UPDATE: I’ve included a great clarifying video from CitizenLink on the issue at the bottom of this post. Given the information they provided, it seems Mrs. Davis did not actually break any law, but defied a Judge’s order that she comply with his interpretation of the SCOTUS decision.
To catch everyone up: a Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis, was found in contempt of court for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple, and jailed. Ms. Davis refused A court order to comply with the law. The judge cited her for contempt of court, because he couldn’t fire her from her job. The judge offered to let her remain free if she gave her deputies permission to sign the certificates instead. Ms. Davis refused.
The problem is this: Kim Davis
(while legally wrong) is doing something she sincerely believes is core to her faith, and to do otherwise would constitute a violation of deeply held values. When the judge gave her the option to allow her deputies to issue marriage licenses, she said “My conscience will not allow it, God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”
That is not hatred. She does not hate gay people.
Here’s where things go off the rails: many among the LGBT movement and its supporters make the fundamental error in equating opposition to SSM to hatred, or ascribing animosity and hate as the only possible – or most fundamental – motives for opposition to the redefinition of marriage to include SSM. This is not only far from the truth, it imputes malice, vilifies opponents and willfully ignores other reasons for opposing the redefinition of marriage.
Most Christians have a deeply held belief in the nature of family and marriage as described in the Bible, but at the same time, they love their LGBT friends and family as well. This is an internal, spiritual conflict with which they struggle mightily, sometimes on a daily basis. Demanding they simply abandon their sometimes life-long sincerely held beliefs about the fundamental basis of society is asking them to betray something of their identity, something which is core to their understanding of the world, their past and their future.
Yes, the Supreme Court ruled that state and Federal laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and woman as unconstitutional.
That’s not the end of the story.
The fact is that while the SCOTUS ruling addresses the legal aspects of SSM, it does nothing to address the cultural and societal disruption for millions who bear no animus toward their LGBT family, friends and neighbors, but find it difficult or impossible to accept the redefinition of marriage and the attenuation of Constitutional protections of religious liberties. The ruling calls into being something that has never existed in society, and then demands acceptance and compliance with laws that fundamentally upend social order as it has existed for millennia.
Chief Justice Roberts noted how a complete upending and revising of history was taking place:
“The court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?”
Justice Scalia noted how the decision of the majority of Justices casts a baleful light on anyone in opposition, consigning them to the role of ignorant bigots for holding an opinion as old as human civilization:
“They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since… These justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry.”
Unsurprisingly, proponents of the redefinition of marriage ignore or distort historical precedent in an attempt to bolster their argument. They compare the fight for SSM to the Civil Rights struggle, holding up the Stonewall bar riot as equivalent to Rosa Parks refusing to move from her seat on the bus, drawing the righteous indignation of patriots who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., or they try to form a corollary by clutching desperately to the fact that the court likewise ventured into the unknown in 1967 when it struck down bans on interracial marriage in 16 states (failing to mention that interracial marriage had existed for centuries globally and was widely accepted in much of the United States and across different cultures).
Worse still is that throughout history (Dennis Prager makes this case expertly), not one eminent philosopher, religion or cultural system (across the ideological spectrum) has ever endorsed the concept or even the mere idea of same-sex marriage – not one.
Throughout human history, marriage was and has been always understood and accepted as a relationship between a man and a woman – ideally a single man and a single woman. Not one philosophical and / or religious leader – not Jesus, not Confucius, not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Gandhi – ever even considered the idea.
Yet modern LGBT’s and their supporters have arrived at the conclusion that the most radical and disruptive restructuring of society is not only possible, but necessary. They have decided, in their hubris (within the last 40 years, ignoring the previous 9,960 years of human civilization) that the bedrock foundation of social norms and values must be destroyed and rebuilt in order to implement their agenda of redefining the most fundamental, most ideal social institution the world has ever known. As author Mark Steyn has noted, “I think there is something absurd and ridiculous in an appellate court defining an institution that pre-dates the United States by a couple of millennia.”
One of the biggest problems created by this controversy that supporters of SSM willfully ignore is the disparity in the enforcement of law. In San Francisco, an illegal alien with a criminal record, who should have been deported numerous times, was allowed to remain in the US due to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies, and subsequently murdered an innocent woman. Was any official of the city of San Francisco arrested and jailed for failing to follow federal law with regard to federal immigration policy (The Law)? No. In Colorado and other states, voters passed laws to legalize marijuana (in one form or another) in clear violation of federal law. Was any official of the state of Colorado arrested and jailed for failing to follow federal law with regard to federal drug policy (The Law)? No.
It becomes glaringly clear day after day that laws are not only being selectively enforced, but that understanding and acceptance of the anger at this dichotomy is entirely one-sided. The left is more than happy to disregard laws that impede their imperatives and agenda, while demanding that a Supreme Court ruling be religiously observed and enforced with the full weight and power of the federal government. It sends the unambiguous signal that “breaking the law” is acceptable if it is done by a liberal, but not by conservatives. This is legal and judicial tyranny. That liberals and the left are perfectly willing to accept and encourage this behavior is the definition of hypocrisy.
- Clarifying video from CitizenLink on the legal issues of the case: