Legal experts are near-unanimous that Kim Davis — the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has been held in contempt of court and temporarily jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the country — is in the wrong.
However, as she becomes a conservative hero for standing up to the federal government, some Republicans have started comparing her to Rosa Parks, the black woman who, in 1955, famously refused to vacate her seat in the colored section of a segregated bus for a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama.
Iowa Congressman Steve King escalated the rhetoric surrounding the incident on Saturday, saying Davis should win a medal. King also said Americans should have refused to follow the 1963 Supreme Court ruling secularizing U.S. public schools.
In 1963, we should not have honored SCOTUS decision to creat a wall of separation between prayer & school. Kim Davis for Rosa Parks Award.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 5, 2015
The same day, the Associated Press reported that “hundreds” of protesters gathered outside the Carter County Detention Center where Davis is being held to lobby for her release. Crowds chanting “Jesus!” surrounded the facility, with speakers demanding her release and questioning what law required Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
— Jesse Lee Peterson (@JLPtalk) September 4, 2015
They’ve found prominent supporters, from pastors to presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who says he has gathered over 100,000 signatures demanding her release. On Sunday, Huckabee went on ABC News’ This Week to compare the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the country to the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery, and told host George Stephanopoulos U.S. citizens were under no obligation to follow immoral court rulings.