Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following a landmark Supreme Court ruling which made same-sex marriage legal in June, will attend President Obama’s final State of the Union address Tuesday with her lawyer, Mat Staver. She was jailed for fives days after ignoring multiple court orders to carry out her job.
GOP candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have used Davis as an example to warn their supporters about what they label as the U.S. government's infringement on religious freedom. Huckabee held a rally for Davis when she was released from jail last summer, and has continued to use her case as part of his far-right platform.
Mat Staver, Davis’s lawyer and founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel said in a statement, “We will be there to stand for religious freedom and to represent Judeo/Christian values. For seven years, people of faith have been in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration.”
“While the President will be extolling his 'accomplishments' of the last seven years, Kim Davis and Mat Staver will be a visible reminder of the Administration’s attack on religious liberty and an encouragement for people of faith to stand,” the statement continued.
Liberty Counsel has not yet commented on who invited Davis to attend the address. “We are not publicizing what congressmen invited Kim and Mat,” spokesperson Charla Bansley told reporters. "The focus we want to be on is why Kim is there, and Kim is there because she is standing for the many Americans who have not benefited under President Obama's seven years, and specifically had their religious liberty trampled."
Jim Obergefell will also be in attendance as Michelle Obama’s guest. Obergefell was the plaintiff whose name is on the Supreme Court case declaring same-sex marriage legal.
Rep. David Cicilline, (D-RI) took to Twitter to express his outrage over Davis's attendance, saying, “Her invite is an insult to every LGBT American.”
Kim Davis refused to follow law, discriminated against gay couples. Her invite is an insult to every LGBT American. https://t.co/0AcqmOLrzY
— David N. Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 12, 2016
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