Clerk told: Let gays marry or go to jail

Protesters outside the Ashland courthouse (Reuters)
Protesters outside the Ashland courthouse (Reuters)

A clerk in the US state of Kentucky has been jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Protesters on both sides of the issue were at the Ashland courthouse when the judge made the ruling.

Clerk Kim Davis said she wouldn't sign licenses in her county for religious reasons.

"My conscience will not allow it," she told the court. "God's moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties."

Davis is now in custody until she complies. She can't be fired, as it is an elected position.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waded into the debate, tweeting in support of Ms Davis' arrest.

"Marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law - end of story."

Davis' office is set to start issuing notices later today without her.

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