A Message To Kentucky Clerks Likely Trying To Become Rich Off Bigotry: #GoFundYourself

casey-davis-1It’s been over two months since the Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Naturally, this ruling didn’t sit well with many Republicans who somehow believe religion plays a part in this country’s legal definition of marriage. These tend to be the folks who think “religious freedom” means they have the right to force their views on other people. Ironically, these are also the people who typically bitch the loudest whenever they feel someone else’s views are being forced upon them.

For the record, in this country, religion plays absolutely no part in the legal definition of marriage. Even before the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans, two atheists could walk into a Justice of the Peace’s office and get married practically whenever they wanted. In fact, any ties to religion a couple looking to get married might have were completely voluntary, so this whole religious argument is moot.

While most Republicans have admitted defeat, with some like Ohio Governor John Kasich saying it’s time for conservatives to move on to other issues, there are still plenty of conservatives out there trying to fight a losing battle. I say “trying” because I don’t consider someone to be “fighting a battle” when the end results are already predetermined.

Perhaps the most well-known example of this has been going on in Kentucky where a small group of clerks continue to fight against issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Recently, one of these clerks, Casey Davis, went as far as to say he’s willing to go to jail – or even die – to defend the “sanctity of marriage.”


If you ask me, this is all just one giant scam by these clerks hoping to get rich off bigotry. They have absolutely no legal leg on which to stand when it comes to this issue. The Supreme Court ruled that these bans violate the Fourteenth Amendment rights of Americans – case closed. Yes, it really is just that simple.

So, one could ask, why not just quit? These clerks are government employees, not religious figures. They’re not there to carry out their duties based upon their religious beliefs. They’re elected to do a job as instructed to them by the government. And while they’re state employees, state governments cannot violate Constitutional law. Therefore, as government employees, they are required to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

Via CBS News:

Davis has said she will not resign. She can only be removed from office if the state legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely. If she continues to defy a federal court order, a judge could hold her in contempt and order hefty fines or jail time.

Of course these people don’t want to resign – they want to be removed from office or even thrown in jail for defying a federal court order. They want to become famous for standing firm against gay marriage. And why wouldn’t they? There’s a lot of money to be conned out of ignorant Americans made by becoming a famous bigot.

Who recalls the owners of Memories Pizza who became famous after they were the first business in Indiana to deny service to gay citizens under the state’s new anti-LGBT laws (before the laws were amended to prevent discrimination against homosexuals)? After their story went national, a GoFundMe campaign was started that currently sits at $844,397. Yes, these bigoted con artists made nearly a million dollars from this scam.

Then there was Arlene’s Flowers, a florists who refused to make floral arrangements for gay weddings. She managed to raise around $174,000 before GoFundMe shut her campaign down.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Oregon that refused to make cakes for same-sex weddings, raised about $109,000 in just nine hours before eventually having their scam campaign shutdown as well.

This has been a growing trend over the last year or two where bigots are now making themselves famous, seemingly with the goal to “strike it rich” through online fundraisers that often raise huge sums of money.

Thankfully, the website GoFundMe has put in new rules to ban campaigns linked to discrimination. There are still ways around GoFundMe’s new rules (though the website has proven that it’s fairly quick to address concerns over questionable campaigns), plus there are other fundraising websites people can use.

And I fully believe that’s what these clerks in Kentucky are aiming to do. They don’t want to resign because that won’t get them the same level of attention they’ll get if they’re eventually forced out. What they’re doing is waiting this out until they’re eventually forced out so they can make the right-wing media rounds, become famous among conservatives which will all but guarantee floods of money will certainly pour in for these “brave Christians who were discriminated against for their beliefs.”

But nothing they’re doing is “brave.” It’s bigoted, ignorant and unconstitutional.

Sadly, what I think bothers me the most isn’t that these folks seem to be setting themselves up to scam Americans out of their money, but that history shows us it’s likely going to work.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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