Most of you know about the Kentucky clerk who is currently in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Wikipedia already has an article on it — see Kim Davis. They say:
Kimberly Jean Bailey Davis … is a Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who defied a U.S. Federal Court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following [a] U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Davis filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court seeking to put the lower court’s order on hold while she seeks an appeal. After the Supreme Court denied the application, Davis continued to deny the licenses, saying she was acting “under God’s authority”. On September 3, 2015, she was jailed for contempt of court. After deputy clerks began issuing marriage licenses in her absence, she, through her attorneys, stated that any marriage licenses not bearing her signature were invalid
We’ve never discussed such marriages here, and the issue still doesn’t concern us. But we are concerned about a public official who puts “God’s authority” above her duty to follow the law. The website of Fox news just posted about the reactions of several of the Republican candidates for the Presidency, which indicates their theocratic leanings. Their headline is Kentucky clerk’s same-sex marriage refusal divides 2016 GOP field. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The case of Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky clerk thrown in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has divided the 2016 Republican presidential field — pitting social conservatives championing her cause against others who suggest she’s gone too far.
This is a great opportunity to identify the lunatics. Let’s read on:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is planning a rally Tuesday in support of Davis, and says he’s offered her “prayers and support.” The Southern Baptist minister, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses with the help of a social conservative coalition but is struggling in the polls this time around, argues Davis is on sound legal footing and commended her Friday for “not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for her religious liberty.” On his campaign website, Huckabee posted a “Free Kim Davis” petition and demanded “we must end the criminalization of Christianity!”
No surprise there. We continue:
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also has come out strong in support of Davis, as has Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
It’s long been known that Santorum is crazy. Here’s what Cruz says:
[Ted] Cruz called Davis’ jailing an act of “judicial tyranny” and encouraged “every believer, every constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.” And he criticized any 2016 candidate not doing so.
Once again, no surprise. Moving along:
Indeed, several other candidates have walked a fine line, and at least hinted they think Davis has overstepped now that gay marriage has been ruled legal nationwide. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said “she is sworn to uphold the law.”
Good for Jeb. Another excerpt:
Former HP executive Carly Fiorina told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, “I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways.”
Fiorina told the host it was now up to Davis to make a personal decision about what is required of her at her job. “Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government, in which case she needs to execute the government’s will … or sever her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount.”
Fair enough. On with the article:
In Louisiana, presidential candidate and Gov. Bobby Jindal says the Davis case is exactly like ones where business owners – like florists and bakers — have refused their services for same-sex ceremonies.
That’s fuzzy, but we already know Jindal is a creationist. Here’s another:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told CNN, “I think it’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.”
So far, only Bush and Fiorina have survived this little test. But we’re not done yet:
“While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office,” [Marco] Rubio told The New York Times.
Whatever that means. There’s still more:
[New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie told radio host Laura Ingraham the situation is different when it comes to public employees. “What I’ve said before is for someone who works in the government has a bit of a different obligation than someone who’s in the private sector or obviously working for education institutions that’s religiously based or others,” he said, adding, “but my point is we have to protect religious liberty and people’s ability to be able to practice their religion freely and openly, and of course we have to enforce the law too.”
Also fuzzy, but not entirely crazy. This is the last one:
During another radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said despite Davis’ conviction, “the rule of law is the rule of law.”
So there you are. It’s not all of them, but it’s a good check-list. The ones who seem reasonably sane are Bush, Fiorina, and Graham, with Rubio and Christi as maybe sane. No word on this issue yet from Trump, Walker, Kasich, or Carson (a known creationist).
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