David Ermold and David Moore say they never intended to make Kim Davis a household name. In fact, if they turn back time and undo everything, they probably would.
“We’re … complicit in her fame,” Moore recently told GQ in an interview. “We’re the ones who filmed her originally.”
Ermold and Moore had been together for 17 years when they went to apply for a marriage license from Davis after the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality in June. They had heard rumors that she was refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples, but they hoped to change her mind.
“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 recalled. “We decided we were going to go in and document it.”
When they uploaded the video online a few days later, it quickly went viral.
“I put it up around 11 at night,” Moore explained. “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.”
And the rest is history.
Moore says the unexpected attention was “overwhelming” and “freaked me out.” But it wasn’t until Davis was arrested that he realized just how out-of-control things had become.
“This is not what we wanted,” Moore remembered saying. “When we saw the mug shot—it literally looks like somebody’s mother is being arrested.”
“Then Mike Huckabee comes down and creates a martyr of Davis,” Ermold added. “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.”
Related: Even Mormons Hate Kim Davis
Ermold went on to express sadness for Davis.
“She’s being used,” he said. “When this is all said and done, if she still has that job, she’s gonna be sitting in her office, and she’s gonna be alienated. I don’t think she’ll get re-elected.”
Ultimately, both men say the experience made them finally confront the humiliation they had been suffering as gay men for their entire lives.
“We’ve been desensitized to the humiliation,” Moore said. “We had a mirror held up and realized, okay, this was happening all this time, but we just ignored it. We just let people treat us this way all this time.”
“That’s what’s the hardest thing about it all: the reminder that you’ve been letting it happen for so long,” Ermold added.