Gay Marriage

Kim Davis Has No Right to Impose Her View of Marriage on Others

The defiant clerk's defenders dangerously blur the distinction between private action and state action.

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When the ACLU of Colorado likened a baker who won't supply cakes for gay weddings to a police officer who refuses to protect a church or synagogue, it blurred the distinction between private action and state action, which is vital to a free society. Conservatives who defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who last week went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, are making the same mistake.

Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said a federal judge's decision to hold Davis in contempt of court amounted to "the criminalization of a Christian for believing in the traditional definition of marriage." He warned that pastors, photographers, caterers, and florists who decline to participate in gay weddings could receive similar treatment.

"We must defend religious liberty and never surrender to judicial tyranny," Huckabee said. "This is a reckless, appalling, out-of-control decision that undermines the Constitution of the United States and our fundamental right to religious liberty."

Other Republican presidential contenders likewise framed Davis' refusal to comply with the Supreme Court decision overturning state bans on gay marriage as an exercise of the religious freedom protected by the First Amendment. "I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty," said Kentucky senator Rand Paul.

Texas senator Ted Cruz was even more emphatic. "Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny," Cruz said in a statement. "Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America."

As my Reason colleague Scott Shackford noted, Cruz seems to have forgotten about a long line of Christian women who were arrested for living according to their faith as they understood it, including abolitionists, integrationists, alcohol prohibitionists, peace activists, and death penalty opponents. More to the point, Davis was not arrested for living according to her faith; she was arrested for trying to impose her faith on others.

The government, unlike private businesses, is constitutionally obligated to treat all citizens equally under the law. Last June, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court said that obligation means states must issue marriage licenses to couples without regard to their sexual orientation.

Many conservatives disagree with that decision. Huckabee even likens it to Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1856 decision upholding slavery. Since Obergefell, whatever the merits of its legal reasoning, expands liberty rather than contracting it, that comparison strikes me as inapposite, to say the least. Refusing to recognize gay marriage is hardly a moral cause on par with ending slavery.

In any case, as a representative of her state's government, Davis is obligated to comply with the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection guarantee, just as county clerks who objected to marriages between people of different races (even on religious grounds) were obligated to issue licenses for such marriages after the Court concluded that bans on miscegenation violated that principle. If Davis cannot in good conscience issue marriage licenses to gay couples, the honorable thing for her to do would be to resign.

People cannot, in the name of religious liberty, insist on keeping a job when they are unwilling to perform the duties it entails. That goes for private as well as government employees. If Davis took a job that required her to photograph gay weddings or bake cakes for them, she would have no right to reject those tasks on religious grounds and expect to keep the job.

The situation would be different if Davis started her own bakery or photography business. In that case, she should be (and in Kentucky would be) free to turn away work related to gay weddings based on her religious objections to such unions.

The ACLU is wrong to argue that such a refusal is essentially the same as unequal treatment by the government. So is Mike Huckabee.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Jacob,

    The first sentence in this article– “When the ACLU of Colorado likened a baker who won’t supply cakes for gay weddings to a police officer who refuses to protect a church or synagogue, it blurred the distinction between private action and state action”– has nothing to do with the title or byline of the article.

    I guess it’s real important for us libertarians to remember that while we may have our disagreements with our right-wing soul brothers on abortion, wars in the Middle East, gay marriage, etc., it’s very important to make sure we battle the real enemy of liberty– screaming feminist banshees on college campuses making up rape allegations.

    1. “…us libertarians…”

      Socialism and liberty are incompatible, dummy. Socialism requires compliance, conformity, etc., the very antithesis of liberty. If you are a socialist you are no fan of liberty.

      Those screaming feminist banshees you mention aren’t your enemy, they are useful idiots for the progressive/socialist movement. They are your fellow travelers.

      1. Not true. Socialists are believers in positive liberty.

    2. You’re not a libertarian. A libertarian would never think it’s ok to walk away from his mortgage like you did. You have more in come with Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mao, etc.. You know, your role models.

  2. “The first sentence in this article– “When the ACLU of Colorado likened a baker who won’t supply cakes for gay weddings to a police officer who refuses to protect a church or synagogue, it blurred the distinction between private action and state action”– has nothing to do with the title or byline of the article.”

    You’re saying that because you didn’t bother to read the article, especially the lines that follow. He was trying to make a point.

    There are no “wars” in the middle east, just a migrant crisis fueled by a fascist government. You’re make a distinction between middle east conflict and American academia’s crackdown on due process rights because you don’t understand the nature of oppression.

    1. I think the point utterly missed by the article is that the state should be more observant of religious freedom than private entities. So if Abercrombie and Fitch has to accept hijabs, and UPS has to accept beards, and airline stewardesses can get away with not serving booze… all based on claims of “religious beliefs”, shouldn’t the government be at least as protective of religious freedom when the heavy hand of government is involved?

      Personally, I think ALL religion is nothing more than a possibly useful philosophy attached to fiction and fairy tales… but the principle is the same. If a hotel owner can’t refuse to rent to blacks, could the government do less? If a business cannot contravene religious beliefs, how can the government?

      1. That’s the rub – privately-owned businesses have the right to deny whoever and whatever they like, within the confines of their property. . . their property, their rules – government, as a fully-public entity, does not retain such a right – it must treat each person, regardless of X, exactly the same.

        How is such a simple premise so difficult for so many to comprehend?

  3. Ah, the danger of advocating big government. The same big government you wield to define marriage for everyone can toss your dumb ass in jail when it gets away from you.

    1. Yeah! This is one thing I don’t get about the conservatives who are now railing about how gov’t is being used as a cudgel against them re: Christian definition of marriage. Didn’t they know they were doing the same thing to gays back before it was cool to be pro-gay-marriage? Didn’t they know that the same armed law enforcement they could send to someone else’s door could be sent to theirs? How could they not figure out that this would be a huge double-edge sword?

      Well, at least I know now that I was fully justified in opposing Huckabee in the early days. He’s a likable guy that comes across as reasonable, but this kind of blindness is dangerous to have in a politician or society.

      1. Isn’t the core failing in the authoritarian mindset, the delusion that authority will always be on thier side?

  4. I play the devil’s advocate by wondering what if the clerk was Muslim or had converted to Islam? (Anyone remember that video with Steven Crowder at Dearborn visiting Muslim bakeries?)

    1. That is too easy to ignore! The Muslims are such a small part of our problem, at the moment…..(;-P

      1. Yeah, but for how long? It’s not easy to ignore it in Europe.

    2. I have on several occasions wondered what would the reaction have been from the left if Kim Davis (D-KY) was a Muslim who had refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples based on a violation of her religious beliefs.

  5. If anyone ever had any doubt that politicians will say and do anything to get publicity, let this be a lesson. While it’s reasonable to debate what her punishment should have been for not doing her job, it’s beyond ridiculous to pretend that her religious freedom was at stake.

    The upside to all this nonsense is that it helps to remind the average citizen just how idiotic social conservatives really are.

    1. ” …what her punishment should have been for not doing her job.”

      No need for debate, the ‘punishment’ is already well established by the Kentucky Constitution. IT is impeachment and removal from office.

      Yet, somehow nobody wants to discuss that approach, apparently out of a concern that her impeachment just might fail.

      Thereby exposing the whole thing as a coterie of beltway black robes vs. the people of Kentucky.

      1. “No need for debate, the ‘punishment’ is already well established by the Kentucky Constitution. IT is impeachment and removal from office.”

        Are we talking about the same Kentucky Constitution which says the government can only recognize man/woman marriages?

        I think it’s a bit much to claim that the very same constitution would subject a public official to impeachment for upholding that man/woman definition.

        1. Kentucky will have to work it out. U.S. Constitution trumps Kentucky constitution.

          1. Numero uno, states don’t have to *enforce* federal law. Obey it, sure. So, can the feds somehow *force* Kentucky to start impeachment procedures? Of course not! That’s up to the Kentucky legislature based on its own interpretation of the law.

            Numero two-o, I am one of those weirdos who don’t think the Supreme Court can simply change the law. The law remains what it was before a 5-4 Court majority went off and invented something out of whole cloth.

            1. But the Supreme Court can. You think it shouldn’t be able to, but it certainly can and does. That’s how it works.

              To demonstrate your commitment to this principle I suggest you writhe on the floor in an infantile lashing out sometime when the court decrees something you agree with. Or just admit that, because the court did it, against laws and even legal precedent, there isn’t actually a constitutional right to own guns.

              1. The Second Amendment exists whether the courts acknowledge it or not.

                Your faction wanted the Supreme Court to deny that the right to bear arms is an individual right. You almost got away with it – one more vote and the Supremes would basically have written the Second Amendment out of the Constitution.

