Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Kentucky Incident


Kim Davis Mugshot (Photo: Carter County Jail)
Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky.  She is also a devout Christian. Nothing wrong with that, no. We have Freedom of Religion in the good USA which means that she is free to practice her religion without persecution.  It also means that everyone else is, too.  We also have separation of church and state in the good USA which means that the state does not establish an official state religion that every American must practice, and government agencies are not based on religion, they are secular.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky.  County Clerk is a County job, a government job, on a local level. She is a devout Christian.  She must have known when she accepted the job that she must keep her religious practices separate from her job duties and responsibilities as a government worker.  And yes, she was elected, which means that she cannot be fired if she does not perform her job duties and responsibilities as she has agreed to do.  That means also if she refuses to do them.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who issues marriage licenses.  I doubt strongly that the description of this particular job duty in her job description says that she must issue marriage licenses only to heterosexual or Christian couples.  It most likely just says "issue marriage licenses."  That is her job.  If she refuses to issue marriage licenses, then she is refusing to do at least a part of her job, or perhaps all of it if that's all she's responsible to do.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court established same-sex marriage as being legal in all 50 states of the good USA.  She notified her boss, as I understand it, that she would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it was against her religious beliefs.  What did her boss do?  I don't know.  I have not seen any report that describes her boss' actions after receiving Mrs. Davis' notification.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who, as a result of refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, i.e. refusing to do her job, is now in jail for contempt, as cited by a judge in a court of law.  That is, a secular court of law.  From what her husband has been quoted as saying, she is prepared to stay in jail because she is determined not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  She is determined to be true to her religious beliefs.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who cannot be fired, but there must be a process of removal from office such as impeachment that the County can implement. What actually surprises me, though, is this: if Mrs. Davis knew well enough that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples was against her religious beliefs that she sent notification of it to her boss, why didn't she then follow her religious beliefs, acknowledge that she would not be able to do the County Clerk's job, and resign?  Or did she stay in order to become a 1) example or precedent, 2) a Christian martyr, or 3) a media celebrity?

I have no sympathy for County Clerk Kim Davis.  By not removing herself from a position that clashed with her religious beliefs, knowing full well what would be expected of her as County Clerk, and knowing full well that we have separation of church and state in this country, she has tried to impose her religious beliefs on her Kentucky county.  Now, I suspect that there are a lot of people who share those beliefs in her county and who are probably cheering her on, making money donations to her, and taking hot dishes to her husband so he won't have to cook.  These people also need to brush up on their civics and the Constitution.  The County Clerk's job is to issue marriage licenses whether the couple plans to marry in a church, synagogue, mosque, or on a beach on a Caribbean island, or in a County Courthouse by a judge, or whether the couple is heterosexual or homosexual.

Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who refused to do her job and therefore belongs in jail for contempt.  She needs to recognize this, acknowledge that her religious beliefs prevent her from doing her job, and submit her resignation.

2 comments:

Daughter Number Three said...

This points up an oddity in some parts of the country: why is this an elected post in the first place? When traveling in the South during primary time last summer, I noticed kajillions of signs for people running for everything from clerk to dog catcher (literally).

I think that having so many elected posts is a voter suppression tactic, intended to make voters feel they can't possibly be well enough informed to vote.

Gina said...

Yeah, I didn't know it was at first and thought it was a regular job where she was hired. It probably should be that type of job.

Either it's a voter suppression tactic or people vote for their friends and neighbors....