Friday, September 4, 2015

A Martyr is Born

Jail is probably the best thing that ever happened to Kim Davis.  When she gets out, the right wing media will crown her as a saint and a martyr.  She will make ship-loads of money off the book that she will eventually write, from celebrity talk show appearances, and on the lucrative public speaking circuit.
Already the professional paranoids are claiming that their wildest fantasies about Persecuted Christians are coming true, that the Gaystapo will be loading up the cattle cars with Good Christian People starting next week.
A lot of people with little experience of the South and even less of Kentucky are calling for the state legislature to impeach her.  It will do no such thing.  More likely, it will pass a resolution commending her.

Even more than Kim Davis, the rule of law will suffer the most.  Gay and lesbian couples are paying the real price for her intransigence.  They must accept second class citizenship, less than full rights and protections under the law so that her convictions might not feel threatened.  A county clerk unilaterally decides that a law that she does not like is void in her county.  She effectively makes herself her own legislature and court deciding that what is best for her is right for everyone else.  She is setting a precedent that will come back to bite the very people singing her praises now.  Imagine some day a Muslim county clerk deciding that he will not grant Christians marriage licenses because he believes that they are infidels, and that to accommodate them violates his religious faith.  Or, another county clerk refuses to recognize interracial marriages, despite the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia decision, and claims to do so on religious grounds.  Both clerks would be able to cite Kim Davis and unilaterally nullify established law and legal precedent.

And in the end, what difference will any of this make?  This is one clerk in one county out of 3,143 counties in the USA.  All the others are following the law and granting licenses to same sex couples, even in gay hostile states.  Even in Davis' own Rowan County in Kentucky, the county clerk's office employees are doing their job, and doing it quite willingly, granting licenses to those couples that are legally eligible, including same sex couples.

William Smith Jr. and James Yates get their marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky earlier today.  from the New York Daily News.

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