                And according to you, that would have been final. No individual right to keep and bear arms.

                1. There was no precedent for interpreting the 2nd amendment that way. All you’re saying in both cases is that you should get your way regardless of what the constitution and law say.

                  1. Shut up moron! Precedent has NOTHING to do with my rights. God you’re stupid.

              2. Try and push that. If you scum come for the guns, that will be the end of you all. Your existence will no longer be tolerated, Tony, you truly do belong face down in landfill with all your friends.

              3. No Court, SCOTUS included, cannot ignore and flaunt their own rules of conduct and propriety, and force that flawed Law onto the Public Society. If Clerks must perform their duty and put aside their Religion, then Judges must perform their duty and put aside their Conflicts of interests. If you are for jailing the Clerk, you must also jail the Judges. The Problem started when the Judges erred. They ruled Unconstitutionally to start the ball rolling. If not for them, no issue. The Clerk is not the one needing to fix, it is the Courts. Start at the source. Pity

              4. No, it can’t.
                The most the SC can do, in exercising their “appellate jurisdiction”, would be to uphold the appeal, or deny it.
                Beyond that they have no legislative power.
                They can say Kentucky’s law is unconstitutional, though I disagree on that interpretation of the document, but, in imposing the remedy they decree, they overstep their authority.

            2. Well, lessee. Kentucky law must conform to the U.S. Constitution, so that means Kentucky law banning gay marriage is now invalid. And if Kentucky law says that elected officials who refuse to do their jobs go to jail or get impeached, then Kim Davis goes to jail or gets impeached. Kentucky will have to work it out.

              And yes, the Supremes can effectively change laws. You write a law that says government contracts shall be awarded on the basis of race, the Supreme Court can strike it down.

              1. Where is marriage mentioned in the U.S. Constitution?

          2. The U.S. Constitution only trumps the Kentucky constitution in matters expressly granted to the Federal government.

            This is not one of them.

          3. There is nothing in the US Constitution giving the federal government any authority over marriage law.

            1. except that the due and process and equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment have been interpreted to mean that, whatever the states do, they must do it duly and equally

              1. And, there’s the rub.
                If the SC can “interpret” something to be unequal and thus make a law that “equalizes” it, then the SC becomes a super-potent government unto itself.
                Five, out of nine, unelected lawyers get to make whatever “law” they decide will make things equal, with no ability for the people to object.
                And, you’re OK with that?

              2. As for the violation of “due process”:
                What process could be more “due” than a vote of the people, as granted in the 9th amendment to retain decisions over unenumerated rights?
                And to exercise a power as granted by the 10th amendment over issues neither delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution.
                The people of Kentucky voted, overwhelmingly, that marriage was not a right and that they wanted it kept between one man and one woman.

      2. Apparently the Kentucky Legislature is in session for all of 2 months out of the year. The governor could call a special session, but claims the issue is between Davis & the court, citing the expense of recalling the legislature as a reason for letting this play out.

      3. You can only be impeached in KY if you commit a crime.

    2. I thought she sought a religious accommodation (which hasn’t been widely mentioned). The licenses bear her name, which is why she’d objected to her deputies in issuing them. If the state didn’t have her name on the license, this would presumably be ok. So why cant the state reprint the licenses?

      1. Fair point, but if the rule or law requires the county clerk’s name to be on the license (and presumably other legal documents related to the county clerk), then she what she sought would seemingly be quite impractical.

  6. I don’t get her defenders, nor do I understand those who put her in jail. If she felt she could not, in good conscience, issue marriage licenses to some, then she should have resigned and looked for another job where she will not be asked to do issue such licenses. Alternately, if she did not want to resign, her employer (the state of Kentucky) should have dismissed her, and that would be that.

    The same thing would apply to a private employer. If she had been the employee of a cake shop that caters to gay weddings, and she refused to roll the dough (or however you start a cake) on all but heterosexual wedding cakes, she should resign from the job or her employer should have the right to dismiss her and hire someone who will perform their assigned duties.

    In neither case is anyone’s right to free expression infringed. She still has every right to be opposed to gays getting married. But that doesn’t give her the right to keep a job wherein she refuses to perform certain duties — duties that are not illegal or that fall outside the scope of her job description.

    As a libertarian, I don’t see what is complicated about this issue.

    1. Her employer was not the state of Kentucky, it was the voters of that part of Kentucky. She is an elected offical and only the voters can remove her.

      1. She is an elected offical and only the voters can remove her.

        My understanding is that’s not strictly true. The Kentucky legislature does have the power to remove local officials. And, while it’s a little less clear, the local officials in her jurisdiction might also be able to remove her from office.

        1. But most state legislatures only meet for a limited time each year. I doubt they have been assembled during the summer.

          1. And everyone knows something had to be done. Immediately!

            Otherwise, Davis, the mad marriage certificate non-signer would have continued her heinous spree of marriage certificate non-signings. Rumor has it she was planning to not sign marriage certificates in multiple states. She was a regular Bonnie Parker of marriage certificate non-signings.

            1. And all those poor homos would have to………DRIVE TO THE NEXT COUNTY FOR THEIR MARRIAGE LICENSE!!!!!!!! Oh noes! Truly a human rights violation there if I ever saw one.

              1. But what if someone is poor, and can’t make it to any of the seven bordering counties, all less than 20 miles away? (Ignoring how they managed to make it to their own county seat) The judge ruled that was irreparable harm (harm that could not be repaired!)

    2. Her ‘job description’ changed after she assumed the duties of the job. Her ‘job description’ was changed unilaterally, not by her employers but by ‘regulators’. As things are, she should have resigned with a press conference.

      As a little l libertarian, my first response is to look for what is the root cause of this discord. The root seems to be the fact that government is issuing ANY licenses for intimate relationships. All of the legal issues of inheritance, power of attorney etc can be handled with DIY legal forms free or very inexpensive.

      If licenses were not issued, liberty for all would be advanced dramatically. Assuredly, many heterosexual couples would complain if they lost their favored treatment, this could be easily dealt with by educating them about the DIY legal forms. Marriage is, in it’s legal essence, a private, voluntary contract between two people, with absolutely no need of government sanctification.

      1. “If licenses were not issued, liberty for all would be advanced dramatically.”

        So, you agree. Kim Davis should not have a job.

      2. CORRECT!

        The crux of the judge’s ruling was that by not issuing licenses (to anyone) Davis was denying them access to government goodies without due process.

        Without the government treating married couples differently than unmarried couples, there would have been no case.

    3. Don’t start speaking sense now….

    4. Except, of course for what an actual law says.
      Title VII of the CRA says reasonable accommodations must be made for those with religious objections – and there is ample support for the objections to homosexuals “marrying” in religious dogma – and it would seem that removal from the position isn’t, exactly, a reasonable accommodation.
      Further, the law says it is applicable to private, as well as government positions.
      For the record, she had been attempting to find a reasonable accommodation from before the ukase made by the unlawful SC decision.

  7. “Since Obergefell, whatever the merits of its legal reasoning, expands liberty rather than contracting it, that comparison strikes me as inapposite, to say the least”

    Now there’s the laugh of the day. You apparently missed the part about the Constitution not delegating to the federal government any authority what so ever to have an opinion about marriage. Nowhere. Period. This illegitimate opinion by our 9 person oligarchy is automatically null and void for that reason. This was a case of gross usurpation of states rights. It shows once again that every single day is opposite day…..if you’re a liberal.

    1. Shorter version: I didn’t get my way, waaaah.

      1. That pretty much describes you fucking progressive traitor scum anytime you can’t force yourselves on everyone. I look forward to the day Americans have had enough, and haul you all out and execute you as traitors.

      2. So, as the archetypical liberal with nothing intelligent to say…..show the specific article of the Constitution that authorizes the federal government to have any say in marriage. I won’t hold my breath waiting for some witty rejoinder on your part, though.

      3. Or, this, by mind greater in the legal field, than Tony:
        Justice Scalia, in dissent of Obergfell.
        “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

    2. Laughable.

  8. Kim Davis Has No Right to Impose Her View of Marriage on Others

    Is Sullum trying to compete with Nick for the “Most disingenuous post of the Year”?

    The whole point of government mandated marriage is the idea that you get to impose it on others, and Mr Sullum fucking well knows it. What an obviously lying sack of shit. Jacob has written how many articles indicating that he believes in state coercion as long as SSM is involved? Dozens?

    State sanctioned marriage is nothing less than “imposing the State’s view of marriage on others” which is why Libertarians oppose it. Socialists, and their fellow travelers, on the other hand, love them some State coercion.

