Woman jailed for refusing marriage license to same-sex couple loses county clerk seat

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The Kentucky clerk who went to jail in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has lost her bid for a second term.

Republican incumbent Kim Davis was defeated by Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. in Tuesday’s election for clerk of Rowan County in northeastern Kentucky.

Caudill is well known in the county, having worked for the county Property Valuation Administrator’s Office for 21 years. He lost to Davis by just 23 votes in the 2014 Democratic primary. Davis later switched to the GOP.

Davis went from obscure local official to a national figure when she stopped issuing marriage licenses days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. The ruling overturned same-sex marriage bans nationwide. Davis cited her religious beliefs for her action, saying she was acting under “God’s authority.”

She was released from jail when her staff issued licenses in her absence.

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