Support for County Clerk’s Alleged Fight for Religious Liberty Is Misplaced; Her Stance Attacks Religious Liberty

Political support for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’s alleged fight for religious liberty is misplaced. As many have observed, she was jailed for refusing to follow a court order. Our country has a rich history of persons being jailed for such reasons while advancing a cause.
Ms. Davis’ cause, however, was not a victory for religious liberty. Rather, she had been attempting to enforce her religious views on others – to make her beliefs the official view of Rowan County, Ky., government. In that respect, her stance violated the First Amendment, which prohibits any government establishment of religion – a protection of religion that has been incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendment and applied to state and local governments. Whether the same-sex couples would have standing to bring a First Amendment claim against Ms. Davis and Rowan County is a separate question. Certainly the couples can, if they haven’t already done so, seek damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of their Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection, and Rowan County residents will be footing the bill.
If Ms. Davis sincerely believes God forbids her to issue same-sex marriage licenses, her solution is plain. Resign. Government officials have no right to perform their duties according to their individual views, religious or otherwise, in violation of law or known constitutional rights, and voters should be deeply suspicious of those political candidates who have suggested otherwise.

By Terry Horne

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