LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who spent five days in jail for defying federal court orders and refusing to license same-sex marriages, was given tickets to the president’s final State of the Union, an invite-only event for members of Congress.
But who invited her and her attorney remains a mystery.
Every lawmaker gets one guest ticket to President Barack Obama’s annual speech, though congressional leaders get extras.
Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, declined to identify the members of Congress who extended the invitations, saying only that it was not a lawmaker from her home state. He said he didn’t want the identity of the person who extended the invitation to eclipse “Kim Davis and what she stands for.”
First lady Michelle Obama, on the other hand, invited Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case in which the United States Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage across the nation. He will sit in the box with the first lady and Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, cited “God’s authority” and refused to issue marriage licenses, despite a series of federal court orders.
She quickly became a darling of the religious right. Politicians, including presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, flocked to a rally on the jailhouse lawn during her brief stint behind bars.
Still, no one has claimed to have extended the invitation
The Family Research Council, a conservative organization that opposes gay marriage, arranged the invitation, said spokesman J.P. Duffy. That group also declined to identify the lawmakers who gave them passes.
Staver said they would be sitting in the House chamber “to stand for religious freedom and to represent Judeo-Christian values.”
“I think when it became more clear that President Obama was going to tick off his so-called accomplishments in the last seven years, the decision was made to invite Kim Davis to be a visible reminder that his policies have not encompassed all of American citizens and, particularly, Kim Davis with respect to religious freedom and marriage,” Staver told The Associated Press. “So she’s there as a visible reminder of that, his policies have actually hurt religious freedom and marriage and to encourage people to stand for these values.”
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