    1. State sanctioned marriage is nothing less than “imposing the State’s view of marriage on others” which is why Libertarians oppose it.

      Correct: state sanctioning and licensing of marriage are wildly non-libertarian. But it is also wildly non-libertarian to force employers to keep employing employees that aren’t doing their job.

      Davis is an employee who isn’t doing her job. And from a libertarian point of view, there is no justification for her to keep being employed.

      1. Other than her being an elected constitutional officer.

        Not exactly an at will employee.

      2. Kim Davis is not an employee. She is an elected official. They can’t just terminate her employment, They have t follow whatever procedure is required to remove her from office. We went through that with our closeted gay mayor where I live. He was cruising for teens o the net and grooming the underage ones so they were ready to be porked by him once they hit 18. He was also sexually harassing male teen interns.

        It took a recall election to get rid of him. That was the procedure the city legally had to follow.

        The thing here is that there is so much attention on Davis when progressives follow the law only as it suits them. Since a lot of their lawless activities correspond with open borders fantasies and other extreme libertarian wish dreams, they are not covered the same way here. After all nothing is a bigger deal than some county clerk in some insignificant place not issuing licenses for one or two gay couples right? Worst case scenario for them is they drive to the next county and get their license there.

        But oh, no……..gays and trannies are part of the progressive darling class. So this woman must be perp walked and jailed for not issuing a fucking marriage license. Not obey the law when it comes to murdering illegals? Nothing happens.

        1. Is it illegal to groom?

        2. Kim Davis is not an employee. She is an elected official. They can’t just terminate her employment,

          Which is why she was thrown in jail for contempt of court when she refused to perform her duty and refused to resign as well.

          They have t follow whatever procedure is required to remove her from office.

          Obviously they don’t: they can also hold her in contempt of court.

          After all nothing is a bigger deal than some county clerk in some insignificant place not issuing licenses for one or two gay couples right?

          Oh, there are plenty of “bigger deals”, like Obama’s lawlessness. But the fact that Obama is a crook doesn’t mean that all smaller crooks should just get a free pass.

        3. Surrounding all this talk of “removing her”, “firing her”, etc. is the real possibility that, those in that position, other elected officials, don’t want to impose such an action on a woman, who is complying with the wishes of 75% of the voters of Kentucky.
          That is the margin of the passage of Kentucky’s plebiscite on the issue of redefining marriage to pander to the mentally ill.

    2. “State sanctioned marriage is nothing less than “imposing the State’s view of marriage on others” which is why Libertarians oppose it. ”

      but, it is not going anywhere. it is used to establish survivor-ship, next of kin, medical decision rights, benefits… a whole lot of legal matters can hinge on that marriage certificate. so, to maintain a libertarian outlook while facing this reality, the state must not restrict the freedoms of people when sanctioning those marriages. (which is exactly what kim davis… acting on behalf of the state…. is doing)

      a libertarian viewpoint makes it difficult not to support SSM….. even if you believe it is wrong, it is more wrong to use the state to restrict peoples rights, based on your opinion. not allowing gays to marry is exactly the kind of intrusion into personal lives that libertarians hate. getting the state out of the marriage business sounds like a good solution up front…. but then the end result would be …….. that anyone could get married….. its really not a valid argument against SSM. it a big trick of circular logic to even mention it. state sanctioned marriage certainly is not wholly libertarian… but since it’s not going away (and if it did, the result would be the same, on this issue), it logically follows that SSM should be allowed.

      1. “but, it is not going anywhere. it is used to establish survivor-ship, next of kin, medical decision rights, benefits… a whole lot of legal matters can hinge on that marriage certificate.”

        But all of those ‘benefits’ are available without getting married by visiting your friendly neighborhood lawyer and getting the appropriate paperwork drawn up.

        1. as a matter of convenience, the average person would prefer to have all this occur automatically with one piece of paper… that would wind up being a lot cheaper (ignoring the divorce down the road). also, not everything (tax filing) can be obtained without a marriage.

          the point is not that this is a good thing…. it is that you we are unlikely to ever see it change. and bringing this into the debate about SSM is fundamentally flawed. if you are against SSM, and your answer is to just get the government out of it…. then you are an idiot… because that ends up meaning that gay people will be able to get married. (if you think the government should have no say in marriages at all, then you are for gay marriage, by default)

      2. I believe gay marriage is wrong. I also believe the state should not be involved in marriage.

        1. as i said above:

          if you are against SSM, and your answer is to just get the government out of it…. then you are an idiot… because that ends up meaning that gay people will be able to get married. (if you think the government should have no say in marriages at all, then you are for gay marriage, by default)

          1. No, it doesn’t make him an idiot.
            I’m assuming you consider yourself NAP libertarian, (correct me if that is wrong), but I think we can agree that the only legitimate governments are ones that exist at an individual’s consent, otherwise they are some form of tyranny.

            Now consider if the government endorsed Catholicism. To all us non-Catholics out there, it would kind of piss us off, even if all the state did was endorse it. Because the government exist at our consent, we would be financially supporting something we consider abhorrent.

            In Suicidy’s case, he is unwillingly supporting a government that is endorsing SSM.
            A real libertarian approached is to treat marriage the same way it is suppose to treat religion, no suppressing or prohibiting it.

            1. no suppressing or prohibiting it…. very true. and the legalization of gay marriage is closer to that. my point is that being against SSM, and suggesting the solution is to keep government out of it, is a logical paradox. if you want people to be able to marry with no government involvement at all… then you are for gay marriage by default (because they would already be getting married if not for the laws that had been preventing it.)

              as for catholic “endorsement,” a bit of a stretch, but if we must…. the better analogy is Scientology. the government recognizes religions and faith based organizations all the time for tax exempt status and the like…. even if the general public sees them as crazy or wrong. recognizing gay marriage is no different. it is not about endorsing them, it is more a validation of their right to believe differently.

              i am not familiar with the term NAP, but generically i can agree. i also lean towards the practical side, and recognize that if you truly want changes, you have to convince a sizable percentage of people (otherwise, you risk imposing the very tyranny you want to avoid). the abolition of marriage licenses is not something i expect to see in my lifetime… if ever.

              1. “…and recognize that if you truly want changes, you have to convince a sizable percentage of people (otherwise, you risk imposing the very tyranny you want to avoid).”
                But a “sizable percentage of people” were not convinced that homosexual “marriage” would be allowed, in Kentucky.
                Is it your contention that libertarian principles negate the democratic process?
                Surely, those who support his unlawful edict by the SC, seem to think it can.

                1. libertarian principles do not negate the democratic process, but the democratic process must often be utilized to get those principles into real policy and laws.

                  getting the government completely out of everything related to marriage choices might sound like the most libertarian solution… but it is simply not going to happen. Not just because there have been legal statuses attached to marriage since the bible, but there are too many people who would lose the benefits of government record keeping on marriage (essentially all a marriage license is…. a certificate that carries automatic benefits for taxes, estates, health care, insurance, etc.) because this kind of change would require major law changes, that would require working within democratic principles of convincing large numbers of people? not going to happen

                  since getting the government out of marriage completely is not possible, the next best thing, from a libertarian stand point, is to limit the government’s ability to restrict access to it. saying that the government should just stay out of marriage… but that if they don’t they should limit access to it is not a true libertarian stand point. it is saying that gay people should have the right to marry, but only in the impossible scenario of abolishing all legal status attached to it. it is a nonsense argument that only serves to disagree with everyone. (you are saying to keep SSM illegal, but that it should be legal in an impossible way)

                  1. all the SC decision did was extend the ability to have this certificate to more people. the contention that it forces anything on the rest of us is false. gays already had relationships. they already lived together. those that had the resources and legal knowledge already obtained what benefits they could through living wills and the like. it does not force anything new on those who previously could marry, nor take anything away from them. it expanded the legal definition of who could get married…. just like has previously been done for interracial marriages…. nothing more. the only people “forced” to do anything different are the people whose job it is to issue the certificate…. because that is their job. (and, they are not really doing anything different…. the paperwork still gets filled out the same way…. it just happens to have two dudes names on it)

          2. I believe that using drugs is evil: it will destroy you, and hurt your family relationships, and so on and so forth.

            Would you consider me an idiot for believing that drugs should be completely, 100% legal?

            Just because I oppose something, doesn’t mean that I believe that the State is the best mechanism for opposing it. (I would favor drug testing at work, for example, and if I were to get involved in this stuff, it would be well within the powers of my wife to divorce me, and my parents to disinherit me, and my Church to refuse charitable aid to me without me seeking rehabilitation.)

            Why should SSM be any different than drugs?

