Clerk Refuses Gay Marriage Licenses (Again)
Remember the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, claiming it violated her religious beliefs? Well, after a federal judge ruled on Monday that she is required by law to issue the licenses, what did she do? She ignored the judge and once again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples!
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is quite the bold one. Not only did she defy a court order mandating her to commence with marriage licenses for EVERYONE beginning September 1st, but she now faces hefty fines, removal from office and even jail time.
Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses immediately after the landmark decision that permitted same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Two gay couples and 2 straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal beliefs. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses and an appeals court upheld that decision. Her lawyers with the Liberty Counsel filed a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court last Friday, asking that they grant her “asylum for her conscience.”
Ms. Davis told the Supreme Court that her Apostolic Christian faith forbade her to affix her name to a document endorsing the view that the marriages of gay men and lesbians were authentic. “This searing act of validation would forever echo in her conscience,” her lawyers told the court. “It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven or hell decision.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied her stay and ordered her to commence issuing marriage licenses to everyone, effective immediately.
On Tuesday morning, April Miller and Karen Roberts, as well as David Ermold and David Moore entered the Rowan County Courthouse, flanked by television cameras and boisterous protesters on each side of the issue. The couples were expecting to receive applications for their nuptials, but were instead told that Kim Davis was denying them marriage licenses.
At first, Ms. Davis remained in her office with the blinds drawn.
“Tell her to come out and face the people she’s discriminating against,” Mr. Ermold shouted.
Eventually, Ms. Davis emerged and argued with the applicants, before asking them to leave. When Mr. Moore said he would not leave the clerk’s office until he and Mr. Ermold had their license, Davis replied, “Then you’re going to have a long day.”
“Stand firm,” Davis’ supporters cheered. “Do your job,” marriage equality activists shouted back.
“I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word,” Davis said. Critics mocked her words, noting that if Davis is so connected to God’s word, why has she been divorced 3 times and currently on her 4th husband?
Davis’ position is an hypocritical one. For years, she has issued marriage licenses to anyone who wanted one, including divorced citizens looking to remarry, adulterers who had cheated on their spouse and were now ready to marry their cheating partner, those who had engaged in premarital sex, and more. Never once did she evoke religious privilege as an excuse not to issue marriage licenses before. Now, she has risen to some moral high ground and magically decided that issuing marriage licenses to divorcées, adulterers and fornicators is OK, but issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples is somehow not OK — and this should all make sense because it is her religious belief. Yeah, right!
Ms. Davis, if you’re going to hide behind the cloak of religion to justify your bigoted beliefs, then at least be consistent. Don’t hand-pick some things as OK, but others as not OK. That is not how religious beliefs work and it makes you look foolish for not knowing any better.
Also, stopping same-sex couples from getting married, doesn’t stop them from being gay. You can’t rid the world of homosexuality with discrimination.
Further, if your so-called “religious beliefs” are so stringent, then perhaps you should resign your post as clerk. Go pick a different job that doesn’t challenge your “beliefs” or force you to do things you say are immoral. For example, if someone had an issue with alcohol, perhaps they shouldn’t work as a bartender. If someone didn’t like certain sex acts, they probably shouldn’t seek employment at a brothel. Well, the same goes for you. If your “beliefs” prevent you from licensing same-sex couples to wed, then don’t stay in a government job where your sole responsibility is to issue marriage licenses for ALL. No one (not even you) gets to change the laws based on their own personal religious beliefs.
Kim Davis took a sworn oath to uphold the duties of her elected office. The oath did not include a clause that she could pick and choose which duties of her office she would or would not uphold, based on her religious beliefs. Because she is deliberately being derelict in her duties as County Clerk, proceedings to have her removed from office should begin immediately. Also, because she is brazenly in contempt of court, she should also be in jail tonight. But she is not.
Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks was called on Tuesday to arrest Davis, but
Barney Fife Sheriff Sparks said he just could not bring himself to do it. HUH???
With this tiny town in Kentucky now a national news story and the flash-point for the same-sex marriage debate, protesters on both sides of the issue gathered outside the county courthouse to voice their opinions.
Christian supporters of Kim Davis stood on the grass and sang “I am a Child of God.”
Not to be outdone, marriage equality activists chimed in after each refrain: “So are we!”