(AP) – The Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs has been released from jail, where she’s been held since Thursday on a contempt of court charge.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order Tuesday and ordered Rowan County clerk Kim Davis released.
Bunning’s ruling says he’s satisfied that Davis’ office is complying with orders to grant marriage licenses. He ordered Davis not to interfere with that business. Deputy clerks have been issuing the licenses. Five of the six deputies told Bunning they would do so, although some were reluctant and cited religious beliefs. Bunning’s ruling requests updates on the five deputy clerks’ compliance from their lawyers every 14 days.
Bunning sent Davis to jail on Thursday. Before the release order, GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz each had planned jailhouse visits with her Tuesday afternoon.
Outside the jail, word spread slowly through the crowd. Some said they couldn’t believe it. Police officers and others gathered at the front door. Davis’ husband, Joe Davis, went inside.