Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush on Thursday weighed in on the hot-button issue of the week: whether Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis ought to be entitled – based on her religious beliefs – to defy a federal court order mandating that she issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
“[Davis] is sworn to uphold the law and it seems to me there ought to be common ground, there ought to be big enough space for her to act on her conscience and for, now that the law is the law of the land, for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is,” Bush said to supporters at a town hall event in Laconia, New Hampshire.
Earlier Thursday, Davis was taken into custody by federal marshals during a marathon hearing in U.S. District Court. Davis had been defying an August court order compelling her to issue marriage licenses to all eligible applicants – including same-sex couples – and on Thursday she stood before the same judge whose order she had refused.
In an emotional, five-hour hearing, Davis said through tears that she could not comply with the order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Among other Republican White House hopefuls, meanwhile, Davis’ detractors include former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Her supporters include Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said in a statement Wednesday that he had spoken with Davis to offer his “prayers and support.”
The U.S. Supreme Court in June made marriage equality the law of the land.
Additional reporting by Emma Margolin