Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk of Courts, listens to Robbie Blankenship and Jesse Cruz as they speak with her at the Co...

U.S. Marshals take Kentucky clerk Kim Davis into custody

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky county clerk to jail Thursday after she repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning said Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis would remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals until she complied with court orders to issue the licenses. Bunning said fines weren’t enough to compel Davis, who has remained defiant in the face of the Supreme Court’s decision in June to legalize same-sex marriage, Ryland Barton of Kentucky Public Radio reported.

Bunning told Davis that while public officials may have their own religious beliefs, they still must respect the law, Blue Grass Politics tweeted.

Five out of six Kentucky county deputy clerks have agreed to issue marriage licenses. The one remaining clerk is Davis’ son, Nathan. The plaintiff’s attorneys proposed to Bunning to release Davis if she agreed to not to interfere with distributing licenses, the Associated Press reported.

Hundreds of protesters appeared outside the courthouse in Ashland, Kentucky, for Thursday’s hearing. Amid the scene were preachers with bullhorns and gay rights supporters chanting “Love is not a sin,” AP reported, while a small plane flew overhead with a banner that read: “Stand Firm, Kim.”

The couples that sued Davis had originally asked that officials fine her, not send her to jail.