Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says She Won't Block Issuing Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses In First Day Back At Work

Kentucky Clerk Gay Marriage Kim Davis Returns
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Sep. 14 2015, Updated 10:28 a.m. ET

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The Kentucky county clerk, jailed for refusing to distribute marriage licenses to same-sex couples, returned to work Monday and pledged she wouldn't further block the process.

Kim Davis, an apostolic Christian who spent five days in custody after U.S. District Judge David Bunning held her in contempt, said she's wrestled with a "seemingly impossible choice" between following her "conscience" or and keeping her "freedom."

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The 49-year-old Davis said that her office would distribute the licenses to same-sex couples "pursuant to a federal court order" -- but that she wouldn't personally be authorizing them, and considers them invalid.

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"I don't want to have this conflict, I don't want to be in the spotlight and I certainly don't want to be a whipping post," Davis told reporters gathered outside her Morehead, Ky. office.

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Declaring herself "no hero," Davis -- who makes $80,000-a-year in the elected position -- said she's "just a person that's been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work and be with my family.

"I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience."

Brian Mason, a Rowan County deputy clerk working under Davis, had a sign by his desk that read "Marriage license deputy."

He said same-sex marriage licenses would be available at the office regardless of the passive protest of Davis, who said she harbors no ill will toward her staffers for distributing the licenses.

She said on Monday, "I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle of any of this; if any of them feel that they must issue an authorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them."

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