Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Kim Davis Has Lost

Among the election news from yesterday's midterms is an item that should be near and dear to all regular Augoeides readers. Kim Davis has lost her bid for re-election as county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. Davis refused to sign applications for same-sex marriages, citing her religious beliefs, even though it was part of her job. She went on to have a GoFundMe taken down, failed to secure a book deal, lied about the Pope supporting her cause, and got an archbishop fired as apostolic nuncio. As I see it she's an awful person and I'm glad she will no longer hold office.

Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. beat Davis, a Republican, in the race for Rowan County clerk by an estimated 4,210 votes to 3,566 votes with all 19 precincts reporting, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Davis refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, citing her religious beliefs, after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

She was sued by five couples and a judge ordered her to issue the marriage licenses. She spent five days in jail when she refused to comply with the decision. The Kentucky state legislature later changed the law so clerks did not have to sign their names on the documents in response to her refusal, which made national headlines.

It's not just Davis' refusal to sign marriage licenses that makes her awful, it's the craven way that she went about trying to profit from her prejudices. She turned out to be pretty ineffective at doing so, even after resorting to lies and subterfuge, but still. Her subsequent behavior makes me wonder how much of her signing refusals had to do with real religious beliefs and how much they had to do with trying to get in the news so that Poor Oppressed Christian bigots would send her money, either directly in the form of the (taken down) GoFundMe or indirectly by buying her (never actually published) book. While there may be something to be said for taking those fools' money, she messed with a bunch of people who just needed their paperwork signed in order to do it.

And I'll say this again, as I do every time Davis' name comes up, her cited "religious beliefs" only make sense if we start by assuming that no separation exists between civil and religious law, which none of Davis' political opponents actually believes. This is also the reason that Poor Oppressed crowd goes on about how churches will be forced to perform same-sex weddings - which absolutely can't happen because under the constitution there is separation of church and state. It seems to me that a (smart) Christian who opposed same-sex marriage would see it a totally different way.

If civil marriage and religious marriage are not the same thing (which they're not, per the constitution) then all Davis was signing was paperwork for a legal union that has nothing to do with her church or her religion. If her church doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, it shouldn't recognize that the paperwork she's signing is for a marriage at all in any spiritual or religious sense. I think that's backwards and silly, but it is her right. However, it also means that there's no reason to think that there's anything "sinful" about her signing the paperwork. So basically Davis should just have done her job and left it at that.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: