Will Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Resign? She Won't Issue Gay Marriage Licenses, Which Is, You Know, Her Job
Same-sex marriage is as American as apple pie. It's legal everywhere now, by virtue of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling this summer. And countless states that probably never thought they'd see marriage equality are now required to allow it. But there have been some very conspicuous holdouts, and one's been coming to a head lately. Will county clerk Kim Davis resign over her anti-gay marriage stance, or will she continue to hang on, fighting a nigh-impossible battle against the courts?
For those of you who aren't familiar with Davis, here's the basic gist: She's a court clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, and part of her job is to issue marriage licenses. But that job is now much more inclusive than it was before, as gay and lesbian Kentuckians now have just as much right to marry as anyone.
Because Davis is a Christian with a decidedly hardline attitude on marriage, she's unwilling to issue licenses to same-sex couples, and has continued to be this way, in spite of the Supreme Court's ruling and subsequent court orders directed specifically at her. Her attitude was demonstrated vividly on Tuesday, when a same-sex couple (flanked by camera crews) arrived at Davis' office to demand their rights.
So will Davis resign? The answer, as it stands now, appears to be no. As shown in the video above, when Davis was challenged about whose authority she was following, she replied with "God's authority." And she echoed such language in a statement Tuesday afternoon, reportedly saying that she wouldn't resign her post and that her opposition was a "Heaven or Hell decision."
Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ ... to issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience.
There are probably any number of progressive Christians out there who are practically gagging to hear Jesus' name invoked in all this. But there's no denying that many sects of Christianity are deeply, abidingly anti-gay. Taking Davis at her word — that she thinks this issue is the difference between going to an eternal paradise or eternal torture — you can at least understand her mindset.
But what's less clear is why she wouldn't be willing to seek a different job — whether by transferring to another county position or by seeking new work in the private sector. Changing jobs later in life is tough, no doubt; but so is being held in contempt of court, which is looking like a real possibility.
Obviously, if it's a matter of her taking that "heaven or hell" angle to its logical extreme, she might feel that backing away could also result in her damnation. But the simple truth is that there's a whole world of people out there who don't believe in her God. And they have every right and expectation to be treated as equals in this country. While there are no indications that Davis has any intention of resigning, this much seems clear: It's likely the best path forward for all involved.