            1. are you suggesting gay testing at work? prohibiting gays from praying? are you suggesting there is such a thing as rehabilitation and choice with being gay? (that somehow society will just punish them for being gay… and that should be encouraged?) what… specifically… is your suggested mechanism for opposition with SSM?

              it is hard enough to make an argument that does not sound bad when opposing gay marriage…. trying to do so, while sounding libertarian is just a fools errand

              1. My suggested “enforcement” is simply freedom of association. If you don’t mind someone being gay, then feel free to do business with them. If you don’t like your spouse being gay, then divorce is an option. If you don’t like your child being gay, then disinheritance is an option. If you don’t like your employees being gay, then don’t hire them (I would just as soon leave as much of my private life out of the workplace as possible anyway); alternatively, if you don’t like your employer being gay, then quit. Churches can excommunicate someone for being gay, and they can withhold charity.

                On the other hand, if you have no problem with SSM, then by all means, find a Church, or an employer, or family, that doesn’t have any problems with it as well. Surely, it shouldn’t be hard to do.

                You could even go so far as to think that SSM is evil, but not evil enough to write out your children from your will because they practice it. Again, freedom of association.

                This idea that you proposed, that you can prohibit anyone from praying is just stupid. That’s a freedom of conscience issue; it would require State intervention (and hence force) to stop.

                Furthermore, you are disingenuous: my point is that you can think something is icky or even evil, but not think that the Heavy Hand of the State should be involved in stopping it.

                1. “Furthermore, you are disingenuous: my point is that you can think something is icky or even evil, but not think that the Heavy Hand of the State should be involved in stopping it.”

                  then you are, by definition, for legalized gay marriage. my point has not been, at any point, that you have to agree with it morally, or choose to associate with them. but if you think the state should not be involved in stopping something…. then you are saying it should be legal. you are saying that gay marriage should be legal. even if you don’t “like” it, you are still supporting the right to gay marriage.

                  once more… if you are truly for removing the government completely from marriage decisions, you are for gays having the right to marry. if you are for something… then you are for it. you use drugs as an example….. you are for it being legal. you can think it’s icky and bad, but you still, fundamentally, are for it.

                  the argument being used here is more like saying that you think drugs should be not be made legal, but the government should not decide what drugs are illegal anyway. it is a logic circle where you simultaneously hold two positions that are completely contradictory. you end up holding on to the thing being illegal, while arguing that the only thing making it illegal should go away.

          3. Calling someone an idiot, because he has a different view of the laws of nature, nullifies your opinion, in any logical setting. Is that not the epitome of ad hominum?

            1. my point is that if you support abolishing all state involvement in marriage, then you support gays rights to marry by default. (because they will marry). saying you oppose gay marriage, and offering up that abolishing as the SOLUTION is not a valid argument…. it a politicians way to say you oppose something without out right saying you oppose something…. and making sure that what you suggest is not possible, so there is never a chance to call you on the lie of it all.

  9. The heart of this issue is pretty simple and it has nothing to do with marriage.

    Freedom of association is a fundamental right of private individuals. A state actor has no such right.

    1. Does becoming a State actor remove all fundamental individual rights?
      The Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to government employees?

  10. For every homosexual marriage licence this women refused to issue there could be a bakery that is still in business.

    1. She likely has a special place in her stomach for local bakeries.

  11. Here’s the thing, though – you can think Davis is an idiot and out of line and still think throwing her in jail was a lousy thing to do. If I understand correctly (and I’ll concede I could be wrong, as I haven’t been following the story too closely; I’m going off comments on Hit-and-Run), Davis even looked for a compromise where her name wouldn’t be on the marriage certificate. In either case, the appropriate response is to find a way to go around her or remove her from office, not to put her in a cage. Otherwise, why would the feds be wrong to do the same thing to the mayors of sanctuary cities?

    1. “Otherwise, why would the feds be wrong to do the same thing to the mayors of sanctuary cities?”

      Oh, c’mon Bill, we both know the answer to that. We get to go along on the ride but we have to sit in the back and keep our mouth shut.

      1. Mouths, dammit.

    2. Here’s the thing, though – you can think Davis is an idiot and out of line and still think throwing her in jail was a lousy thing to do

      She is in jail because she is a privileged public official who can’t be fired or recalled easily when she refuses to do her job.

      Davis even looked for a compromise where her name wouldn’t be on the marriage certificate

      There is only one “compromise” when a public official refuses to do their job as required by law: they quit.

      1. And I’m sure you’ll take an equally supportive position when President Trump (God forbid) decides to lock up the mayors of sanctuary cities, right?

        The reality is, as has been pointed out here numerous times, the town and the state had the option of firing her.

        1. “And I’m sure you’ll take an equally supportive position when President Trump (God forbid) decides to lock up the mayors of sanctuary cities, right?”

          First, he has to get a court ruling to invalidate the local sanctuary laws. Then he can arrest anyone who missed the memo.

        2. And I’m sure you’ll take an equally supportive position when President Trump (God forbid) decides to lock up the mayors of sanctuary cities, right?

          If the mayor issued such a directive and it is against federal law to do so, sure.

          However, I don’t think the federal government can actually force, or should be able to force, cooperation from local police. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to live in a sanctuary city.

          1. But you seem to be fine with the federal government actually forcing, or being able to force, cooperation from elected county clerks.
            The police, from the chief on down are simply employees, this clerk was elected and there was only one way to remove her from office – impeachment by the state legislature, who would be doing so for her abiding by the will of 75% of the people of Kentucky, who voted on the issue.
            And, for reference, it wan’t a “compromise” she sought, it was the reasonable accommodation that law – one actually passed by Congress – grants one attempting to exercise her religious convictions.

    3. I find the part about removing her name hilarious, like God won’t know. I imagine her standing at the Pearly Gates and God saying, “but your name is on this marriage license, so now you must go to Hell because you allowed the queers to get married.”

      Why even worship God if you believe him to be that stupid?

      1. Since you seem to know God’s mind: wouldn’t resigning so that “queers” could get “married” have the same effect?
        Does she have to refuse to comply until she is put into the arena with the lions?

    4. A more interesting question is why Gavin Newsome wasn’t jailed for issuing marriage licenses to gays contrary to statute when he was mayor of San Francisco. In both cases you have an elected official deciding that his or her personal views on marriage trump the law. They should all be jailed or none of them should be jailed. The rule of law should not only apply based on whether you’re an enlightened supporter of gay marriage or a troglodyte opponent. In either case, you’re still a citizen.

  12. The argument can be made that Gays and Progressives have no right to impose THEIR view of marriage on others. I happen to agree that marriage is and should be a financial and social partnership not limited to the production of offspring, but that is not how it was interpreted by most people until very recently. I also happen to agree with those who think that the Gays were right to push, rather than wait for society to slowly change on its own. But when you push, people push back. Kim Davis hasmthe same right to be a pain in the ass protester as any envirotwit or peacenick. Getting all indignant that somebody with whom you disagree is using the tactics of civil disobedience is a Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive trope. And not a good one.

    1. Maybe Jacob is indignant, but I’m not. Let her use the tactics. Then come the consequences — for her and the government.

    2. “Kim Davis has the same right to be a pain in the ass protester as any envirotwit or peacenick. ”

      Davis has said, “If I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.”

      She has every right to protest SSM, ON HER OWN TIME! She has confused her elected office with her personal right to speech, but it’s not surprising the County Clerk Office seems to be her family business.

      1. Oh, bullsh*t. Or are you saying “We were only following orders” is a defense?

        1. LOL, nice try. If she did the rational thing & quit, she wouldn’t be following orders would she? If she quit & called on every other public official who would be expected to have any part in the process of SSM to quit, that would be an admirable way to express her opposition, even if I disagree.

          Imagine if the German civil servants left their jobs wholesale when the Nazis took power… that’s what you were alluding to, right??

          1. And why should she be rational? Nobody else is.

            Why limit it to the Germans? What if the officials of the USSR, the PRC, the State of New Jersey, or any other fascist organization, publcly defied their orders?

    3. “I happen to agree that marriage is and should be a financial and social partnership not limited to the production of offspring, but that is not how it was interpreted by most people until very recently.”

      Very much not true.

      1. In what way, praytell? Oh, if you want to go back to before the rise of the middle class, but very few people can get their heads around anything before their own lifetime.

  13. Reason headlines that could have been.

    Barack Obama Has No Right to Impose His Views of …… on Others.

    Maybe Sullum, et al. are just saving that formulation up for Hillary, you know they’re going to come out for her sooner or later.

  14. Once again, Davis isn’t trying to “impose her views,” she simply doesn’t want her name or her authority used to issue these licenses.

