Odds are you've heard the name Kim Davis by now. A Rowan County, Ky., clerk and a Christian convert, Davis, 49, made herself the subject of a national controversy when she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, in violation of the Supreme Court as well as a subsequent district court order. Davis was jailed on Thursday for contempt of court, a move which countless progressives and even some conservatives have hailed as a just decision. But not everybody agrees — some people are protesting Kim Davis' jailing, because even she has her supporters.
It probably doesn't come as a tremendous surprise that some people are rallying for Davis — opposition to marriage equality is still rife within some fundamentalist religious communities, and she and her supporters clearly want to frame her case as a religious freedom issue. That strategy hasn't borne any fruit so far, unless you consider an endorsement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a major victory.
But some people are definitely on-board with what Davis is selling, as detailed by Reuters — protesters gathered outside the Kentucky jail which currently houses her on Saturday, with the news agency reporting that up to 500 people were in attendance.
Huckabee remains the highest-profile political figure to come out in unabashed support of Davis — while other Republican presidential candidates have spoken deferentially about the need to protect "religious freedom," none have been quite as effusive as Huckabee, who's already compared her to Abraham Lincoln and is hosting a "Free Kim Davis" petition on his presidential campaign website.
Huckabee's essentially been running on an all-encompassing "hooray far-right religiosity" platform for months — he also notably refused to denounce disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar when his admitted history of molestation came to light, citing the need for Christian forgiveness, and blasting the "insensitive bloodthirst" of Duggar's critics. In Davis, he's got another relatively easy means to promote his notions of a persecuted Christianity.
Even Huckabee's public avowals of support, and the throngs of protesters who've rallied outside her jail, haven't been half as incendiary as what Davis' own lead attorney, however. In a radio interview, he compared Davis' jailing to anti-Jewish persecution and eventual murder at the hands of the Nazis, leaving Godwin's Law a trampled mess in his wake.
If you even believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman, that alone classifies you in some people's minds as a hater, a hate group, that you can't have employment. You know, back in the 1930s, began with the Jews where they were evicted from public employment, then boycotted in their private employment, then stigmatized, and that led to the gas chambers. I mean, this is the new persecution of Christians here in this country.
It remains to be seen just how long Davis will spend behind bars, although according to The New York Times, she turned down an offer to allow another clerk to administer the marriage licenses, which could've helped speed her release. Basically, it may all come down to what she finds more appealing — making a major career change and getting on with her life, or remaining a martyred icon to the anti-gay religious right, and to those people protesting in her name.