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AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
World News

Christian clerk Kim Davis released from jail in gay marriage spat

by Hannah Tooley

A U.S. judge has released Kim Davis, 49, after several days in prison, on the condition that she does not interfere with her deputies when they issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Davis had previously said that her Christian beliefs meant she could not sign the licenses.

10674918-1 Jonathan Palmer/The Courier-Journal via AP

She was told by federal Judge David Bunning that if she interferes with her deputies she may be jailed for defying the court.

Following her release she was greeted with a crowd of supporters and the song 'Eye of the Tiger' played from speakers.

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

 "I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people," she said speaking to the BBC with her lawyer, Mat Staver.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also came out to show his support: "If somebody has to go to jail, I'm willing to go in her place. I believe that.

"She has shown more courage than any politician I know. She not only said something, she was willing to put her life at risk," he told PA.

Her release was announced just before Davis received jailhouse visits from Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.

Davis is expected to return to work later this week.

Two federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Davis after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after gay marriage was passed in June.

She was jailed on Thursday after being found in contempt of court.

Speaking at the time she said: "God's moral law conflicts with my job duties.

"You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul."

The following day, several of her deputies began issuing marriage licenses to couples.

It is not yet clear whether Judge Bunning's order will end the dispute, he offered a compromise last week where Kim Davis would avoid jail if she agreed not to interfere with her deputies - but she turned it down.

Kim Davis cannot be fired as she is an elected official, she can be impeached by the Kentucky legislature, however the body is not in session.  

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