Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins were the first in line to receive a marriage license from Kentucky's Rowan County courthouse early Monday, the first day that Kim Davis returned to her office after having being jailed in her ongoing crusade against same-sex marriage.
Together for 20 years, the couple, who live in Lexington and had reportedly been turned away by the office once before, didn't seem fazed by Davis's claim that all licenses issued by her deputies wouldn't be legally sound without her authorization.
"My license is valid," Shannon told NBC. "It doesn't have to have her signature for it to be valid for me."
Carmen, who said she "never envisioned a day when we'd be able to get legally married, and certainly not in my hometown, supported by my family," echoed those sentiments.
Five out of six Rowan County deputy clerks complied with court order and began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Davis's stead after she was jailed Sept. 3. Although Davis's attorney has argued otherwise, Kentucky law does not require a clerk's signature on the license to be valid but, rather, “the signature of the county clerk or deputy clerk issuing the license,” according to The New York Times.
Throughout the day, Davis remained holed up in her office with the blinds drawn. Her office door was guarded by a deputy sheriff, The New York Times also reported. This morning, she made a defiant statement from the courthouse steps in which she vowed not to stand in the way of her deputies issuing marriage licenses, but noted they would indicate that they "are issued pursuant to a federal court order" and do not include her signature.
"I'm just a person that's been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work, be with my family. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience," Davis said. "Are we not big enough, a loving enough and a tolerant enough state to find a way to accommodate my deeply held religious convictions?"