Hate, it’s a strong word. It’s a word that’s bandied about an awful lot these days. Some people might say too much. We live in an internet age, an age of interconnectivity where people can express themselves on any number of social media outlets to their heart’s content.
Problem is, those expressions aren’t always seemly, cordial, or even politically correct. And hey, it’s everyone’s right to express themselves and hold opinions…unless of course those opinions impinge on the rights of others…
It was a momentous time for many. After years of being denied the same basic rights as everyone else, the homosexual community was finally being allowed to marry in states all across the nation. The Supreme Court ruled that by way of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US constitution, gay marriage was now legal in every state in the union.
Of course, just because something is law, it doesn’t mean everyone is going to follow it. Indeed, fourteen counties in three Southern states continued to deny marriage licenses for same-sex marriage even after the law was put into effect. Counties in Alabama, Texas, and Kentucky continued to deny the same rights they had allowed to everyone else based solely on religious scruples…
Not to be undermined by the moral compunctions of those beneath him, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear ordered that all Kentucky county clerks begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses immediately. Many of the previously held-out counties obliged, but there was one stickler in particular who decided that her own beliefs were more important than the constitutional rights of others.
Regardless of your opinion on the matter, or which side of the issue you sit on, most of us can agree that Kim Davis’ reaction to same-sex marriage ruling was not exactly what many people would consider “enlightened.” She believed that gay marriage was wrong and that homosexuals should not have anything to do with what she held as the sacrament of marriage, and she wasn’t about to profane herself….
If a gay couple came in seeking a marriage license, Kim Davis would turn them away from the county office where she worked as a county clerk. She did this for a few days without too much incident, leaving a string of disappointed couples in her wake. That is, until David Ermold and David Moore came up to her counter at the county clerk’s office.
The Davids were a happy same-sex couple from Morehead, Kentucky who had been together for a number of years. They were excited to finally be able to get married, but they had no idea what they were walking into. Davis refused point-blank to issue them a marriage license. So they did the only sensible thing a person could do in that situation, they turned on their cell phone camera…
The disappointed Davids took video of Kim Davis’ stubborn refusal to adhere to the law of the land and issue them a marriage license. She asked them to turn off the camera, which they also refused to do and by the time the video was posted onto the internet, it had gone viral. Seemingly overnight their situation had ignited a nationwide controversy.
As for Kim Davis, she was told that she needed to issue the license and when she refused, was sent to prison for five days. What she was doing, morally-charged or not, was illegal. Not only that, but the other couples she turned away wanted to take legal action against her for her actions. In no time at all Kim Davis had become the most hated woman in America…as far as some people were concerned anyway…
After she had been released from prison, Davis contacted her lawyer, asking for help. She wanted to petition for an executive order to protect clerks who have moral objections against personally issuing such marriage licenses. This was mainly because of the way Kentucky law requires county clerks to issue marriage licenses in their names. She didn’t want her name to be attached to this at all.
Of course, in refusing the Davids, she inadvertently attached her name to this issue forever. It seemed that suited her though. In refusing to do her state-ordained job, she had successfully done her God-given duty. There were plenty of people who stood behind her in the issue as well. Indeed for each person who sided with the Davids, there were just as many on her side…
On the day Davis was released, the Family Foundation of Kentucky, a local political organization, held a protest rally against the Supreme Court ruling. Several thousand people showed up at the State Capitol in Frankfort on August 22, 2015 to fight for Kim Davis’ right to protect her integrity against what they believed was governmentally-mandated interference.
Another clerk from Whitley County, Kentucky, Kay Schwartz, felt oppressed by the way she was forced to adhere to the law. “There’s a law against bullying…Why take away the majority’s right just to give the minority their rights?” However, unlike Kim Davis, Kay suggested that maybe there might be an online service that could meet the needs of same-sex applicants. The KY government wasn’t having it…
Denying them All
Davis stood before the crowd at the rally saying, “I need your prayers…to continue to stand firm in what we believe…We’ve not tried to prevent same-sex marriages, we’ve only tried to exercise our First Amendment rights.” She, like Kay Schwartz simply wanted them to apply for the marriage anywhere but their county. It was her idea of a compromise.
Now, several years after the issue first arose, Kim Davis is sick and tired of the fallout: which is still coming. She has now launched a legal case to stop all of the personal litigation still headed her way. She has been personally sued dozens of times for refusing to offer the same-sex licenses. There are many who believe that beliefs aside, this may be going too far…
The Liberty Counsel has recently published a biography of Davis entitled “On God’s Authority”. The book is obviously very religiously-charged and tells much about her fight for religions freedom in the face of governmental intervention. Yet either way you turn and twist it’s a sticky situation. Many people view it as either you hate what God has to say or that you don’t think Homosexuals are people with rights.
Davis’ lawyer believes that she is entitled to qualify for immunity from plaintiffs’ claims because plaintiffs have not established a violation of their constitutional right to marry, just that they can’t get her to do it. Many readers will notice that the tone of this particular gallery is one with pretty solidly Leftist leanings, but even I think this is going a bit far to make a political statement…
As I stated earlier, hate is a strong word and it’s bandied about much too frequently these days. Davis has often stated publicly that she doesn’t “hate” the people coming in to get their marriage licenses, she just thinks they are doing wrong in terms of her faith. And as distasteful as some of us may find it, she has the right to think that.
Rights of All
This situation may seem trivial to some, but it’s symptomatic of a perpetual problem in our society. Whatever your creed, religion, sexuality, there are always going to be some who disagree with what you stand for or even what you represent. The question remains though, if it’s their right to think that, then can they do so as long as it doesn’t impinge upon their rights? Did Kim Davis have the right to refuse to do her government duty on religious grounds? The government says no…
In 2018, Davis announced that she would not re-run for her position as county clerk this year, as it happens though, there is at least one familiar fellow who is going to try for the job. David Ermold, who since married his partner, has decided that he wants Kim Davis’ job. Although it’s not going to be an easy road for him.
This decision prompted Davis to reconsider and to run again, which of course indicates some sort of desire to beat out her would-be replacement. Whether or not this is a vindictive act or simply a change of heart remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome however, Kim Davis’ troubles are far from over and may God have mercy on her.