"I Wasn't Always A Good Woman..."

Aug 18, 2023

“I wasn’t always a good woman,” says Kim Davis, who became famous back in 2015. But that was before a deathbed wish changed Kim’s life forever and resulted in federal prison for the gal who had never lived anywhere other than her old, rural Kentucky home.

Read on to learn more about Liberty Counsel’s latest case that will soon go to trial and from there, head to the U.S. Supreme Court — where we intend to challenge the Obergefell “same-sex marriage” opinion. — Mat

An attack on one woman’s religious freedom is an attack on ALL religious freedom. Fund the fight for religious freedom! Every donation made to our legal fund today will be DOUBLED IN IMPACT by a generous Challenge Grant.

Born and raised in rural Kentucky, Kim Davis had never lived anywhere other than Rowan County. Kim’s family had a history of public service in the tiny county of 24,000 souls, her mother having served as Rowan County Clerk for decades. Kim herself served as her mother’s Deputy Clerk. And when Kim’s mother retired in 2014, the good people of Rowan County elected Kim as their Clerk. Kim didn’t even campaign for the job. She had no time to campaign while keeping the Clerk’s office running and caring for her ailing mother.

Kim never dreamed her public service would lead to federal prison. What landed Kim behind bars had roots in a deathbed discussion she had with her mother-in-law four years before.

“I wasn’t a good woman, but I was a good mom,” says Kim of that earlier time in her life. She’d been married and divorced multiple times. But as Kim’s mother-in-law lay dying, she begged Kim to get right with God.

“I went to church to fulfill her dying wish,” Kim says. “There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.” That message changed Kim’s life. “I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven,” she says. Because of that grace, Kim fell in love with the Lord, and realized she “must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.”

The bucolic life of Eastern Kentucky would soon become ground zero in the culture wars and known worldwide. Kim served her county well in the Clerk’s office for nearly 27 years.

On Friday, June 26, 2015, five activist lawyers in Obergefell v. Hodges invented “same-sex marriage.” Just days later, Kim Davis had a big decision to make — violate the deathbed promise and her devotion to the Lord or use her name and authority to sanction something God did not.

“I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage,” Kim says. “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven-or-Hell decision. For me, it is a decision of obedience.”

“I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will,” Kim says. “To me, this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our history is filled with accommodations for people’s religious freedom and conscience.”

Kim asked then KY Gov. Steve Beshear and the courts for reasonable accommodation to remove her name and authoritative title as the Clerk of Rowan County from the marriage licenses. Kim says she was requesting what our Founders envisioned — that conscience and religious freedom would be protected. But instead of accommodation, Kim was thrown into federal prison for six days.

Gov. Beshear lost his reelection bid that year, in what many say was Kentuckians’ distaste for how the governor targeted a woman for her Christianity. The newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin quickly got to work, granting Kim’s religious exemption and working with the Kentucky Legislature to ensure ALL clerks and state employees retained the right to religious accommodation.

Eight years later, the couples who could have gotten their marriage licenses from any other County or Clerk but chose to target Kim are targeting her again. These folks now want to SUE Kim into bankruptcy.

In response to our emergency request to review this case in 2020, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said: “This petition implicates important questions about the scope of our decision in Obergefell.”

“Since Obergefell,” Justice Thomas continued, “parties have continually attempted to label people of good will as bigots merely for refusing to alter their religious beliefs in the wake of prevailing orthodoxy.”

Jury selection will begin September 11 for our case defending Kim.

Former Kentucky Gov. Bevin once said, “When history called upon Kim, she was both ready and willing to respond. Will the same be said of you?”

We intend to take Kim’s case back to the Supreme Court to (1) win the right to religious accommodation, and (2) overturn Obergefell.

Help us defend every American’s RIGHT to religious freedom. Help us overturn Obergefell. If we allow even one person’s religious liberty to be stolen, then ALL our freedom is at risk. Please, give generously today and a special Challenge Grant will DOUBLE the impact of your gift.

By the way, those six days Kim spent in prison? Well, Kim spent that time reading Paul’s letters written when he was incarcerated. Kim sang hymns. Her faith became so well known in prison that convicts from the maximum-security unit sent Kim notes of thanks and encouragement. Praise the Lord for redeeming this good woman!

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel


“Kim Davis: A Portrait of Redemption and Courage.” Charisma News, April 18, 2018. Charismanews.com/politics/70616-kim-davis-a-portrait-of-redemption-and-courage.

Liptak, Adam. “Justices Thomas and Alito Question Same-Sex Marriage Precedent.” The New York Times, October 5, 2020. Nytimes.com/2020/10/05/us/politics/thomas-alito-same-sex-marriage.html.

“Statement of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis.” Liberty Counsel, September 1, 2015. Lc.org/newsroom/details/statement-of-kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-1.

“What If God Called You to Speak Out? Are You Ready?” Liberty Counsel. Accessed August 17, 2023. Lc.org/kim.