Since June, when the Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have a constitutional right to wed, Davis has asked to be excused from issuing marriage licenses to anyone on the grounds that licensing a same-sex marriage would violate her religious beliefs.
In doing so, the longtime public servant has evoked the anger of couples who say it’s their right to be married in their home county by the clerk whose salary comes from their tax dollars.
“I pay your salary,” David Moore insisted Tuesday, leaning over Davis’s desk after she refused to issue a license to him and his partner, David Ermold. “I pay you to discriminate against me right now, that’s what I’m paying for.”
“Do your job,” someone else yelled. As the argument became more heated, Davis walked back into her office and closed the door.
Davis isn’t the only clerk to reject the Supreme Court’s ruling, but she is certainly the most notorious. That’s in part because of a now viral video that Moore and Ermold filmed in July during their first attempt to obtain a marriage license in Rowan County.
But Davis is also the most outspoken of the holdout clerks — she has issued a statement explaining her stance on the issue and is being represented by the public interest law firm Liberty Counsel, which provides free legal assistance for “advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life and the family,” according to its Web site. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the firm an “anti-LGBT hate group.”
An Apostolic Christian, Davis wrote in her statement that her refusal to license a gay marriage is “a Heaven or Hell decision.”
“I want to continue to perform my duties, but I also am requesting what our Founders envisioned — that conscience and religious freedom would be protected,” she continued. “That is all I am asking. I never sought to be in this position, and I would much rather not have been placed in this position.”
I’m all for religious liberty. I support bakers who do not discriminate against gay customers but who also do not believe in being forced to participate in servicing same-sex weddings. But Kim Davis’ situation is different. She works for the government. She holds an elected position paid for by the taxpayer of her district.
If she can’t follow the orders of the governor and the Supreme Court and in good conscience issue marriage licenses, then she should resign. That is her Constitutional right.
Don’t defend her. She is undermining the legitimate fight for religious liberty. And she is a Democrat. That point should be emphasized because her indefensible position is damaging to the conservative cause. Jindal is wrong. Huckabee is wrong. Rand Paul is wrong. Marco Rubio is wrong.
Carly Fiorina and Lindsay Graham have it right.
Don’t fight losing battles that make us look foolish.