After the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Kim Davis began refusing to give marriage licenses to gay couples, claiming it was against her Christian faith and that she should therefore be exempt from doing so. A federal judge, however, disagreed. After repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses in an apparent stand against marriage equality, a judge has ruled her in contempt of court, and Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been taken into custody and is going to jail.
According to the Associated Press, Judge David Bunning told Davis that she would stay jailed until she complied with the court order to do her job and issue legal marriage licenses. But Davis likely isn't surprised by the ruling — she told Fox News that she was prepared to go to jail.
I've weighed the cost and I'm prepared to go to jail, I sure am. This has never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. This is about upholding the word of God. This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes. This is a fight worth fighting.
Davis is a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, and was elected to the position last November. Because she's an elected official, she cannot be fired for not performing the tasks required of her. She can, however, be impeached. But, as TIME points out, that's pretty unlikely. Not only is the general assembly not in session right now, but it's also unlikely that the conservative legislature would impeach her.
But she can, obviously, be put in jail. Many thought that Davis would likely receive a monetary fine for contempt of court, possibly even a fine for every day she refuses to comply with the federal mandate that she issue marriage licenses. Instead, she'll stay in jail until she agrees to follow the law.
So, why doesn't she just resign? Resigning from her position would allow Davis to 1) get out of jail, and 2) would not force her to do something she says is against her faith. But Davis is defiant and says she will not resign. She wrote in a statement, "I love my job and the people of Rowan County. I have never lived any place other than Rowan County. Some people have said I should resign, but I have done my job well."