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GOP Presidential Contenders Square Off On Kim Davis

Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Republican candidates for president fielded questions about Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis during last night’s second GOP primary debate on CNN. Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul, stayed out of the fray, but those who did weigh in agreed the state should accommodate the defiant official’s religious beliefs.

Asked by moderator Jake Tapper why he organized a rally to champion Davis’ cause, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee railed against the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage, characterizing the ruling as “judicial tyranny.” He said Davis, who spent time behind bars for defying a federal court order to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay and straight couples, deserves an exemption.

"We made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo. I've been to Gitmo and I've seen the accommodations that we made to the Muslim detainees who killed Americans," he said. "You're telling me that you cannot make an accommodation for an elected Democrat county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky?"

Meanwhile, former Florida governor Jeb Bush – who had previously urged Davis and the state to find “common ground” – concurred with Huckabee. Bush called religious conscience a first freedom and a “powerful part of our Bill of Rights.”

"I was opposed to the decision, but you can't just say, well, the gays can't get married now," the candidate responded. "But this woman, there should be some accommodation for her conscience just as there should be for people that are florists that don't want to participate in weddings or bakers."

Davis is an Apostolic Christian who says issuing the licenses would violate her faith.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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