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After a 2015 Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, a town clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky became a national figure for refusing to process those couples’ marriage licenses.

Kim Davis’s defiant act, made in the name of religion, catapulted her to folk hero status among conservatives. She was temporarily jailed, then hailed with a rollicking rally featuring Texas senator Ted Cruz and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Davis began issuing licenses for same-sex couples only after Kentucky’s governor declared that town clerks could omit their names from the licenses they issued. She has since met with Pope Francis and spoken against gay rights in Romania.

A single photo that will temporarily restore your faith in democracy

Town clerk Kim Davis processes candidacy paperwork for David Ermold, one of the men she refused to grant a marriage license back in 2015.


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