Kim Davis is a Criminal


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Kim Davis is sitting in a federal prison, where she belongs. She’s being held in contempt of court for refusing to issue any marriage licenses in her capacity as Rowan County, KY’s clerk, against a federal judge’s orders. In other words, she is refusing to do her job and enforce the law in an official capacity. She is a criminal.

No, she is not a prisoner of conscience. Kim Davis does not have a right as a public official to deny the rights of members of the public because she disagrees with their actions, even if it’s over a religious belief. Public officials do not have to violate their conscience ever, but the correct response to being in such a position is to resign. Yes, there is some level of sacrifice to that, but it is a personal choice. Being a public official is not a “right” though, even if you are elected, it is a privilege which requires you to carry out the law. If you cannot carry out the law in your public capacity, you resign. Simply not doing your job is denying the taxpayers their rights to use your office, and that is not acceptable. Davis belongs in the prison she’s sitting in.

The religious right-wing is attempting to carve out some place in society in which they are free to not accept gay marriage as proper marriage. They don’t need to do this though, because it already exists- in their private lives. You do not have to support marriage equality in your own home or heart, nor do you have to in your church or place of worship. I’m certain that most Christian churches in America will not marry gay couples anytime soon, and no one will force them to either. Of course, it’s a person’s choice what church they join and what they personally believe, and it has no impact on anyone else. Once you step into the market or the government sphere, your beliefs have an effect on other people, and it’s not okay. There cannot, and should not, be any “carve out” of space for intolerance towards marriage equality in the market or the government. You don’t have to enter the market or the government, so it’s not your “right” to be a bigot there. This is not an issue of religious liberty, that is already protected. This is an issue of equal protection under law, which was not always protected.

A final point on this, Kim Davis should have been a political problem for Democrats. She is a registered Democrat and ran as one. Her position is out of line with our national platform as a party, but that happens sometimes. It especially has happened in the South, dating back to the Civil Rights movement and moving up through issues like abortion and marriage equality, that some Democratic elected officials in the South are left behind as these issues arise, and are not in line with their political party’s general beliefs. Fortunately for the Democrats, they aren’t going to have to really explain that on Kim Davis, because Republican Presidential candidates are taking the opportunity to try and benefit from her. Mike Huckabee is actually going to go visit her in jail. They are literally taking a political inconvenience for the other party and making it their own. This is pretty emblematic of the current state of the GOP, unable to get out of it’s own way.

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