I believe most Americans have heard of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue or allow Deputy County clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of a federal court order. The thrice-divorced, quadruple-married Davis maintains that issuing licenses to same-sex couples violates the sanctity of marriage and therefore violates her conscience as a Christian.
Ms. Davis earns $79,796.68 per year as the Rowan County chief clerk, according to the Kentucky Department for Local Government, while the average annual pay of Rowan County workers was $31,798 in 2014 and more than 25% live in poverty, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In sum, Ms. Davis earns a relatively goodly sum for her elective office.
Predictably unmoved by Davis’ religious basis for defying the court order, U. S. District Court Judge David Bunning found Davis in contempt of court on September 3, 2015, sent her to jail and stated that Davis would remain in jail until she complied with the order. Five of her six deputy clerks agreed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and began doing so on September 4th. The sixth deputy clerk, Davis’ son, didn’t answer the question in court and has not issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Davis was released from jail. Judge Bunning is a smart fellow, unwilling to underwrite Davis’ phony martyrdom. The Judge is satisfied that the office is issuing marriage licenses to “legally eligible couples,” ordered attorneys for the five compliant deputy clerks to issue a status report every 14 days to ensure continued compliance, ordered Davis not to interfere “directly or indirectly” with the efforts of those five deputies, and stated that “appropriate sanctions will be considered” if she does not comply with the order.
Meanwhile, Kim Davis’ post-release party looked like an amalgam of “Hee-Haw,” a Confederate Flag rally, “The Beverly Hillbillies,” the pre-rape scene from “Deliverance” and a photo op for presidential contender Mike Huckabee. While at least one supporter waved a sign stating that they don’t need the Supreme Court because they have the Supreme Being (yikes!), Davis’ attorney stated to reporters, “She loves God, she loves people, she loves her work, and she will not betray any of those three.”
Swell. However, from where many of us sit, Davis has arrogantly betrayed all three, with contempt for the law thrown in for good measure. This lady is a government official, sworn to uphold the law and to serve all the citizens living in Rowan County. If her religious beliefs compel her to impose her bigotry on all the citizens of Rowan County, then she should work at “Hobby Lobby” or “Chick-fil-A” instead, and take her bigoted deputy clerk son with her.
Now back at work, Davis has stated that she will allow her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without her “name, title or authority.” In other words, she has surrendered. The governor, the attorney general and the county attorney all deem the licenses valid. Only Davis and her attorneys claim they are invalid. What Davis and her attorneys fail to realize is that the licenses are issued by the County; not by her. She is merely a public servant who should be impeached forthwith for failing and refusing to perform her duties.
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