Kim Davis is out of jail, back to work, and probably having a very merry post-Christmas with the knowledge that she pissed off a lot of reasonable people in 2015. She’s also the spark that may have just enacted a huge change in how Kentucky issues marriage licenses.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin last week issued an executive order so that county clerks’ names won’t appear on marriage licenses anymore, in order to “ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored.” To Matt Barber and other right-wingers, that’s a huge victory for the pro-Davis crew:
“This action is a fulfillment of a campaign promise by Gov. Bevin and is directly what our client Kim Davis has been requesting for months,” said Mat Staver, Davis’ attorney and founder of the Christian civil rights firm Liberty Counsel. “This promise will enable her and other clerks to do their jobs without compromising religious values and beliefs.”
Bevin made clear that the order was a way for county clerks — but mostly Kim Davis — to keep preaching against same-sex relationships without entirely shirking their job responsibilities. But as the ACLU pointed out, it’s not actually clear whether the Governor had the power to make this change (note that the selection below is from Barber’s blog post):
“Governor Bevin’s executive action has added to the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over marriage licensing in Kentucky,” claimed ACLU of Kentucky Legal Director William Sharp.
“The requirement that the county clerk’s name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor,” he demanded, proving that the anti-Christian left’s goal was never about so-called “marriage equality” but, rather, was to force Christians to deny marriage reality and personally affirm, under penalty of law, mock “gay marriages.”
(Does it prove that? Hmm…)
The ACLU will soon have little more to say on the subject as lawmakers are poised to further codify and build upon Bevin’s executive order. “Next month, the Kentucky legislature is expected to update the state’s marriage laws and will consider a provision exempting county clerks from having to issue them,” reports ABC News. “Davis said Kentucky’s marriage laws have been ‘completely eviscerated’ by the Supreme Court’s ruling and said she would be willing to come to the state Capitol to testify about any changes.”
Because this is Matt Barber, this particular blog post is laden with “gay marriage” in scare quotes. (We can have a Supreme Court ruling in our favor, but conservatives are still treating same-sex marriage as a farce?) It also falsely makes Davis out as the hero of this story, the martyr who was “arbitrarily imprisoned for five days,” the victim of a world that just wouldn’t let her be herself — yet Barber fails to mention that Davis’ religious beliefs just don’t get to interfere with other people’s basic human rights. It doesn’t work that way.
Perhaps Kim Davis feels she “won” because she doesn’t have to associate her name with same-sex couples’ marriage licenses (if this policy actually goes through). But the more important winners are the same-sex couples who can now marry anywhere they want to in the United States, regardless of what Davis or any other official thinks of their relationship.
They probably didn’t want her name on their license, anyway.
(Image via Right Wing Watch)