She is Kim Davis, and her name is now known throughout America. For some, she’s a martyr; for others, she’s a misguided extremist.
Kim Davis, a Rowan, Kentucky county clerk, refused to issue marriage certificates to gay couples even though they are permitted to marry under United States law. An Evangelical Christian, she told two men who wished to get married that she would not issue the document “under God’s authority.”
The thing is American law does not contain Bible verses. Davis was sentenced to a year in prison* and has become an icon for conservative Americans who have found the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding gay marriage hard to swallow.
This 49-year-old woman’s vain and pointless resistance will not serve any purpose. On Friday, shortly after Davis was jailed, the very office where Davis worked processed the first gay marriage licenses. The judge who sent her to jail had the foresight to ask Davis’s colleagues to follow the law, which they did without objection under the court’s stern watch.
In 1955, a young black woman named Rosa Parks refused to sit in the seats reserved for black people on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. With this simple act, she changed the history of America because she was fighting against an intolerable injustice, with no thought to anything but equality.
Sixty years later, Davis attempted to do the reverse. She sought to stigmatize a minority. She was not invoking her right to work under God’s authority. Like anyone else who affirms a belief in a divine truth, she was taking the foundations of extremism even lower.
Moreover, before teaching a lesson, one must set an example. Davis was twice divorced, married three times, and has given birth out of wedlock. But all of that was before she discovered God.
Editor’s note: Kim Davis was jailed for being in contempt of a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.