Katie O'Brien
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Kim Davis - Do Your Job

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Kim Davis, a clerk in the Rowan County office in Kentucky, has been refusing to issue marriage licenses, for both same-sex and straight couples since June. That same month the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in the United States.

Stating that she was acting under “God’s Authority” and claiming her “religious rights” under the First Amendment of the Constitution, Davis refusing to issue marriage licenses.

On Thursday, Davis was found in contempt of the court, after being told from various courts that the actions she refused to perform were illegal and not bound by her religious beliefs, but by the law. Because Davis is an elected official, and as such, she swore an oath to uphold the law, like all elected officials do.

Therefore, not issuing the licenses goes beyond her not performing her duties, but violated Federal law. 

She was sentenced to jail until she performs her duties. In her absence, all but one of her deputies has agreed to issue the licenses she refused to. 

In order for Davis to lose her position as clerk; she must either resign or be impeached, she cannot simply be fired. During the time that she was not issuing the licenses was still paid. Davis’s annual, taxpayer funded salary is $80,000 per year.

Simple logic says that if Davis was no longer to perform her duties as clerk, she should resign. According to some of her statements, Davis believes that she has a right to do this, under “God’s authority,” however, what about the authority of the Supreme Court?

Further, while Davis is claiming her religion is the reason why she can't perform her elected duties, she has been married four times and birthed children out of wedlock; both of which various Christian religions condemn. This is an obvious form of hypocrisy, showing that while Davis refused to follow the law, her personal life reflects a decision after hypocritical decision.  

In cases where defendants state “religious freedoms” under the First Amendment as their defense to say, refuse to serve same-sex couples at their business or in this case, refused them a marriage license. However, this is not a substantial defense, and has many loopholes to it.

If the Federal Court rules that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states, county clerks must obey. This is the bottom line. As an elected official, Davis is a representation of the people, and their wishes, whether her religious obligations and beliefs either consider, or stand side-by-side with them.

Davis’ lawyer stated that same-sex couples wishing to received marriage licenses can visit another county clerk, and receive the paperwork there. However, those wishing to get marriage in Rowan County are that county’s taxpayers, and as a result, pay Davis’ salary.

Those living in that county have a legal right to be married there which is being infringed upon by Davis’ decision to not adhere to the law, which she swore to carry out.

So – whose rights are really being violated here? Ms. Davis, do your job or find a new one.

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*This is editorial content and expresses the opinion of the author.