TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Kentucky clerk who refused to grant same-sex marriage licenses is behind bars, and Tampa Bay area residents are weighing in. Kim Davis told the media her religious convictions prevent her from complying with the law.
A federal judge found her in contempt of court and sent her to jail. An attorney for same-sex couples suggested Davis allow her deputy clerks to grant the licenses – and be let out of prison. Davis refused.
The events in Kentucky are being watched closely here in the Tampa Bay area. Reverend Larry Roundtree of the New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa said he sympathizes with Davis.
“I must respect her convictions. I stand on the biblical doctrine of a man and a woman in marriage,” Roundtree said.
But Roundtree draws the line when it comes to flaunting the law because of a clash between her spiritual beliefs and her civic duty. “I agree with her stance on marriage, however, working in the public forum, you have to understand that the constitution still plays a role in her responsibility,” he said.
Roundtree thinks Davis should step down. He said he’d bow out if he were in her position.
Former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney John Fitzgibbons said the Kentucky clerk at the center of the argument is totally out of line. “If individuals can chose not to follow a court order, particularly an order from the Supreme Court of the United States, then chaos ensues,” Fitzgibbons said.
Comparing Davis to a renegade or a rogue, Fitzgibbons asked what the point of laws would be if people could just ignore them. “If every clerk in the country decided for this reason or that reason, I’m not going to do this or that, it’d be ridiculous,” he said.