    If her deputies get an independent authority to issue these licenses, and if the licenses leave her name off, her concerns will have been met.

    And this is the vital issue of principle which justifies putting her in prison?

    I don’t think same-sex couples are saying, “we’d love to get marriage licenses from the clerk’s office, but only if the licenses contain the name of some homophobic politician.”

    1. I do have to admit that I’m a little surprised at the carceral turn some libertarians have taken on the issue. I don’t agree with Davis (or probably you), but there’s really no value in putting her in jail.

    2. Once again, Davis isn’t trying to “impose her views,” she simply doesn’t want her name or her authority used to issue these licenses.

      Then she should do what everybody else does who doesn’t like their job function: she can quit.

      If her deputies get an independent authority to issue these licenses, and if the licenses leave her name off, her concerns will have been met.

      Who the f*ck cares about meeting her concerns? She is a public servant. Either she does her job as the public tells her to, or she should GTFO.

      And this is the vital issue of principle which justifies putting her in prison?

      A private business would deal with this by firing her and ceasing to pay her. But since she is a public official and public officials have lobbied to get all sorts of privileges, that can’t be done. That leaves prison for contempt of court as the only option left, once it gets to that point.

      And she wouldn’t have to go to prison; she could always quit her job and the whole thing would be over immediately.

      1. “Either she does her job as the public tells her to, or she should GTFO.”

        Oh, I agree.

        A provision of the Kentucky constitution, approved by about 75% of the voters, says public officials can *only* recognize man/woman marriage.

        Therefore, the public has told her not to help with gay marriages.

        If she isn’t willing to do the job the public tells her to do, she should GTFO.

        Or has the Supreme Court suddenly become “the public”?

        1. The Supreme Court is the Mr. Magoo of the whole situation, mistaking a sewing machine for a toilet and leaving an awful mess for the rest of us. So the next step is either a challenge to Obergefell or Kentucky secedes. Until then, supreme law of the land and all.

          1. I’m not sure why one particular part of the government should have its constitutional interpretations accepted automatically, while other parts (the President, Congress, state legislatures) can have their interpretations challenged at will.

            What gives the US Supreme Court such supreme magisterial authority?

            Was segregation the “law of the land” from 1896 (when the Supreme Court said it was constitutional) until 1954 (Brown v. Board)?

            If the 5-4 *Heller* decision had gone the other way, and the right to bear arms was declared *not* to be an individual right, would *that* have been the law of the land? Would you have lost your Second Amendment rights?

            1. Oh, and don’t forget that the *Kelo* decision is still in force. So apparently the “law of the land” allows the government to take your house and give it to a politically-connected developer.

              1. Like I said, the next step includes “or Kentucky secedes.” Up above, I also said “civil disobedience,” followed by the consequences for both Kim Davis AND the government. There is a next step.

                1. Because the only options are secession or rolling over and accepting whatever the feds do.

                  There’s a third option, and it’s what Kentucky did with the federal Sedition Act. They didn’t want to leave the Union simply because the feds (Congress and several Supreme Court justices) were violating the First Amendment.

                  http://constitution.org/cons/kent1798.htm

                  1. Okay, that’s a lot of reading, but I’ll get to it.

        2. Unless you’re willing to bitch every time the Supreme Court does anything, you’re just whining that you didn’t get your way. Our system has operated this way for a long time. Supreme Court gets to declare laws unconstitutional, and the federal government has supremacy over state governments. We get it; you’re butthurt. Take a vacation maybe.

          1. Citizens United! Kochprashunz aren’t people! Let’s call out the Supreme Court justices in the State of the Union address!

            Wait, what was I saying? Oh, yes, the Supreme Court has the final say on the Constitution, so you Teabaggers just need to shut up.

            1. I didn’t say you had to like everything they did, but you should acknowledge reality.

              1. Citizens United! Teabaggers! Kochs!

              2. Citizens United! Teabaggers! Kochs!

              3. Progtards never do. Only Americans have to ‘acknowledge reality”. Never you progressives.

            2. Some of us remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism!

              Now it is shut up and bow before Zod!

              (Imagine how they’ll change their tune if a President Cruz gets two or three SCOTUS appointments.)

              1. I’m sure I won’t like many of the court’s ruling in that case. But I won’t let my brain drip out my ear and forget how the US system of government works.

                1. That would involve having a brain or not being a giant hypocrite. And you are a brainless hypocrite.

                2. So Citizen’s United is settled law, now and forever, right?

                  Same for Heller, right?

                  Kelo?

          2. I’ll whimper when I don’t get my way.

            I’ll stand up and complain when they use an invalid method to do it. Congress gets to vote based on their personal opinions, judges are supposed to follow the constitution, regardless of their own personal feelings on the issue.

          3. Sure hope you enjoy the chains you so joyously wear.

        3. A provision of the Kentucky constitution, approved by about 75% of the voters, says public officials can *only* recognize man/woman marriage. […] Therefore, the public has told her not to help with gay marriages.

          You’re confusing a public mandate with majoritarianism. The majority frequently doesn’t get what it wants in a country governed by laws and a Constitution.

          1. In this case, what law?
            As for the Constitution: The ninth amendment defines how unenumearted rights are retained, and it is by “the people” – i.e. majoritarianism.
            There is no right to be married enumerated in the Constitution and the SC cannot create that right.
            You are advocating the steep, slippery slope of the SC deciding if an issue is handled “equally” and can, thus, make a law to “equalize” – one over which the people have no recourse.
            That’s not simply exercising “appellate jurisdiction” it is setting up an unaccountable majoritarianism within a group of nine, unelected lawyers.

      2. But since she is a public official and public officials have lobbied to get all sorts of privileges, that can’t be done. That leaves prison for contempt of court as the only option left, once it gets to that point.

        But, as has been out, the town had already begun the process of firing her and the state legislature would have had an even easier time of it. So, no, there wasn’t a reason to throw her in prison other than to the social justice cadre Twitter mob a warm fuzzy feelz.

        1. “So, no, there wasn’t a reason to throw her in prison other than to the social justice cadre Twitter mob a warm fuzzy feelz.”

          My understanding was, the judge was obligated to put her in jail on the contempt charge, after she continued to refuse her duties. Most of the people suing did not want her in jail, specifically because of the religious freedom bullshit tent revival that formed around her, which obscured the fact that she wasn’t doing her job.

      3. “Either she does her job as the public tells her, or she should GTFO.”

        When she ran for office, same gender union licensing was not one of her responsibilities. She was elected in a county election. The change in her duties was unilaterally imposed not by her employer (the tax payers and voters of the county) but by a federal ‘regulatory’ court. Her ‘public’ did not tell her to do this, a federal court did.

        The best way to resolve these issues is for all levels of government to cease issuing licenses for intimate relationships. Marriage in legal terms is a voluntary contract between two consenting adults and does not require ‘licensing’. There is no compelling governmental interest in such regulation. The tie in of a marriage license with power of attorney, inheritance, social security funds and more can all be handled with a simple form.

        What get’s me is this idea that the Supreme Court is viewed as some sort of expression of public will. A corporation is a person, really? Do the majority of humans view a corporation as the person standing in line in front of them at the polling station on election day?

        1. When she ran for office, same gender union licensing was not one of her responsibilities.

          Well, and now it is. And either she complies or she quits, simple as that.

          She was elected in a county election. The change in her duties was unilaterally imposed not by her employer (the tax payers and voters of the county) but by a federal ‘regulatory’ court. Her ‘public’ did not tell her to do this, a federal court did.

          Yes, and the federal court represents “the public”. It may not represent the majority, but that’s irrelevant; we don’t have a majoritarian form of government, we live in a republic.

          1. In a republic, the people elect representatives, who make laws.
            The Constitution, along with granting the SC “appellate jurisdiction”, defines who can make the laws, and it isn’t done through the appeals process, which can only result in granting or denying the appeal.
            So, the SC granting the appeal that Kentucky’s law refusing to approve homosexual “marriage” didn’t comply with the Constitution – a dubious claim on its face – doesn’t automatically say that such are to be allowed. In the vacuum created by the decision, she was within her rights to deny issuance of ALL licenses, which is what she did.

      4. So, she should shut up and do what she’s told, and never mind her conscience? You know, the more people I run into who say “She should just have quit” the less impressed I am with it as an argument. I think she’s wrong. But if we applaud public funtionaries who defy On High on issues like, say, rounding up dissidents, (and we do) then she is well within her rights. She went to jail for her convictions. I think her convictions are so much hogwash. I also think she has the moral high ground on everyone who wants her to just shut up and do as she’s told by her “betters”.

