Embattled Kentucky clerk Kim Davis joined Megyn Kelly Wednesday to talk about her decision to stop issuing marriage licenses and the national response. Below are some key moments from her segment with Kelly:
When asked about her decision to go to jail rather than violate her beliefs, Davis said she was willing to stay “as long as it took” to change Kentucky law to include religious accommodations:
KELLY: So you decide you’re going to stand by — stand up principle, you wind up getting word you’re going to jail. Even though you knew it was a possibility, describe the moment you learned you were going?
DAVIS: There was a flood of emotions, of course, when the marshals came around to get me and I stood up and I thanked Judge Benton and I walked out with grace.
KELLY: Not knowing how long you were going to be in jail for.
DAVIS: Didn’t matter how long I was going to be in jail.
KELLY: How long were you willing to stay?
DAVIS: As long as it took. I would stay until January until legislation was put in if that was what it took.
Davis also opened up on the support rally held by Mike Huckabee on the day she was released from jail and the backlash of public opinion against her:
KELLY: When you came out of the jail and there’s Governor Huckabee, Ted Cruz is there as well, Matt, you’re there. Eye of the Tigers playing, you received this huge welcome, describe that moment, what was that like for you?
DAVIS: Well, the presence of God was very strong there. It was overwhelming. And it was — I was totally unprepared for that, because I was prepared that day to have a visitation from Governor Huckabee and from the Denim Brothers — and Tony Perkins I believe.
KELLY: When you went out there and you saw all of the people, did you feel supported?
DAVIS: Yes, it was like electric up there.
KELLY: And, yet, I’m sure it wasn’t too long there after that you learned not everyone was cheering. There has been severe backlash. We showed a clip of some women on TV calling you a monster, mocking your appearance, mocking the appearance of your husband. How did that make you feel?
DAVIS: I don’t watch this stuff so I’ve not seen any of it. I want to keep it that way. But what people say about me does not define who I am. It doesn’t make me the person that I am. My God has transformed me. And that’s what they don’t understand, because they have a different view than I have. They’re considering me to be something that is terrible.
When asked to describe the “hardest” part of her ordeal, Davis said it was when she gave her clerks their final orders before her arrest:
DAVIS: The hardest part about all this is when Judge Benton called my deputies in. I told them, my conscience is mine and yours is yours. You’ll have to make a decision. I love you all. I will not lead you like sheep to the slaughter.
Davis also suggested that the couple suing her came in “looking for a confrontation” as they already knew she wasn’t giving out marriage licenses:
KELLY: So you knew — I mean ultimately, your efforts to get an accommodation were either ignored or failed. And that moment that we seen in the video tape where the couple asked you for the license, and you were not issuing licenses to any couples, gay couples, straight couples, that was the equal treatment that you were giving. Was that the first time you had denied a license to a gay couple?
KELLY: Ok, so it had happening for how many days?
DAVIS: That was probably their fifth time in.
KELLY: That same couple?
DAVIS: Oh yeah.
KELLY: Ok. So they knew what the answer was going to be.
DAVIS: Yes they did.
KELLY: And you believe they were looking for a confrontation?
DAVIS: Sure. Sure. There was a media swarm around them. That’s what it was all about.
KELLY: Did you understand in that moment the consequences of saying no? That it could ultimately lead you going to jail?
DAVIS: Sure, I had laid the cost of this.
KELLY: Did that enter your mind though, jail?
KELLY: Wow, so you understood…
DAVIS: Most definitely.
The full transcript of Davis’ interview can be found here.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.