A gay couple walked into the Rowan County clerk's office in July to get a marriage license, were promptly denied, and then posted a video of the refusal online.
That is Kim Davis' claim to fame--it's how an unknown woman became the subject of a national conversation. That discourse then dragged on for months, with conservative bible-thumping Christians, including Ted Cruz, following her lead and praising her stance against the Supreme Court ruling that gave LGBT individuals the right to marry in June.
In an interview with GQ, David Ermold and David Moore--the couple turned away-discussed the repercussions of uploading the video, the history of their 17-year relationship, and their regrets about the entire situation. Here's some of what they had to say:
The couple originally met online--in a chat room, Moore says:
"I started talking to men on a site that doesn't exist anymore called the Globe, which allowed you to put up a personal ad, and there was a whole section for men seeking men. I put one up, and Dave had one up, too, and we had similar music taste: the Cure, Tori Amos. I didn't have a computer, so I would walk to the library to message him."
"About four months after we first messaged, he came down to Kentucky to visit from Pennsylvania. Four months after that, he moved down here full-time."
The couple thought they could help change Davis' mind when they applied for a license but were infamously denied:
"She told us the Adam and Eve story. I told her we've been together 17 years, and she got emotional. I couldn't tell if she was emotional for herself or for us: She said she was worried about her own soul."
"After that, Dave said, 'You know, you've probably given licenses out to rapists and murderers over the course of the years.' And she said, 'Yeah, but they would have been a man and a woman.' That's really what set us off."
Ermold and Moore see themselves as normal guys:
"We're very plain people. We have cats in the house. We're not, like, super clean. We don't have Grindr accounts. We're not young. We're middle-aged."
"[Internet commenters] called us the Pillsbury Gay Boys."
Both are incredibly private people, Moore says, that never thought the video would go viral like it did:
"When I went to work [the morning after posting the video], my phone started to blow up because I put my e-mail address on the video. First it was our friends messaging us, and then journalists. I got freaked out. I didn't know how to deal with any of that. We're private, and I was really uncomfortable."
"We stopped talking to the press after the first day. It was overwhelming, but we thought it would get resolved in a month, because it's the law."
"I'm an introvert, so the whole thing was very crushing. The media added a surreal, amplified layer."
The couple worries about their Kentucky community and the church's negative influence on people in the area, Moore says:
"I'm worried about people that live here that feel the same way as Davis. We live on a street with a Christian academy. It's a compound, and people live there in trailers. They put up a sign that says, 'Man may make it legal, but that doesn't make it right.'"
"Gay kids go to that church. They go to Sunday school, just like we did when we were kids. It made us hate ourselves. That's what they're doing to their own children: They're making them hate themselves."