Despite numerous orders to do so, Kim Davis refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (read: to do her job). As a result, she’s been found to be in contempt of court and jailed.
The thing about having a legal job is that oftentimes you’re required to take an oath of office. The point is that you have to affirm that you’re willing to uphold the laws of the United States and the city and state you live in. This doesn’t always make things easy – people who are opposed to the death penalty participate as judges, attorneys, and jurors. I have seen firsthand how difficult it can be
However, people do their jobs. Kim Davis had to take an oath when she assumed her office about one year ago. Her oath was:
Members of the General Assembly and all officers, before they enter upon the execution of the duties of their respective offices, and all members of the bar, before they enter upon the practice of their profession, shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of …. according to law; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.
The supreme law of the United States is the United States Constitution. If there’s a conflict between a state law and the Constitution, the Constitution wins. People get pissy about the judiciary creating laws, but this is how people are protected. Without the judiciary it may still be illegal for a black person to marry a white person and schools may still not be integrated.
People are making fun of Kim Davis for the way she dresses, her hair, and the fact that she’s been married four times, in seeming opposition to her Christian values. She’s a rather recent convert to Christianity and offers that as her explanation for her past transgressions. I don’t think you need Christianity to use good sense about who you marry, but what do I know?
I’m also not sure how it is that Davis issuing licenses to same-sex couples has anything to do with her religious beliefs. This has nothing do with her personally. It is through her role as the Clerk that she would be issuing licenses. We all get that she doesn’t want to do that. She has made that abundantly clear. She isn’t marrying a woman. So what of it?
What she is doing is imposing her judgment and view of Christianity on others. There is obviously a lot of discussion about whether Christianity prohibits same-sex marriages, with a number of churches in favor of them. When last I peeked into Christianity, it is not the place of any individual to impose their judgment on others and no one lives a sin-free life.
There are a lot of jobs that Davis could be doing right now. She took the post from her mom who held the position for 37 years so I can see why she may be reluctant to step down. Issuing marriage licenses is but one of many things a Clerk does, but it’s something that impacts a lot of people on a regular basis. If she can’t execute the duties of her job, she should step down and let someone who can uphold the oath of office take over.
In the meantime, good luck with that orange jumpsuit.