        1. But if we applaud public funtionaries who defy On High on issues like, say, rounding up dissidents, (and we do) then she is well within her rights.

          Most people who “defy On High” while being part of government do so for self-serving financial and/or political reasons. The “moral high ground” is if you refuse to be part of an organization whose morality you don’t approve of.

  15. All these Republicans falling over themselves to satisfy the evangelicals are just ridiculous, Paul included. They’re lauding this woman for ignoring the law to satisfy her personal whims and at the same time (rightly) complaining about Hillary Clinton ignoring security policy and Barack Obama ignoring immigration law. And of course the Progs who are losing their minds over this woman have no problem with the two examples I mentioned.

    At this point, can we finally drop the facade of this being a nation of laws? The number of people who seem to genuinely believe that the rule of law is sacrosanct, or even preferable to the rule of men, is a distinct minority. We’re living a case study of the fatal flaws of government and the state and nobody seems to notice or care. We’re a nation of tribes who compete to use the mechanisms of state coercion to grab as much as we can, and damn the consequences.

    This is why I don’t vote. It just seems at best like setting the radio presets on a burning car, and at worst it’s Stockholm syndrome.

    1. ^THIS, Oh so much this.^

      I am really getting tired of cynicism being the default “correct” setting to get through the day’s news.

    2. The democrat party definitely does not believe laws are sacrosanct. Including:

      Obama
      Bill DeBlasio
      Eric Holder
      Mayor of Baltimore
      Every ‘sanctuary city’

      All of them regularly ignore or blatantly violate written laws as part of their policies every day. Yet when some county clerk in some insignificant county refuses to issue a marriage license, it’s a national uproar? What bullshit. Didn’t see any of the above listed scumbags being hauled into court, let alone perp walked, mug shotted, fingerprinted and jailed for their far more egregious violations of the law.

      Maybe we should focus on that.

      1. Some of them may have been “hauled into court” but the usual response by the judiciary when confronted with an officeholder is one of “let the voters decide”, not getting involved in the electoral process by removing, or jailing, an elected official.

    3. If we’re going to point to the laws than how about this one:

      https://goo.gl/6Yj3Zf (sorry for the url shortening, but the comments don’t allow me to post with a word longer than 50 characters, it links to the Religious Freedom Restoration at Cornell)

      the key to this of course is the “reasonable accommodation” that SHE requested of just taking her name off of the paperwork.

    4. The difference between this woman and Oblama and HiLIARy is that she is not violating any law, and the others are.
      The SC declared the Kentucky law as invalid but is in no position to replace it, thus there is no law she is violating.
      Oblama is violating the laws that the Constitution gives Congress power over. Similarly HiLIARy is in violation of laws duly passed by Congress, though some of them are in a realm that has been given to the executive – national security.
      In fact, the initial violation of law was by the SC, who overstepped their bounds by extending their approval of an appeal, to creating new “law” that the people of Kentucky have no control over.

  16. All these arguments about the details of how the courts and government deal with gay marriage are worthless from a libertarian point of view. From a libertarian point of view, government licenses, permission, or registration shouldn’t be required for marriage at all. Making libertarian arguments about “how” government should implement marriage licensing is like a Catholic priest making recommendations on good sex positions to a prostitute.

    If you want to argue about state-sanctioned marriage within our existing legal framework, then there is no reason why religious objections to doing business with someone should be treated any different than non-religious objections. Since our law, as interpreted by our courts, clearly can force private businesses to engage in transactions against the objections of its owners, there is no reason to exempt people simply because their objections are religions in nature. If your religion doesn’t allow you to engage in certain transactions with your business, you have the same choice as everybody else who has such objections: you can close your business. It sucks, and it’s not libertarian, but a country in which we give people specifically religious exemptions to such laws is no more libertarian than the country we live in; arguably, it would be less libertarian.

    1. One key difference is that gay couples have presumably paid some of the taxes which pay Davis. In that sense, they’ve already paid for the service she’s denying. A bakery deciding not to bake cakes for gay weddings isn’t committing fraud if they don’t take the money.

      Besides which, there’s a difference between the responsibilities of the public and private sectors. Public “servants” are called that for a reason; private citizens have (or should have) no obligation to each other to provide services or resources of any kind.

    2. Totally agree. Catholic priests are only qualified to make recommendations on how to diddle liddle kiddies.

      More seriously – why am I not surprised that SSM advocates are STILL not getting the true constitutional issue re marriage licenses. The government coopted the religious definition of marriage and canon law re marriage when they took over the function of replacing religious banns with civil licenses. That is establishment of religion. That is supposed to be unconstitutional. Kim Davis had no problem carrying out her job when it involved the establishment of religion. SSM advocates likewise had no problem with her carrying out her job – exactly as she did before. Now the courts have screwed everything up by avoiding the actual issue at stake so the First Amendment now reads something like ‘shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion unless the religion is established and then govt changes the definitions of everything so that the religion is offended’. And everyone is flummoxed at what is happening. Honestly, modern Americans are just about the stupidest life form there is.

      1. There is no “established religion” re marriage. Marriages have gone on under many religions for longer than Christianity exists. Since everyone wants to get technical on that: Whatever the Hebrew word for “marriage” is, in the Bible, can be claimed as solely belonging to those who follow Christianity. “Marriage” is of French origin. Last I checked being “French” isn’t a religion.

        In a nation where everyone has the same rights the definition wasn’t just randomly changed to piss off the Christians. It was to adhere to our Constitution where we all have the same rights as anyone else. In this case: to marry the person we love. Everyone was fine with that definition until someone said “well the person I love is the same gender as me” and then they decided that it means “oh, a man and a woman only”. To be honest, it actually cheapens the evolution of marriage since originally the reason to marry was political and/or financial and these days most people marry for love (or the belief that they are in love, which is still more honorable than to gain cows).

      2. The government coopted the religious definition of marriage

        To say that “government co-opted” marriage is wrong. These laws date from a time when government and church were deeply intertwined and the church wanted this.

        That is establishment of religion. That is supposed to be unconstitutional.

        Much as I dislike churches and organized religion, the Constitution only says “Congress shall make no law…”. I think the original intent was that individual states could establish religions.

        So, there are really multiple positions one can take. (1) The libertarian one is that government at any level should get out of the marriage business. (2) The original and/or states rights position is that each state should be able to do whatever it wants to. (3) The position that the non-establishment clause applies to all levels of government and furthermore that the federal government gets to define marriage.

        Of these, (3) happens to be the law of the land. I think it’s arguably the worst of the three choices, but since everybody has to conform to it in other respects, I think it should also apply here.

    3. Except, of course because there IS a “reason to exempt people simply because their objections are religions in nature”. It is written into the same laws that you claim can “force private businesses to engage in transactions against the objections of its owners” – no to mention you felt a need to inject the caveat if “as interpreted by the courts”.
      It is called a reasonable accommodation on religious grounds, it applies to public as well as private employees and firing, or requiring one to resign, is not a reasonable accommodation.

  17. I am so sick of disingenuous assholes like Huckleberry, Cruz, and even Rand. They are not speaking out against religious condemnation, just their views of religion. Let us not forget situations like Branch Davidian, chasing Warren Jeffs around the country because he practiced polygamy, the list goes on. All these GOP dipshits are just using religion as a shield to hide their bigotry. If a candidate is truly for religious liberty, let’s see them endorse polygamy, Sharia law, animal sacrifice, etc. It is not religious liberty if it only pertains to the religion in which you believe.

    1. Warren Jeffs did a lot more than just ‘practice polygamy’. He and his pals were abusing young girls and employing coercion and violence. So let’s just leave that out if this okay?

  18. If she goes back to work and issues marriage licenses for 3 guys, or 4 women, or 1 woman and two males, or a mother and daughter?Hell, issue those licenses for anyone that wishes one?will she be jailed again?

    I mean, why shouldn’t she issue them like candy?

    1. Short answer? Because there are laws. As an elected official charged with following those laws, she has a responsibility to the public at large to do her job or resign. If she doesn’t like the laws and would like to change them, she’s in the wrong branch of government.

      1. Kentucky has no law requiring that as part of the clerk’s job description.

        1. Honest question: Are you saying that the state of Kentucky does not require that a clerk of court issue a marriage license for the county in which the ceremony takes place? Gay or not?

          When I got regular non-gay married in Maryland we had to get a license issued by the Clerk of Court for Howard County. There wasn’t another option, and if the clerk thought we smelled funny or whatever and didn’t want to issue the license, we could have sued to force his/her hand as it is a responsibility of the office.

