Kim Davis (right) left unimpressed by Obama's final speech
Kim Davis, who was jailed for five days after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences, showed little emotion when Obama praised how America had “secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.”
According to her lawyer Mat Staver, she attended to show Obama’s policies “have actually hurt religious freedom and marriage and to encourage people to stand for these values".
One of congressman Jim Jordan’s staff gave Kentucky-based Davis the ticket to the invite-only event.
Kim Davis was jailed last year for five days for refusing to clear same-sex marriages
Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in the case that led he United States Supreme Court to legalise gay marriage across the nation, was also attended the speech.
Obergefell sat with First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife.
Davis continued to look stone-faced in the back row as Obama lauded the reformed made in his tenure.
Obama did not receive a round of applause from Davis
Obama said: “It’s how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector; how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans, and how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.”
The President added: “You’re the reason why I have such incredible confidence in our future. Because I see your quiet, sturdy citizenship all the time.
“I see it in the soldier who gives almost everything to save his brothers, the nurse who tends to him ’til he can run a marathon, and the community that lines up to cheer him on.”
After the Supreme Court's decision, Davis cited "God's authority" and refused to issue marriage licenses. She quickly became a darling of the religious right.
Obama was giving his final State of Union address
She attracted attention from presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, who flocked to a rally on the jailhouse lawn during her brief stint behind bars.
Staver, founder of the law firm Liberty Counsel that advocates against gay rights, said he and Davis would be seated in the House chamber “to stand for religious freedom and to represent Judeo-Christian values.”
She's a reminder that Obama's policies have actually hurt religious freedom and marriage
Mat Staver on Kim Davis
He said: “I think when it became more clear that President Obama was going to tick off his so-called accomplishments in the last seven years, the decision was made to invite Kim Davis to be a visible reminder that his policies have not encompassed all of American citizens and, particularly, Kim Davis with respect to religious freedom and marriage.
“She [Davis] there as a visible reminder of that, his policies have actually hurt religious freedom and marriage and to encourage people to stand for these values.”