Thursday, September 3, 2015

Here we go . . .

So if you haven't heard, Kim Davis is a court clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky who is responsible for issuing marriage licenses for people in her district.  She has worked in the office for twenty seven years.  Last November she was elected to the position of clerk - the elected position of her mother before her.  She is in the news because last Thursday she was found in contempt of court because she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

You knew it was coming . . .

Cue the protests, lights, cameras, chants, prayer vigils, megaphones, organized rallies - the 3.5 minute "In Depth" on the news stations and then the accompanying political punditry that examines the broader issue of social division on homosexual marriage in our nation.

Oh - and next - the televised Presidential debates: "What is your take on the actions of Kim Davis, Mr. Trump?"  Or "Mrs. Clinton, what is your message to people like Kim Davis."  Gag and gag again.

Is it sad that so much of this is predictable?

The real issue is whether she is a hero for sticking up for her convictions.  In fact, the entire situation was flipped a few years back when the clerk of San Francisco was giving out marriage licenses to same-sex couple when it was illegal.  Some even painted this clerk as a hero.  For more on the history of that - read here.  I know I admired the chutzpah of a guy who just said, "I am going to do what I think is right" - even though I disagreed with gay marriage, I liked his spunk.  I mean, regardless of you particular views on this, don't we really like the fact that someone has convictions that they act on regardless of the consequences?

Look, she knew she wasn't going to change the system.  This woman knew it would get her 15 minutes of fame.  She may have even known it would dig up her past and parade it through the news (she has been married three times and has had children from different fathers).  She knew all this.  In spite of it all, she had a particular set of beliefs that she knew would take her to jail eventually. And for that I tip my hat.

I think she probably should have resigned - the law is the law.  If you have been elected to uphold the law, you have to uphold the law in spite of your personal views.  You weren't elected as a legislator, you were elected as a clerk that handles the paperwork.  So really your job isn't to inject your ideas into the situation.

However, I love the fact that she has convictions that are simultaneously ruining her career but burnishing her convictions.  Regardless of what you think about her views, please respect her voice and the way that she is standing up for what she believes in.  Even if that means she lawfully belongs in jail.

But lastly, take notes on this.  Because there may be a day that comes in which you feel just as strongly about a law that should never trump what you believe in.  I pray that when that day comes I am as resolute as this woman who cried in the courtroom but then thanked the judge after his sentence.

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