          1. A license may be issued in any of the 120 counties and be valid in all of the state.

      2. You mean like “sanctuary cities”…and how those government officials ignore law?

        And none of them have gone to jail.

    2. Yes, isn’t the fact that she is expected to basically rubber-stamp any license invalidating the need for a license in the first place? What’s the point?

  19. And the SCOTUS had no legitimate authority to impose Anthony Kennedy’s views on marriage on the sovereign states.

    Kentucky law gives no guidance to what a county clerk is supposed to do now. Davis did not issue licenses to anyone as what couples are eligible for marriage under Kentucky s now unclear.

    1. Court edicts have the force of law. The law here is not ambiguous.

      1. So by the same logic, you advocate that other public figures be hauled int court and possibly jailed for their violations of the law?

      2. No, tyranny usually is not ambiguous.

      3. Davis said “this office no longer issues any marriage licenses”. If the state of Kentucky allows her to do that (I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’ve been looking), does a judge have the power to tell her she must issue licenses because it’s too much of a pain in the ass to go to another county?

    2. If Kentucky law acknowledges that Kentucky is one of the 50 states, then Kentucky law is subordinate to the U.S. Constitution, which has now been interpreted through legitimate, prescribed process as guaranteeing gays the right to marry. We both know it’s stupid, but that doesn’t legally invalidate the decision. The next steps are civil disobedience, secession, a change so Kim Davis can issue licenses without her name on them (although that’s just going to lead to the next conflict), or a challenge to Obergefell.

      1. “If Kentucky law acknowledges that Kentucky is one of the 50 states, then Kentucky law is subordinate to the U.S. Constitution, which has now been interpreted through legitimate, prescribed process as guaranteeing gays the right to marry”

        I wouldn’t call the process legitimate. Some would argue that any time the SCOTUS says law x or y is unconstitutional we should tell them to go pound sand. The power of “Judicial Review” was not granted to the court in the constitution. The court gave itself that power in Marbury v. Madison. Look it up. The Nazgul have been pulling the wool over the peoples’ collective eyes for centuries now.

        On a side note, Roberts is unfit for the high court. Someone so calculated and ambitious that they started being careful what they wrote in law school because they wanted to be on the high court some day is unfit to manage a paper bag, let along the supreme law of the land.

        1. I know about Marbury v. Madison, and that’s exactly what I’m relying on. By the way, who IS going to strike down a state law that’s clearly unconstitutional?

  20. When the ACLU of Colorado likened a baker who won’t supply cakes for gay weddings to a police officer who refuses to protect a church or synagogue, it blurred the distinction between private action and state action, which is vital to a free society. Conservatives who defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who last week went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, are making the same mistake.

    And, when Jacob Sullum likened a county clerk issuing marriage licenses to a police officer providing some hypothetical vital service to a free society he made just as big a mistake. I remember when the conservatives acted like gay marriage was going to cause society to crumble. I didn’t believe it then either.

    Since Obergefell, whatever the merits of its legal reasoning, expands liberty rather than contracting it, that comparison strikes me as inapposite, to say the least. Refusing to recognize gay marriage is hardly a moral cause on par with ending slavery.

    just as county clerks who objected to marriages between people of different races (even on religious grounds) were obligated to issue licenses for such marriages after the Court concluded that bans on miscegenation violated that principle.

    WTF Reason? Is it a moral cause on par with ending slavery and allowing miscegenation or not?

  21. The real problem here is that government is in the fucking marriage business in the first place.

    You want to talk about blurring the lines of state and private action? Why don’t we start there?

    This Kim lady is a real asshole, but in a non-corrupted government she wouldn’t have that power in the first place. That is the real issue.

    1. Just be aware: if government “gets out of the marriage business,” the spousal testimony and marital communication privileges are gone.

      1. I do not see how that necessarily follows.

        1. In order for a judge to allow someone not to testify, he must identify who’s married to whom. There has to be some sort of objective criteria – some law – that the judge follows in making that determination. Sometimes the judge will agree that the witness is married to the defendant. Sometimes he won’t.

          That’s the state getting involved with determining who is married and who is not.

          1. Marriage licensing did not exist in Pennsylvania until 1885. They did the things you describe before that.

          2. ‘Sometimes’ not being the same as “gone.”

            Marital status will be interpreted much like claims of religion or religious affiliation, ie. who is, and who is not a rabbi.

        2. Really? If the government is “out of the marriage business”, every bit of government privilege granted to spouses goes out the window. Tax code, survivor benefits, inheritance laws? Poof! Gone!

          You can’t even try to argue that the government should simply recognize anyone who says, “Oh, by the way… we’re married now”, for deciding who those perks apply to & keep a straight face. I have a sudden vision of supposedly gay, polygamist mafia guys invoking spousal privilege to avoid testifying against their compatriots.

          1. Why should the tax code benefit marriages? Get rid of that first. Why should inheritance be anything other than a contract?

            Fix all these issues first, the recognizing marriages becomes moot.

            1. there is no such thing as a valid contract which transcends death

              1. Then how have wills worked for at least the last few hundred years?

                “Being of sound mind but weak in body, it is my will that my wife gets all my shit”

      2. Just be aware: if government “gets out of the marriage business,” the spousal testimony and marital communication privileges are gone.

        But my attorney-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, psychiatrist-patient privilege, and whatever’s left of religious-confession privilege will still stand, right? What about NDAs? Will they be nullified too?

        Seriously, it’s the same “The solution is impractical!” and “It’ll be anarchy!” arguments that the left and right have pitched back and forth at each other about the issue for the last several decades.

        1. Your attorney-client privilege will remain… if a judge determines that you have a representation relationship with your attorney.

          Your physician-patient privilege will remain… if a judge determines that you have a medical relationship with your doctor.

          Your priest-penitent privilege will remain… if a judge determines that the communication occurred in the context of a consultation with a spiritual advisor.

          And your marital privilege will remain… if a judge determines that you’re married.

          The judge makes those determinations based on law. Who is a doctor? Who is a lawyer? What does it mean to be a “spiritual advisor”? Who is married? These determinations require the state to differentiate between those people who meet the criteria and those who do not. And those determinations are based on law.

          If you’re still having trouble with this, consider spousal privilege before same-sex marriage was legal everywhere. It wasn’t available to two women because the state didn’t recognize their marriage. If the state doesn’t recognize anyone’s marriage, then there is no privilege.

          1. Do I need a license from the state to prove who is my lawyer, my doctor, my priest? If not, then why do I need a license to prove who is my wife?

        2. Imagine that you’re a plaintiff in a civil suit. You suspect that the woman who lives with the defendant has information that would help your case, so you attempt to call her as a witness. The defendant objects: “You can’t call her. She’s my wife.”

          “Prove it,” your lawyer insists.

          “Well I don’t have a marriage certificate issued by the state, because the libertarians got the state out of the marriage business. But the defendant and his wife got married in a religious ceremony, and I have a notarized certificate from the officiant.”

          Both attorneys turn to the judge, who strokes his chin. “I believe that they’re married in a cultural and religious sense. But for me, as the embodiment of the judicial branch of this government, to determine that they’re married and then to give them a benefit, involves the government recognizing a marriage and giving the spouses a benefit. And that I cannot do.”

          1. So you’re saying we would need to get rid of the Judicial branch altogether, and move to a system of private arbitrators? Libertarians would *never* stand for such a change. NEVER!

            In the meantime, why can’t a judge accept a notarized contract as a justification for marital privilege?

          2. Are you always so deliberately obtuse? Common law recognizes marriage in precisely the situations you describe – and has for over 1000 years. Long before governments got into the business of issuing marriage licenses

        3. You understand that the State manages to determine if a “Priest” is indeed a “Priest” without licensing? That said “Priest” can have confidential conversations with a parishoner–or other penitent–and that such conversations are by law privileged communications that cannot be ordered to be divulged by the court. The same could be for marriage if we ended licensing.

          1. Licensure has nothing to do with it. There are no licenses for common-law marriage, but the marital privilege still applies to those relationships.

            If the state is privileging marital communications, it’s giving benefits to the married that it is not giving to the unmarried. And it can only do that by making a legal determination of who is married and who is not. That involves the creation of objective legal standards for determining who is married to whom, and from that we know that the state has a conception of what a marriage is. If so, the state is in the business of recognizing marriage.

            As for analogizing to priests: your mistake is thinking that the state is completely out of the religion business. It’s not. It treats some professed belief and forms of practice as more legitimate than others. If the state were to get completely out of promoting religion, it would not treat conversations with a priest differently than conversations with a friend.

          2. I seriously doubt that a court of law would treat a confession to a “priest of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” as privileged. Hence, the state does, in fact, “establish” some religions and not others. And that’s wrong.

