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Huckabee to join rally for clerk jailed over gay marriage licenses

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will join protesters at a rally today outside the jail where a Kentucky clerk is locked in a cell over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Huckabee plans a private meeting with Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed by a federal judge Thursday after defying several court orders. Her lawyers spent Labor Day weekend filing appeals in an effort to force her release, but she remains there on a contempt charge.

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who often reaches out to religious conservatives, says Davis is simply exercising her religious freedom by denying the marriage licenses.

Davis’ jailing offers the many Republican presidential candidates an opportunity to appeal to the GOP’s evangelical Christian wing, which opposes same-sex marriage and casts Davis’ imprisonment as an issue of religious freedom. Not all the Republican White House hopefuls see it Huckabee’s way, however.

Huckabee’s visit comes a day after Davis filed yet another appeal in the hopes of being released. Her attorneys asked for an order to have Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear accommodate Davis’ “religious conviction,” and not force her to grant licenses to gay couples.