Poll Shows 63 Percent Think Kim Davis Should Have to Do Her Job

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Kim Davis addresses the media just before the doors are opened to the Rowan County Clerk's Office in Morehead, Kentucky on September 14. Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, walked out of jail on Tuesday after a federal judge who found her in contempt said he was satisfied licenses were being issued in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Chris Tilley/REUTERS

In spite of the support Kim Davis has received from politicians like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, national support for her may be flagging as she settles back into her desk in Rowan County, Kentucky. According to a recent poll, most Americans believe that equality under the law should supersede personal conviction when it comes to issuing marriage licenses.

In the ABC/Washington Post survey, released Tuesday morning, 74 percent of respondents said that the need to treat everyone equally under the law is more important than an individual's religious beliefs. In the specific case of Davis, 63 percent said that the clerk, an elected county official, should be required to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, in spite of her religious objections.

The Constitution's protection of free practice of religion has been cited as a legal argument by high-profile opponents of gay marriage, under the premise that requiring businesses, individuals or government employees to recognize the legitimacy of homosexuality interferes with their religious beliefs. Several Republican presidential candidates, including Huckabee, Cruz and Rick Santorum, have voiced this position. Huckabee attended a rally in Kentucky in support of Davis earlier this month, writing in an op-ed that "Kim's stand for religious liberty is a pivotal moment in our nation's history." Cruz wrote that "it was an outrage that she was imprisoned for six days for living according to her Christian faith."

A judge found her to be in contempt of the law on September 3 as the result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Only 45 percent of respondents in the new survey supported jailing Davis, even though many more than that said she should have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis has requested that her name be removed from licenses to same-sex couples. Deputy clerks and other county employees also have the authority to issue the licenses from the office where she works, so in the future it may be possible for Davis to avoid personally handling cases she deems in conflict with her religion.

According to the ABC/Post survey, about 60 percent of Americans have consistently supported gay marriage since 2011, with just over 50 percent supporting the Supreme Court ruling that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.

Though many in her hometown rallied to support Davis, at least one political advocacy group, Planting Peace, made their thoughts known on a billboard criticizing her.