Casey Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, is having a hard time doing his job now that gay marriage is now federally legal. Though this means that Davis is legally obligated to issue same-sex marriage licenses, he still says that he “deserves relief” from all the happy gay couples coming in.
Raw Story reports that Davis, who is steadfast in his religious convictions, wants to make sure that he can do his job and continue to disagree with the now-official standard of equality. It’s not that Davis is against gay people or civil rights or anything, though; he just happens to believe that he’s the one who’s been hurt by same-sex marriage, and that there’s got to be an easier way to deal with the issue than having him, an employee of the government, issue marriage licenses as the government prescribes. What Davis would like, instead, is for taxpayers to fund a website that would allow would-be married homosexuals to obtain their licenses online, like they might for a hunting or fishing license.
Davis went to see Kentucky’s governor to discuss this, but was turned away because the governor, Steve Beshear, was away on other business. Fortunately, however, there were journalists at the capitol and Davis was able to give them this statement:
“I want (Beshear) to call a special session about it,” the county clerk said. “My solution would be, to what everyone else has called the law of the land, is have an online issuance for marriage licenses so that it takes it out of the hands of the individual.”
There’s a lot to unpack here, and also nothing.
First, “what everyone else has called the law of the land” is the law of the land. It’s a fact, not an opinion. Second of all, when you sign up to work in government, you sign up to not (openly) discriminate against anyone and to uphold the laws—both those you agree with and those that you don’t. Demanding that you get more special rights so you don’t have to deal with icky gays isn’t a case the governor should take up; instead, he should consider whether Davis is still fit for the job of country clerk considering that he is unfit to do a major part of what he was hired to.
Davis has asked that same-sex couples respect his values in the same way he respects theirs (which, you may have noticed by now, is not at all). In fact, he appears to be using the argument of “How do you expect me to be tolerant when you’re intolerant of my intolerance?” to bolster his case. But that’s not how it works! Being intolerant of hatred isn’t the same thing as demanding that the government fund new infrastructure just so one person feels comfortable at the expense of thousands of others who have waited so long for equal standing in this country and are still so far away from receiving it.
According to the county attorney and the governor, anyway, Davis might be fired for not upholding state and federal laws. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Davis as much as being able to live free.
The Casey County clerk, who attended a brief prayer rally with several hundred people in Liberty before going to the capitol in Frankfort, said an Independence Day celebration reminded him that the American Revolution was fought so he could live as he pleased.
“I’ve never cried over fireworks before but when they went off in Liberty I had a change of heart,” Davis said. “The part of our national anthem that talks about the bombs bursting in air and how our flag was still there made me think of how those men and women were persecuted (during the American Revolution) and homosexuals have been afforded their rights and I am afforded mine.”
Davis is one of two county clerks in his county (but not the country!) who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses since the ban on gay marriage was deemed unconstitutional in late June. A fund has now been set up by a religious group to help pay for the legal costs that county clerks interested in trying their hand at open discrimination might face.
According to Raw Story, Davis claims that his stance is not anti-gay, it’s just all about respect.
“I respect the stand that they have made, but I ask them to respect the stand that I’m trying to make,” Davis said.
That’s the sound of my head exploding.
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Image via WKYT