A county clerk in Kentucky, US, who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds was being held for contempt of court by a U.S. federal judge sent to jail.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, 49, was led away by U.S. marshals who confirmed the arrest.
District Court Judge David Bunning said in ordering that she be taken into custody.
Bunning said his earlier injunction ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses applied to everyone and not just the four couples whose suit in July had accused Davis of not doing her job.
Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.
Before and during the hearing, about 200 demonstrators on both sides of the issue gathered outside the courthouse, some chanting slogans and many bearing placards. The supporters of same sex marriage, however, went wild with joy following the clerk’s conviction.
Davis’ deputies still face their own reckoning as Bunning assigned each of them attorneys and said their fate would be determined at a hearing later. He warned they could face fines or jail.
Davis’ attorney objected, saying Davis had not given her deputies authority to issue marriage licenses.
Crying at times, Davis maintained that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman and she was unable to recognize same-sex marriages.
Davis, however, thanked the judge before walking toward the marshals.