Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about Kim Davis, the county clerk for Kentucky’s Rowan Country.Ms. Davis is now in jail because she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it was against her religious beliefs. There are some people who believe that because she is an elected official, her religious beliefs are not allowed to influence the way she does her job, but there is a bit of inconsistency here.
The article reports:
We don’t recall President Obama insisting on “the rule of law” when his then Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced in 2011 that he wouldn’t defend challenges to what was then the law—the Defense of Marriage Act signed by President Bill Clinton—in the courts. Nor did we hear about upholding the law when mayors such as Gavin Newsom in San Francisco issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state laws.
Officials such as Messrs. Holder and Newsom were as guilty as Ms. Davis of elevating personal preferences over the law. Yet they were lionized by those now holding up an obscure Kentucky clerk as a national villain. Meanwhile, five of Rowan County’s six deputy clerks say they will start processing licenses for same-sex couples Friday, but Miss Davis says she will not authorize them.
I don’t have the answer to this dilemma. I do believe religious beliefs should be protected, but I am not sure how that would play out in this situation. I suspect our Founding Fathers would come down on the side of Ms. Davis. However, the past behavior of the Obama Administration seems to indicate that if you disagree with a law, you don’t have to enforce (or follow) it. Obviously you can’t have it both ways.