Sunday, August 16, 2015

Job Misplacement

The Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board is making it pretty clear where they stand on the issue of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis's refusal to issue marriage certificates and the right-wing firm Liberty Counsel representing her, and that position is "do your job or quit".

No doubt county clerks and their staffs over the decades have often looked at people applying for marriage licenses and questioned both the wisdom and the likely sanctity of the proposed union. Certainly they've often known things about the couple that many religions would frown upon. But we've never heard of a clerk denying a license to a divorced person, a philanderer, someone who's abused a partner or neglected children. It's easy to imagine the outrage and chaos that would ensue if clerks began morality-testing prospective opposite-gender spouses. But that's exactly the right that Davis is demanding. She wants to pick and choose, based on her beliefs, which legally qualified couples will get marriage licenses.

The Liberty attorneys have asked Bunning to delay his order while they appeal it.

Bunning should deny that request.

Davis can resign if she's morally unable to issue the marriage licenses while the appeal is pending. Law-abiding, taxpaying Rowan County citizens have been denied their constitutional rights for almost two months while Davis has kept her job and Liberty has ginned up its marketing machine.

 And this case may still be heading for the Supreme Court, it only takes four Justices to grant cert. In the meantime the Justices have already decided on the question of same-sex marriage itself, and Davis should either follow that law or resign and be replaced by someone who can.

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