Dozens of Kim Davis supporters protest outside federal judge's home

FORT THOMAS, Ky. (WKYT) Dozens of protesters gathered outside the home of the federal judge who sent Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail as her attorneys made another attempt to get her released.

On Monday, Davis' attorneys filed an emergency motion to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The filing asks Governor Steve Beshear to accommodate Davis' religious conviction and not make her issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis' attorneys met with her again inside the Carter County Detention Center on Monday afternoon. In a release, they said she is in good spirits and was brought to tears when told that many people are praying for her.

Former Arkansas governor and current Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is expected to attend another rally outside the jail on Tuesday.

But several dozen Davis supporters showed up outside Judge David Bunning's Campbell County home on Monday afternoon, calling him a tyrant for sending Davis to jail.

Police cars and protesters lined the streets, turning the northern Kentucky neighborhood into quite a sight to see.

"If you can't show us a law she's broken, then free Kim Davis," said Cal Zastrow, one of the protesters. "Now."

The group showed up around 2 p.m., and protesters spent hours out in the heat, first passing out flyers asking Judge Bunning's neighbors to pray for him to repent and release Kim Davis from jail, then holding signs and singing outside his home.

"We're out here having church in front of the judge's home," Zastrow said.

Supporters at several rallies and events have carried signs calling Judge Bunning a tyrant ever since Davis was locked up last week after the federal judge held her in contempt of court.

Protesters said they wanted to bring that message to the judge's neighborhood.

"Judge David Bunning has committed a grievous crime," reads the flyer handed out to neighbors on Monday, under the heading "PRAY FOR JUDGE DAVID BUNNING to REPENT."

The flyer goes on to outline why supporters believe the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage violates Kentucky law, the Kentucky constitution, the U.S. Constitution and Davis' beliefs.

The flyer closes with the quote, "Obey God rather than man," a reference to Acts 5 in the Bible, then states "Kim Davis is a Kentucky hero!"

Several neighbors who live on the street told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that they think the protesters went too far, crossing a line and breaching the judge's and their own privacy, by coming out to Bunning's home.

Protesters, however, say they made their point, and their work is not complete while Davis remains in jail.

"Kim is not alone," Zastrow said. "She is not alone. She is not forgotten. We will continue to pray, we will continue to educate and we will continue to bring awareness to the judge and everybody else what's going on until Kim Davis is free and back to doing her job."

Attorneys for Davis said Monday that they hope the emergency motion they filed with a federal court will result in her freedom.

In addition to asking Gov. Beshear to accommodate Davis' "religious conviction," and not compel her to grant licenses to gay couples, the motion also "requests an injunction pending appeal for an exemption from the Governor's mandate that all county clerks issue marriage licenses," according to a statement from Liberty Counsel, the group representing Davis.

The motion says "commanding Davis to affix her name" to same sex marriage licenses "violates her fundamental free speech rights protected by the United States and Kentucky Constitutions."

"Davis faces significant, irrevocable, and irreversible harm if she is forced to authorize and approve even one (same-sex marriage) license with her name on it, against her religious conscience, for “it is well-settled that ‘loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury,’” the motion says.

The court filing says there is no relief that can be given to Davis if she violates her religious conscience.

"It is comparable to forcing the religious objecting nurse to perform an abortion, the religious objecting company or non-profit to pay for abortions or abortion-related insurance coverage, the religious objecting non-combatant to fire on an enemy soldier, or the religious objecting state official to participate in or attend the execution of a convicted prisoner," the filing says. "Ordering Davis to authorize and approve a (same-sex marriage) license is the act that violates her conscience and substantially burdens her religious freedom – an act which cannot be undone."

Charla Bansley, communications director for Liberty Counsel, said Davis could be released from jail immediately if the motion were granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

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