Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused issue same-sex marriage licenses, has now been hauled off to jail for defying a court order to issue said licenses.
I think Davis is in the wrong for not issuing the licenses. Davis might dislike gay marriage with a passion, but it is now legal in Kentucky via the Supreme Court and, provided same sex couples meet all other requirements for obtaining a marriage license, she should not impede them.
So what about her religious conscience? If you think Davis’ religious conscience is sufficient grounds for a same sex couple to be denied a marriage license then be prepared to defend the religious conscience of a Muslim clerk who denies a heterosexual couple a marriage license because the woman is a Muslim and the man is a non-Muslim. Islamic law forbids Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men unless they convert. Somehow I can’t see Mike Huckabee going out on a limb for a Muslim marriage clerk who demands an Evangelical Christian male convert to Islam in order to marry a Muslim woman.
Nevertheless, I also think jailing Davis is equally wrong. In an otherwise over the top post at NRO, David French points out the judge had options other than jailing Davis. By jailing her, the federal court is being even more heavy-handed than Davis was in denying the licenses. They have effectively made a martyr of Davis.
Nor am I impressed by the ‘argument’ of Dan Savage that Davis has been thrice divorced. Is Savage trying to tell us he would not have objected to Davis’ conduct had she been single, widowed, or married only once? Hardly. Savage would have objected regardless of her marital status and thus it is irrelevant to the matter at hand.
Whatever her religious conscience, Kim Davis can no more deny a marriage license to a same sex couple than she can to an interracial couple. Kim Davis might not be fit to carry out her duties, but she doesn’t belong in jail either and should be freed forthwith.
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