A tearful and joyous gay couple left a Kentucky county clerk’s office with a marriage license on Friday morning, while the clerk who runs the office remained behind bars because she refused to issue it herself.
James Yates and William Smith Jr. were first in line at the Rowan County clerk’s office after a federal judge had Kim Davis jailed Thursday for defying his order to issue same-sex marriage licenses in compliance with a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.
One of Davis’ deputies issued the license to the couple, then shook their hands.
A crowd of supporters erupted in cheers as the couple left the courthouse.
Yates told reporters he was “relieved and happy.”
Davis, the Rowan County clerk and an Apostolic Christian, has said granting licenses to same-sex couples would infringe on her religious beliefs. But District Court Judge David Bunning held her in contempt of court on Thursday and ordered her deputy clerks to start issuing licenses to gay couples.
Five of the six deputies agreed to comply. The lone holdout was her son, Nathan Davis.
Read more: NBC News