Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis violated a federal court order by changing marriage license forms to remove her name as well as that of her county, according to a court filing Friday. Davis, who made headlines for rejecting gay marriage licenses on religious grounds, was jailed for five days over contempt of court earlier this month.
Upon her release, a judge ordered her to avoid interfering with the work of her deputies who had begun issuing licenses to homosexuals. However, a lawyer for one of Davis’ deputies reportedly said in a court filing that the clerk made considerable changes to the marriage licenses that could weaken their legality.
"Those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court's orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court's orders," Richard Hughes, a lawyer for Brian Mason, a deputy clerk in Rowan County, wrote in the filing, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Davis struck out her name, the county’s name, and references to deputy clerks from marriage license forms after she returned to work Monday following her imprisonment, Hughes reportedly wrote. The form carried Mason's initials without his title and did not leave any space for his signature, he added.
Davis said Monday that she wanted her name and title to be taken off such licenses going forward. She also warned that if her deputies felt the need to issue an “unauthorized license” for fear of being thrown in jail, she would not take any action against them.
However, Mason expressed concern over issuing such licenses, which have questionable authenticity, Hughes said.
"Mr. Mason's concern is he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses and he is trying to follow the court's mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms," Hughes said, according to NBC News.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and attorney general reportedly said the licenses issued without Davis’ name were valid and would be recognized by the state. But the U.S. District Judge David Bunning said he did not know whether the licenses were legitimate and it was up to the couples to take that chance, the AP reported.
In a landmark ruling in June, the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed same-sex marriages across all the 50 states.