Kentucky clerk Kim Davis faces election challenge from gay man she discriminated against

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is officially facing an election challenge from the gay man she discriminated against.

Kim Davis made the news in 2015 after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry.

The clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, decided to ignore the ruling and subsequent demands from a string of state courts, in order to block the weddings of same-sex couples in the county.

But Davis – who has since become a cause célèbre among the anti-LGBT movement – may end up losing her job to one of the men she blocked from marrying.

Kim Davis spent several days in prison for refusing to comply with court orders

David Ermold, who was filmed being denied a marriage license by Davis back in 2015, launched his campaign to become Rowan County clerk today, ahead of the election next year.

Davis, who was initially elected as a Democrat, had announced she plans to seek re-election as a Republican.


MOREHEAD, KY - SEPTEMBER 14: Rowan County clerk Kim Davis gives a statement about her intentions on applying her signature to same sex marriage licenses on her first day back to work, after being released from jail last week, at the Rowan County Courthouse September 14, 2015 in Morehead, Kentucky. Davis was jailed for disobeying a judges order for denying marriage licenses to gay couples on the basis of her religious faith. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)


But Ermold – who was eventually allowed to marry his partner by a deputy clerk in 2015 0 says Davis has proved herself unfit to hold the office, and will battle to stop her retaining the clerk’s position.

Speaking to AP, he said: “I think we need to deal with the circumstances and the consequences of what happened.

“I have an obligation here, really, to do this and to set things right.

“This campaign we are putting together is about unity and bringing people together and restoring fairness.”

GRAYSON, KY - SEPTEMBER 8: Rowan County Clerk of Courts Kim Davis (L) walks off stage with her husband Joe Davis (R) in front of the Carter County Detention Center on September 8, 2015 in Grayson, Kentucky. Davis was ordered to jail last week for contempt of court after refusing a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

Kim Davis and her fourth husband (Getty)

Speaking to NBC, he added: “I believe I can win.”

The candidate added: “I was very disappointed in the presidential election, and I think there needs to be more integrity… I think politicians need to answer some questions.

“We must recommit ourselves to embracing the diversity within our community, and we must stand strong against those who have turned their backs on our people to pursue the divisive agenda of outside politicians and organizations.”

However, the campaign will not be easy – Davis will have the wealth of the evangelical lobby behind her.

Kim Davis with Mike Huckabee and anti-LGBT activist Mat Staver

He said: “She will have quite a few orgs backing her, and she will get a lot of attention from it.”

And Davis’ lawyer Mat Staver, an avowed opponent of LGBT rights, certainly seemed combative.

He said: “The clerk’s position is more than a single issue position and that’s all David has is one issue.

“He has no idea how to run a clerk’s office. Much of what the clerk does has nothing to do with wedding licenses. It’s a broad service to the public.”

Davis, a thrice-divorced evangelical Christian, insists that issuing licenses to same-sex couples goes against her beliefs.

Her legal troubles only ended when the Republican Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin agreed to change the law to accommodate her – circumventing the need for clerks to issue marriage licenses.

Given issuing marriage licenses is one of the primary duties of a clerk, the decision was contentious – and many suggested that Davis should just have resigned her role if she was unable to perform the duty.

Davis hasn’t just contained her homophobic vitriol to the confides of her constituency since the marriage license controversy.

She recently headed to Romania to support proposals for an anti-gay marriage law.

Staver, who has also lobbied for anti-LGBT laws across the world, said: “She loves her job and she loves the people.

“I’m sure [the election] will probably have more attention because of who she is, but you know she doesn’t have any major concerns about it.”

The election, set to take place next year, will be the first time voters have a say in making Davis accountable for her actions in 2015.