of Davis at the jail on Tuesday afternoon, alluding to his assumption that she will still be behind bars early next week.
Read more about the case here.