While it seems like the Kim Davis controversy might be subsiding just a bit, I wouldn’t be shocked if all hell breaks loose again soon. She’s still currently (and foolishly) trying to find some court in this country that will tell her that she’s allowed to ignore Constitutional law, and it’s still well-known that she doesn’t want anyone in her office issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
So, while gay couples are currently being issued licenses by the deputies in her office, it doesn’t shock me to read a report from the Associated Press that claims Ms. Davis has been tampering with these licenses in an attempt to completely remove her name from them. Not only is she going against a judge’s order not to interfere in any way with the issuing of these licenses, but her tampering with these documents has raised concerns that her actions might nullify their legality. In other words, she’s still trying to infringe upon the rights of gay Americans.
This is why I’ve said that those celebrating the fact that same-sex couples are being issued marriage licenses in Davis’s office really shouldn’t be celebrating quite yet. Now she’s apparently tampering with official legal documents in what I believe is an attempt by her to try to argue that none of these licenses were legal because they didn’t bear her name.
Now I wrote about this whole controversy at length last week, but I wanted to emphasize this issue more because I’m still disgusted by what’s being allowed to happen in Kentucky.
I’ve said from the beginning that I do not support any form of “compromise” which allows Kim Davis to keep her job unless she agrees to stop discriminating against same-sex couples. It’s clear that even just her presence in that office is still causing problems.
Not only that, but this is still an issue about equality and the Constitutional rights of Americans.
What if a gay couple who wants to be treated just like any straight couple would be who entered her office looking to get a marriage license wants her signature as the elected county clerk on their license – will they get it? No, they won’t. As an elected official, Kim Davis should not be allowed to refuse to do the job to which she’s legally required to do – which includes signing marriage licenses.
This isn’t about a woman not wanting to sign a document because she believes doing so goes against her religious beliefs. This is about an elected official breaking the law by refusing to do her job. I don’t care if there are “workarounds” to this. The bottom line is, no elected official should be able to pick and choose which Constitutional rights Americans are “allowed” to have. Bans against same-sex marriage were deemed unconstitutional – end of story.
Is this the precedent we’re going to set? Are we really going to say that elected officials, citing their religious beliefs, can demand “accommodations” so that they don’t have to adhere to our Constitutional law? And if so, where does it stop? Is it just elected officials who’ll be able to do this or can everyone? Can doctors deny potentially life-saving treatments to patients if their religious beliefs don’t support providing them that care? Will judges be allowed to rule based upon their religious beliefs rather than our Constitution? What if a Muslim business owner decides it’s against their religion to serve Christians? The chaos that could potentially ensue if Kim Davis is allowed to get her way is seemingly limitless.
So, while it might seem rational to just let Kim Davis not sign these licenses as a “compromise” to avoid further jail time or removing her from office, it’s not. Besides, even this “compromise” they seem to be allowing to continue hasn’t apparently stopped her from trying to interfere in any way that she can with issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Not only that, but the Constitutional laws of the United States should never be up for “compromise” – period.
After all, wasn’t segregation a form of “compromise”? Sure, African-Americans were no longer slaves, and they were “free” to do most things, but there were still clearly laws put in place to treat them differently than white people. They were given “freedom” – with a whole lot of catches and “compromises” to make sure they didn’t tick off racists.
Now I know it might seem petty to some to nitpick at something like a signature on a document, but I completely disagree. Like I said earlier, this is about equality, our Constitution, and an elected official who continues to deny gay Americans their rights by refusing to sign these marriage licenses or even allow her name to appear on them as the law says she must do.
Every marriage license that’s issued to a gay couple without her name is a piece of paper signifying that a representative of our government willfully defied our laws, treated them without equality and violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights as Americans to equal protections under our laws.
In this country, there should never be any sort of “accommodation” made that allows elected officials to violate the Constitutional rights of Americans as they deem “necessary.”