(CNSNews.com) - "What happened today is an outrage," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News's Megyn Kelly Thursday night.
He was talking about Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who spent the night in a Kentucky jail for refusing a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals. "God's moral law conflicts with my job duties," she told the judge in court on Thursday.
"For the first time we're seeing a Christian woman thrown in jail for standing up for her faith," Cruz said. "I'll tell you. I stand with Kim Davis, unequivocally. I stand with her and anyone else that the government is trying to persecute for standing up for their faith. This is fundamentally wrong and it's inconsistent with the First Amendment of the Constitution.
"We are a nation that was formed by people fleeing religious oppression and coming to seek a land where we could worship free of the government getting in the way. And it is stunning what is happening here."
U.S. District Judge David Bunning offered to release Davis if she promised not to interfere with her employees issuing licenses, but Davis refused. Five of her six employees told the judge they would comply with his order when their office opens for business on Friday.
Cruz said the new standard is "that Christians can't hold public office, or if they do, they must be willing to violate their faith or go to jail.
"That is not America," he said. "That is not how this country works."
As for all the people insisting that Davis follow the law, "Where have those voices been?" Cruz asked. He said they didn't call for the San Francisco mayor to resign when he declared San Francisco a sanctuary city, in defiance of federal immigration law; and they didn't demand that President Obama resign when he defied immigration reform with executive amnesty, or even his own Obamacare law.
"When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis," Cruz said.
A White House spokesman on Thursday told reporters, in connection with the Davis case, that "no public official is above the law."
As CNSNews.com reported earlier, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee noted that Kim Davis is indeed following Kentucky law, "which by constitutional amendment defines marriage as a man and a woman." He said it's up to the Kentucky Legislature to "change the laws of Kentucky," giving the Supreme Court interpretation "enabling legislation."
According to the Associated Press, Davis told the court on Thursday she hopes the Kentucky Legislature will change state laws in a way that allows her to keep her job while following her conscience. But Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear again refused to call a special session of the legislature on Thursday. State lawmakers will not meet until January.
Bunning indicated Kim Davis would remain in jail at least a week, saying he would revisit his decision after the deputy clerks have had time to comply with his order.
Cruz noted that in Kentucky, people can go to any other county to get married.
"But beyond that, listen, this decision from the Supreme Court on marriage was fundamentally illegitimate...This is not connected to the Constitution," he said.
Cruz noted that Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissent, predicted that something like this would happen: "He predicted this marriage decision was so lawless, was so much judicial activism, that state and local officials could be expected to defy it. That's what Justice Scalia said.
"Now, all of the commentators are saying, they're shocked that she's doing exactly what Justice Scalia said. It's not the job, as Justice Scalia, said of five unelected lawyers to be the rulers of 320 million Americans and to claim illegitimately the authority to strike down the marriage laws all of 50 states. That is lawless."
(The Associated Press contributed some of the information included in this report.)