Kentucky couple, David Ermold and David Moore, planned on shedding light on a rural Christian county clerk who refused to give them a marriage license. They didn’t intend to create a conservative celebrity.
Ermold and Moore had heard that Kim Davis, the clerk who claimed that her religion prevented her from issuing marriages to gay couples, was declining requests—so, when they went to file their own marriage license, they made sure to record the exchange so they could document exactly what happened to them.
The result, instead, was a several-weeks-long media circus, which resulted in Davis going to jail for contempt-of-court, and then later sharing a stage with former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who vowed to defend Christian faith. Conservatives were suddenly galvanized over gay marriage—an issue that, just months before, seemed like it had been all but decided by the Supreme Court.
In fact, things went so awry for Ermold and Moore that they regret turning Davis into a national celebrity.
“Mike Huckabee comes down and creates a martyr of Davis,” Ermold complained, in an interview with GQ—which was, obviously, not their intention. “They took her picture with her hair down in a braid, and her husband was in bib overalls, the whole thing. They staged these photo opportunities for her.
“We’re also complicit in her fame,” Moore added. “We’re the ones who filmed her originally.”
“I thought if she could see us and talk to us, maybe she would go home and think about the people she’s affecting,” Moore added. “We decided we were going to go in and document it.”
He continued, “I put [the video] up around 11 at night. The next morning, Gawker had it, and then The Advocate was running it. By the time I got up, it already had 200,000 hits.”
At which point, Davis became a national talking point.