Friday, September 4, 2015

Same-sex marriage license issued by deputy clerk in Rowan County, KY

Soon after the County Clerk's office opened this morning, with County Clerk Kim Martin still in jail, her deputy clerks issued a marriage license to James Yates and William Smith, one of the couples that had previously been repeatedly turned away by Ms. Davis.

From her jail cell, Davis had yesterday insisted that she still had the authority to prevent this from happening.   But the clerks did it anyway.

Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC pointed out that only three of the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. have refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples.   There are other counties that have so few residents that they only get two or three heterosexual couples a year seeking licenses.   So, of course, not all counties have been tested by actual applications.

That fact is, however, that the compliance with SCOTUS's June ruling, is astonishingly good.   Think back to the 1954 Brown v Board of Education, when there was massive resistance to desegregation of schools by governors and angry crowds yelling at little black kids going for their first day of school.   Think George Wallace standing defiantly to block the entrance to his white state university in Alabama.

This is nothing like that.    Our age of instant news everywhere with social media, internet, and 24/7 television blows it all out of proportion.   Kim Davis became a recognized name within minutes all over the country.    Conservative politicians lost no time in warming up their denouncing megaphones.

Here's a question for Mike Huckabee and his ilk:    What if Kim Davis, instead of an evangelical Christian, were a Muslim or an orthodox Jew and wanting to impose some particular belief that failed to carry out her official duties?    What would you say then?   Would you defend her right to ignore a law that went against her "sincerely held religious belief?"   What if a Quaker clerk refused to issue gun permits because guns violated the sincerely held, passivist beliefs of his religion?


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