In spite of the US Supreme Court’s decision, a Kentucky clerk and evangelical Christian is refusing to issue marriage licenses for gays and lesbians. As such, she has been sentenced to a year’s imprisonment.
Prison over same-sex marriage. God’s law over that of Washington. The United States Supreme Court may have legalized same-sex marriage, but Kim Davis is obstinately refusing to issue marriage licenses for gay couples. Judge David Bunning therefore decided, on Thursday, Sept. 3, to sentence the Rowan County clerk of Kentucky, a public notary who is also an evangelical Christian. She was to remain in custody as long as she refused to comply with the law. “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” declared David Bunning. This is a decision that has focused America’s attention on the rural area between the Midwest and Deep South.
‘No Marriage Licenses Today’
Davis, 49, has spent more than 25 years working as a Rowan County clerk without making the news. Now, however, the recent legalization of “marriage for all” in the entire U.S. has upset the civil servant. For this woman with loose, waist-long hair and eternally long skirts, delivering a marriage license to a homosexual couple “would violate” her religious beliefs. This is, of course, because she says she has “surrendered [her] life to Jesus Christ.”
“To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment [of the U.S. constitution],” she explained.
For their part, David Moore and David Ermold are defending their new freedom to marry. During the summer, they went to Davis’ registry office. Confronted with the notary’s obstinate refusal, the couple recorded a video. Other couples then repeated the same process. “We are not issuing marriage licenses today,” Davis said calmly. “Under whose authority?” someone asked. “Under God’s authority,” she calmly replied.
‘Born Again’ Since 2011
Refusal to issue marriage licenses cannot occur under the authority of U.S. law. Davis has thus been rebuked three times: first by a federal court, followed by a court of appeals, and lastly by the Supreme Court. Within the span of a few weeks, the evangelical Christian has become the muse for right-wing conservative Christians, a Frigide Barjot – the French anti-gay marriage activist – “à l’Américaine.” Her supporters come from all four corners of the United States to bolster this pillar of the Apostolic Church (a Protestant church).
As for her opponents, they note that she has never been very respectful of God’s authority, particularly in her own case, since she divorced three times and had children out of wedlock. That may be so, but Davis is a “born-again” Christian, adhering to the doctrine of American evangelical churches, having joined the Evangelist ranks in 2011. Since then, she only recognizes God.
This is a godsend for the Republicans who are riding on the case of this declared Democrat. It is no controversy for the White House though. It is enough to recall that “every public official in our democracy is subject to the rule of law.”