Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Kentucky Marriage Clerk is Liberal Democrat

Then she must be on drugs:

"Uneasy gay marriage truce shaken by Ky. clerk’s defiance" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg New York Times  September 05, 2015

WASHINGTON — Kim Davis did more than register a protest when she went to jail last week after defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Ky., also helped unravel an uneasy détente in the nation’s culture wars that had prevailed ever since the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in June.

Some Republican presidential aspirants rushed to the defense of Davis, a Democrat, and other public employees who say sanctioning same-sex marriage undermines their religious freedom.

At least she is bridging the differences between parties! God does work in mysterious ways!

Her resistance seems certain to generate a burst of new legislation aimed at carving out exemptions for such employees, and it could spur others to risk jail in states like Alabama, where religious objections to same-sex marriage are strong.

Davis, 49, who has said she attends her Apostolic Christian church “whenever the doors are open” and who cited “God’s authority” in turning away gay couples who sought to marry, has emerged as a heroine to religious conservatives deeply aggrieved by the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Her lawyer, Mathew Staver, called her “the poster child for why you need religious liberty exemption laws.”

Yet her jailing for contempt of court by US District Judge David L. Bunning, a former federal prosecutor who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, has also exposed divisions within the Republican Party. While all 17 GOP presidential contenders are opposed to same-sex marriage, not all embraced Davis.

Although polls show that more than half of Americans support same-sex marriage, a national survey released in July by the Associated Press found that Americans were split on whether state and local officials who have religious objections should be required to issue licenses to gay couples.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said officials should not be required to do so; 47 percent said they should.

The Davis case has given fresh voice to some religious conservatives.

“This is a wake-up call,” declared Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and a GOP presidential candidate, who said he will go to Kentucky on Tuesday to back Davis.

Awwwwww, Huck

The South was yours for the taking, but now it's going to go to Cruz because of Duggar and the "I'd be transgender to shower with the girls guffaw, guffaw" remark.

He added: “The question that was always asked of us traditional marriage people was, ‘What difference does it make to you? So what? Why does it bother you?’ Well, maybe people are waking up and seeing why it bothers us. Now you have a county clerk sitting in jail.”

Not to take sides, but we do have a thing called separation of church and state.

Barriers to same-sex marriage fell with astonishing speed after the high court’s ruling, and advocates for equal rights for gay people were quick to declare an end to the national debate over the issue.

I suppose I waved the white flag on it long ago, especially with the wars raging.

“Our opponents leading up to the decision were making the case that there would be a pretty massive backlash, that there would be very serious resistance, protests in the streets,” Marc Solomon, national campaign director at Freedom to Marry, an advocacy group, said last month. “That certainly is not the case. Even people who are not with us are not fired up about this.”

Davis, who quit issuing marriage licenses to both heterosexual and same-sex couples after the Obergefell ruling, seems to have upended that.

Oh, she stopped issuing them altogether!

From conservative talk radio to the grassy plaza outside the Rowan County courthouse, conservatives vowed that their fight to exercise their religious rights was just beginning.

“The homosexual side, they feel they’ve won,” said Randy Smith, a Freewill Baptist pastor who has been organizing rallies in support of Davis. Smith said he had 2,000 signatures on a petition asking Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear to issue an executive order “giving protection to county clerks” that he hopes to deliver this week.

Twenty-one states have a religious-exemption law, but just one — North Carolina — has a specific measure exempting public officials from participating in same-sex marriages, according to the Movement Advancement Project, which tracks gay-rights legislation.

Some legal experts, including Katherine M. Franke, a law professor at Columbia University, say the statute will not hold up in court, for the same reason that Bunning ruled Davis must issue licenses to gay couples.

Government officials, Franke said, “don’t have a First Amendment right to pick and choose which parts of the job they are going to do.”

Actually, that's not true at the federal level. 


She is not backing off, either.

NDU: Ky. clerk appeals contempt ruling