According to his mother, U.S. District Judge David Bunning might not agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, but he will uphold the law.
Judge Bunning is now at the center of an ongoing same-sex marriage debate. This debate continues despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing such marriages. The protagonist in this drama is a Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis.
Ms. Davis has appealed Judge Bunning’s ruling holding her in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ms. Davis objects to same-sex marriage for religious reasons and stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. After Davis was sued by both gay and straight couples, Judge Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling.
However, Ms. Davis still refused to issue licenses saying she couldn’t betray her conscience. Thereafter, Judge Bunning held her in contempt and sent her to jail. In less than a week, on September 8, 2015, she was released upon the order of the Judge that she not interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses. During her confinement, the Judge’s home was picketed as the result of his ruling. According to Reverend Philip “Flip” Benham “Judge Bunning is in contempt of the Court of Almighty God and the constitutions of both Kentucky and the United States.”
Bunning, a devote Catholic and son of a former U.S. Senator and former Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Bunning, is in the spotlight as the first U.S. judge to issue a jail sentence to enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country.
Judge Bunning summed up as follows “Personal opinions, including my own, are not relevant to today. The idea of natural law superseding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed.”