Kim Davis was just another American official who served as district clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, until 2015, when her refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry despite a federal court order attracted international attention. In a series of high-profile events that followed, Davis was put in prison but released five days later. Since then she has been living her normal life again. However, recent developments in her life and career continue to make headlines as the media can’t get enough of her.
Kim Davis Biography
Kimberly Jean Davis (née Bailey) was born on 17 September 1965 in Jackson, Kentucky. Her mother is Jean W. Bailey, who was a county clerk in Rowan for 37 years. During this time, Kim served as deputy county clerk from 1991 to 2015, reporting to her mother. After her mother retired, Kim ran for an election to replace her mother. She won 53% of the total votes and assumed the office of District Secretary on January 5, 2015.
Months after assuming her new role, however, Davis found herself in the midst of unwanted media attention after she refused to grant marriage permits to same-sex couples because it was against her Christian faith.
This happened shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in July 2015 that Obergefell v. Hodges requires all Kentucky county clerks to issue marriage permits to same-sex couples. In order not to associate her name with a same-sex couple’s license, Kim Davis no longer issued a marriage license at all.
However, homosexuals did not like this and four of them filed a lawsuit against Davis and won it. Davis was again ordered to start issuing a marriage license, but she did not withdraw so easily. She was then sent to prison for contempt.
Following the court decision to send Davis to prison, there were protests over her support, while others continued to criticize her behavior. Her husband, Joe Davis, was one of the top protest leaders and affirmed that his wife was willing to stay in prison until the state agreed to remove her name from gay marriage certificates.
During the 5 days she spent behind bars, her subordinates were ordered to start issuing marriage permits for homosexuals. She was released on the 5th day under the condition that she would not obstruct her deputies. Upon her return to the office, Davis changed the marriage license to exclude her name.
Kim Davis was a Democrat, but after the controversy, she joined the Republican Party after 19991. Many conservatives supported her decision, including the former governor of Arkansas and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Huckabee was at her side after she was released from prison (see picture above).
Kim Davis used her fame to pursue other goals, especially to encourage legislation in other nations to adopt laws against same-sex marriage.
7 Lesser Known Facts About The County Clerk
After this incident, Americans and the whole world became interested in learning more about Kim Davis. Here are seven facts you may not know about the county clerk.
1. Davis met with Pope Francis a few weeks after her release from prison. The meeting caused controversy after the Vatican later determined that the meeting was not a sign of the Pope’s support for her actions.
2. Kim had not always been a Christian and did not convert until 2011 after her mother-in-law had a last wish that she go to church. She prays at the Solid Rock Apostolic Church in Morehead, Kentucky.
3. Kim Davis has been married four times. A fact that was quickly used by her opponents against her emphasis on violating the Christian faith. She was first married to Dwain Allen Wallace from 1984 to 1994. With him, she had two daughters. She then married Joe Davis in 1996 and divorced him in 2006. No children were born from her marriage. However, Joe Davis adopted the twins (one boy and one girl) she had with Thomas Dale McIntyre Jr., whom she later married in 2007 and divorced in 2008. After this divorce, Kim remarried Joe Davis in 2009.
Davis’ seemingly promiscuous lifestyle was before she converted to Christianity in 2011.
4. As Deputy District Clerk, Davis earned $51,812 in wages in 2011, plus $11,301 in overtime and other compensation. After becoming a clerk in 2015, her annual salary alone rose to $80,000.
5. Serving the nation seems to be one thing in Davis’ family. Her son, Nathan, like herself with her own mother, works under her as an assistant clerk. Nathan is also a non-supporter of same-sex marriage.
6. Kim Davis published her first book, a memoir entitled “Under God’s Authority”, in February 2018 under the Florida-based organization Liberty Counsel.
7. She was the only Republican candidate to begin a campaign for reelection as a district employee in 2018. Among the opposition, Democrats vying for the seat to replace her was David Ermold, one of the gay men she denied permission to marry.