I’ll be perfectly blunt: Kim Davis isn’t a hero. She’s a bigot, plain and simple.
The Rowan County Kentucky clerk refused to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses in her offices this summer. She also refused to allow her deputies to issue the licenses, effectively making it impossible to get a marriage license in her county.
Her motives behind this were religious. Davis believes homosexuality is a sinful act, and by distributing licenses for same-sex marriage, she’d be contributing to something she couldn’t morally endorse.
No one is forcing her to support these couples. But Davis was using her office, a government post, to promote her beliefs. That’s not just rude; that’s unconstitutional.
After a series of court decisions telling her she couldn’t, in her capacity of county clerk, refuse service to individuals on the basis of their sexualities, Davis still refused to issue licenses, resulting in a contempt of court ruling that put her behind bars.
So-called “defenders” of religious liberty were outraged. Republican presidential hopefuls came to Rowan County to show their support. Some even considered her jailing an affront to her beliefs.
In reality, Davis was breaking the law. The Supreme Court ruled this summer that state laws restricting marriages between same-sex couples were unconstitutional, and gay and lesbian couples were entitled to the same rights and privileges of heterosexual couples.
It’s okay for people to disagree with that ruling; it’s even fine if their religion considers same-sex couples to be sinners. That’s a personal belief many have, and no one is trying to lawfully abridge the right to hold or even promote those beliefs.
But Kim Davis took it a step further; she used her office as a means to promote her own beliefs. She effectively said homosexuality was a sin, and therefore, Rowan County wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages as valid because of her beliefs.
Davis didn’t have her rights trampled on; she trampled on the rights of others.
Consider what an uproar there would have been if she denied a marriage license for an interracial couple. The connection isn’t that farfetched. Back when such marriages were illegal, many (wrongfully) cited religious reasoning as to why interracial marriages shouldn’t be recognized.
Or consider what a mess we’d be in if other public servants — say, police officers, firefighters or other EMS workers — refused to help others on the basis of their religious beliefs.
We wouldn’t stand for any of that. And we shouldn’t stand for what Kim Davis or her supporters are trying to promote, either.
Kim Davis is free to exercise her religious beliefs however she may like, so long as she doesn’t use taxpayer dollars to do so.
When she used her own offices as a means to deny others their rights, she crossed a line that was established long ago in our government: separation between religion and our nation’s laws.
Davis likely gave out marriage licenses to individuals who didn’t cater to her religious views 100 percent. That fact alone makes her actions hypocritical in nature.
It also makes her a bigot. If she were to deny licenses to everyone who “offended” her beliefs, she’d be consistently denying couples left and right. Instead, she took this opportunity to deny licenses to same-sex couples.
Her inconsistency is enough proof to let her hatred of same-sex couples shine through. She’s free to have those feelings, but she cannot impose those beliefs onto others through her government offices.