5 Carter County schools to be closed Tuesday amid planned rally for Kim Davis
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB/AP) -- Carter County Schools says five area schools will be closed Tuesday due to the rally planned for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
A spokesperson said five schools will be closed Tuesday and they will make up that day. East Carter High School, East Carter Middle School, Prichard Elementary School, and Star Elementary School will be closed. The district's six other schools in western Carter County will be in session.
There is a rally planned for Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 3 p.m. to protest the imprisonment of Kim Davis, who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Officials say the five schools that will be closed typically dismiss between 2:45 p.m. and 3:14 p.m., which would be in the midst of the rally. Officials say they are concerned with traffic and congestion near the schools, some of which are located in close proximity to the jail.
On Monday, about 30 protesters lined the sidewalk outside Bunning's home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, carrying signs that read "Free Kim Davis." Fort Thomas Police Lt. Casey Kilgore said the group gathered around 2 p.m., and the protest stretched on several hours. He said the group sang and waved their signs; they broke no laws and no one was arrested. He did not know if Bunning was home.
In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Marshals declined to say if any precautions have been taken with security for the federal judge.
Davis, an apostolic Christian, says gay marriage is a sin. She also says it would be a sin for her to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple because the licenses are issued under her authority. She tried in vain to have state lawmakers change the law as a legal challenge to Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban wound its way through the federal appeals court.
Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June the day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. Judge Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling.
But Davis still refused to do it, saying she could not betray her conscience or her God.
Thursday, Bunning ruled Davis was in contempt of court for disobeying his order and sent her to jail. Her deputy clerks then issued marriage licenses to gay couples Friday with Davis behind bars.
Bunning indicated Davis will be in jail at least a week. She could stay longer if she continues to not obey the judge's order. Bunning had offered to release Davis from jail if she promised not to interfere with her deputy clerks as they issued the licenses. But Davis refused.
Kentucky law requires marriage licenses be issued under the authority of the elected county clerk. Davis views issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as a stamp of approval of something she believes is a sin. She has said she will not issue marriage licenses until the state legislature changes the law so the licenses can be issued under someone else's authority.
The state legislature is not scheduled to meet again until January and Beshear has refused to call a special session. Davis has refused to resign her $80,000-a-year job. As an elected official the only way she could lose her job is to lose an election or have the state legislature impeach her, which is unlikely given the conservative nature of the state General Assembly.
Davis' plight has reignited the gay marriage debate and the limits of religious freedom. Her imprisonment has inspired spirited protests from both sides in this small eastern Kentucky community known mostly as the home to Morehead State University.
On Saturday, about 300 people rallied in support of Davis at the Carter County Detention Center where she is being held. Another rally is scheduled for Tuesday with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
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