Judge attempted to compromise with her first
Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis was held in contempt of court after she refused a court’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The judge attempted to give Davis a way out by having her agree to not interfere with her staff if they issued the licenses.
She refused the compromise.
“This week has been a historic one -- but has also shown how far we have yet to go in the fight for LGBTQ liberation,” said Heather Cronk, Co-Director GetEqual. “While the country's attention has been fixed on one rogue county clerk in my home state of Kentucky, the truth is that about 3,000 clerks across the country are simply doing their jobs with no fanfare and no resistance.”
Many of this year’s presidential candidates also had something to say about Kim Davis.
Here are nine of those responses.
I spoke with Kim Davis this morning to offer my prayers and support. I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty. She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington. … The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law. They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the Constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples,” Later he said on Twitter: “Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country. We must defend #ReligiousLiberty!
Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America. I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose [sic] between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion. ... I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.
I don't think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions. I think it's wrong to force Christian individuals or business owners. We are seeing government today discriminate against whether it's clerks, florists, musicians or others. I think that's wrong. I think you should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience. I absolutely do believe people have a First Amendment right, a constitutional right. I don't think the court can take that away.
I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty. I think it's a real mistake and even those on the other side of the issue, I think it sets their movement back. ... What's going to happen is it's going to harden people's resolve on this issue. I think what's going to happen is that state and localities are just going to opt out of the marriage business.
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 educational institutions that's religiously based or others, 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.
[Davis] is sworn to uphold the law and it seems to me there ought to be common ground, there ought to be big enough space for her to act on her conscience and for, now that the law is the law of the land, for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is.
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. Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role. When you are a government employee as opposed to say, an employee of another kind of organization, then in essence, you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government.
As a public official, comply with the law or resign. The rule of law is the rule of law. That's what we are. We are a rule of law nation, and I appreciate her conviction. I support traditional marriage, but she's accepted a job where she has to apply the law to everyone. And that's her choice.
Marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law—end of story.