Over the last few days I’ve had several debates with people who support Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. I use the term “debate” loosely because I’m finding that those supporting her aren’t building their arguments based on our laws, the Constitution or even reality – just their own personal opinions. I write about these types of folks all the time; those who seem to believe reality isn’t based upon what’s actually real, but what they want to be real.
This whole nonsense surrounding Kim Davis and her continued defiance of Constitutional law is a perfect example of exactly that.
Well, during an interview on MSNBC, Davis’s lawyer (and Christian radio host) Mat Staver got absolutely embarrassed when he was pressed by Chris Hayes to defend his client’s stance based on legal grounds – not hollow rhetoric.
Hayes began by bringing up past bans on interracial marriage, asking Staver if he believed someone could cite their “Christian conscience” to deny a marriage license to an interracial couple.
“What’s the limiting principle on that conscience?” Hayes asked. “If she did not want to give marriage licenses to interracial couples, would that be okay?
“You’ve got express constitutional amendments to that effect,” Staver answered.
Except, that’s not true. Bans on interracial marriage were overturned by the Supreme Court – not a Constitutional Amendment. And much like now, back then there were people who claimed interracial marriage (or “race mixing” as many referred to it) went against the Bible.
“The difference is, before and after the Supreme Court decision, marriage was always, and still remained, the union of a man and a woman,” Staver responded. “There were express constitutional amendments against racial discrimination, and they injected race into the union between a man and a woman. It didn’t change the essence of marriage before or after Loving (the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage).”
Wrong again. Actually, for centuries in many cultures marriage was between a man and many women – sometimes even close relatives. I can’t help but laugh at these people who seem to believe that marriage is exclusive to Christianity or this country. I guess nobody has told them that same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for a decade now.
Besides, this argument that “marriage has always been between a man and a woman” is completely meaningless. Once upon a time, slavery was something that had “always been.” Just because something has “always been” does not mean it cannot be changed.
Well, Chris Hayes wasn’t done pressing Staver on his client’s ignorance.
“But that’s just defining away the question,” Hayes emphasized. “If really, the issue here is, you say, it’s conscience, right? Then that sort of jurisprudence argument doesn’t seem to me to apply. The question is, what does her Christian conscience tell her? If someone’s Christian conscience did not allow them to for instance, issue divorce certificates – I mean, Jesus himself condemned divorce, let’s be clear – should they be able to do that?”
This is about the point when things just went off the rails. Staver continued avoiding Hayes’s questions, essentially repeating over and over that “marriage has always been between a man and a woman.” As if that is some sort of legal basis on which to claim Ms. Davis has the right to infringe upon the rights of gay Americans.
Heck, even when Hayes brought up divorce, Staver wouldn’t answer whether or not he felt a judge would be within their rights to deny a couple a divorce, claiming it went against their “Christian conscience.”
The best part came toward the end of the interview when Hayes confronted Staver on whether or not he was just using all of this as a fundraising tool for the Liberty Council, the lawfirm that he chairs. Staver instantly became agitated, defensive and essentially accused Hayes of not treating him fairly. He tried insinuating that Hayes was showing bias, suggesting that he wouldn’t be asking the ACLU the same fundraising question. Hayes was quick to point out that he would absolutely ask the ACLU the same questions if they were the ones he was currently interviewing.
The bottom line is, Staver was completely humiliated and exposed. Throughout the entire interview, Hayes kept pushing him to provide some sort of legal basis on which Kim Davis has to plead her case, yet he couldn’t do it. Because the truth of the matter is, there isn’t any.
In accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America, as per our Fourteenth Amendment, as ruled on by our Supreme Court, bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Anyone trying to infringe upon the rights granted to gay Americans in accordance with this ruling is thereby breaking the law.
So, unless Republicans somehow managed to pass a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage (which will never happen) this “debate” is over – conservatives lost. They should really get over it.
Watch the interview below via MSNBC:
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