            There should be no confessional privilege; hopefully, it will get abolished over time.

    2. The real problem here is that government is in the fucking marriage business in the first place.

      You want to talk about blurring the lines of state and private action? Why don’t we start there?

      Look, how are you supposed to force people to issue each other equality licenses without blurring the lines a little?

  22. I don’t want to read any noise about bakers, immigrants, states rights or any other bullshit.
    A1 of the constitution is pretty clear about separating superstition from sate.
    As far as jail, well, if you have a government, you get jails for those who break the law.
    So, yes, she deserved to be in the slammer.

    1. Again, I’m sure you’ll support President Trump’s (ugh) decision to lock up the mayors of sanctuary cities, right?

      1. “Again, I’m sure you’ll support President Trump’s (ugh) decision to lock up the mayors of sanctuary cities, right?”

        Sort of missed the point, didn’t you?

    2. You essentially only want to have a conversation about a topic within the confines of your own paradigm. And I bet you believe only religious people are closed minded?

  23. Yeah, this used to be my view: “do your public job.” But I’ve modified that a bit, because the facts here aren’t quite as simple as everyone thinks.

    Kentucky has a RFRA. It obligates the Commonwealth to accommodate the religious views of its employees (within reason, blah blah). Now, Kentucky must issue marriage licenses to those who meet the requirements, and two dudes can meet those requirements, so they get a license.

    From what I understand, Davis’s objection was to having same-sex marriage licenses issued with her name on them, because she viewed that as an endorsement same-sex marriage. Still, you say “do your public job.” But that’s where the RFRA comes in: Kentucky could modify the procedure/form for marriage licenses such that Davis does not have to put her name on the document.

    That wouldn’t protect a clerk who refused to issue licenses at all, under any condition. But it appears that with Davis there was a needle that could have been threaded.

    1. “Kentucky has a RFRA. It obligates the Commonwealth to accommodate the religious views of its employees (within reason, blah blah).”

      Irrelevant.
      Kentucky cannot ignore the constitution, which constitution states plainly that there will be separation between state and superstition.
      She was imposing her fantasies on others; raus, schnell!

      1. separation between state and superstition.

        I’m pretty sure that’s not what the Constitution says. I’m also pretty sure that it would be an oxymoron if it did.

          1. Yeah, missed the part where they used the word superstition.

            The State jailing “the righteous” and compelling them to attest to a ceremonial union to invoke social specters of equality in tolerance seems just as much, if not more, superstitious to me.

      2. No, it’s relevant. You missed the next sentence: “Kentucky must issue marriage licenses to those who meet the requirements, and two dudes can meet those requirements, so they get a license.”

        Kentucky must follow the Gay Marriage Clause of the Constitution. No doubt about that. But when doing so, it is obligated by its own law to make reasonable accommodations for religious employees. And from what I understand, there was an accommodation acceptable to Davis that would not have done anything to hinder the ‘mos in getting their marriage licenses.

        1. Davis’ legal team probably didn’t help much by claiming licenses issued without her name on them weren’t worth the paper they were written on.

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../71772938/

          1. It is my understanding that Kentucky Law, as it currently stands, requires her name to be on the licenses. Indeed, the irony is that the Governor claims that the text can’t be changed without an act of Kentucky’s Congress, but he himself changed the license wording from “Bride” and “Groom” (or words to that effect) to “Party 1” and “Party 2”.

            There seems to be a *lot* of disingenuosity being splattered about, on all sides…

      3. It is well understood even by the most liberal of legal experts that the state still must accommodate religious views even if it is believed to be non-sense or even not sincerely held. In other words, it enforces religious freedom in spite of and with the expectation that some will take advantage. Do you want the state to have the power to regulate ideas?

      4. Where does the constitution ‘plainly state’ such a thing? Please tell me.

    2. Fair points. Seems like much ado about nothing, though. She’s not signing as Kim Davis, Individual–in fact, if her deputies issued the licenses with her name stamped on them, she’s not actually signing them at all–but rather as Kim Davis, County Clerk. So the idea that somehow she’s sanctioning anything is a bit ridiculous. Seems to me all public offices carry some personally unpleasant requirements with them, as do all jobs for that matter, so the official’s choice is to either hold one’s nose and do the job or, if it’s THAT objectionable, then quit. For that matter, if it’s really THAT morally objectionable, hard to see how she’s being principaled by accepting an accommodation that allows her to keep cashing a paycheck from the immoral government.

  24. “Kim Davis Has No Right to Impose Her View of Marriage on Others” But 5 People in black robes can

    1. Correct. There is a difference in authority between being a County Clerk in KY and being in the majority opinion in a US SC ruling. Glad you understand that.

      1. Yet, one is supposed to be FREEDOM! and the other is supposed to be OPPRESSION!

        It’s a wonder that more people aren’t attracted to anarcho-capitalism….

      2. RE: “There is a difference in authority between being a County Clerk in KY and being in the majority opinion in a US SC ruling”

        Yes we do understand that Lorenzo. You are absolutely correct! Except that we’re not sure you understand that.

        County Clerk Kim Davis has legal and lawful authority granted by the State of Kentucky to issue KY marriage licenses which does not include authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

        The SCOTUS has absolutely ZERO AUTHORITY, per the Constitution of the United States, to determine who Kim or Kentucky will or will not issue licenses to.

        It is about lawful authority after all, not just any authority.

        1. Incorrect.

  25. I’m not a fan of sanctuary cities, but it seems to me the difference is between enforcing laws, which is an area where public officials have some discretion, and performing what lawyers call “ministerial duties.” If you’re stopped by a cop for having an expired license, he can give you a warning and let you go. If you go to the DMV, though, and apply to renew your license, and you qualify and offer to pay the fee, the DMV agent has no discretion to refuse to issue you the license.

    1. Yeah, that’s the same……

      /end sarcasm

    2. The better analogy is WARNING WARNING LIBERTARIAN HOLY GRAIL AHEAD marijuana legalization.

      Cops in Colorado don’t have to make arrests in support of federal law. But the Colorado state government (and every state that has medical marijuana laws) and its employees and agents are consciously and actively assisting the breaking of federal law. They’re accessories to illegal transactions.

      1. Careful, you’ll get yourself banned!

    3. Since when do public officials have any discretion to shield illegals fro the federal government entirely?

      1. So you agree that they have discretion to shied illegals partially? Again, I’m no fan of sanctuary cities, and even discretion can be abused to the point that an official has violated his or her oath of office. But in some areas officials have discretion and in some they don’t, and there’s no discretion when it comes to issuing marriage licenses. Put it this way, would you also have supported the local court clerk refusing to accept for filing the lawsuit that ultimately led to the Obergefell decision?

        1. I didn’t say that at all. I asked if they could shield them entirely. I ‘agree’ with nothing. I just asked a very specific question. Your response illustrates why I asked the question the way I did. You immediately steered the discussion to discretionary gray areas. Which becomes obfuscatory.

          1. Well, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Law enforcement is an inherently discretionary gray area. Dealing with illegal immigrants is a law enforcement function. Issuing marriage licenses is not. Issuing licenses is mandatory. Now, again, I’m not saying that having some discretion means having absolute discretion. Even public officials operating in discretionary gray areas can go too far, but that’s not this case. In this case, she had no discretion at all–yet she chose to not do her duty anyhow. Now, to answer your question with respect to sanctuary cities, if local officials are entirely shielding illegals from federal prosecution, that may well be abusing their inherent discretion–that may well may be going too far, crossing the gray line into illegality (though maybe not–Pete’s point about whether it would be wrong for local officials in Colorado to entirely shield local pot dealers from federal drug prosecution raises the same issues). But even if sanctuary city officals are going too far, even if what they’re doing is illegal, or should be illegal, that illegal act doesn’t give ME the right to violate the law as I see fit, anymore than it gives Kim Davis the right to violate the law as she sees fit.

            1. DISCRETION INHERENT TO ANY LAWFUL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY IS ALWAYS LIMITED TO DECIDING ON HOW BEST TO COMPLY WITH LAW, not whether to comply or not, nor to determine when it is personally or politically convenient.

      2. I think sanctuary cities are stupid. Nevertheless, whether local law enforcement cooperates with the federal government or not is still something local voters should have a right to decide, at least until Congress makes a law that forces the issue.

    4. Sanctuary cities are obstructing laws

  26. Usually I enjoy Mr. Sullum’s articles. This one, not so much.

    “The situation would be different if Davis started her own bakery or photography business. In that case, she should be (and in Kentucky would be) free to turn away work related to gay weddings based on her religious objections to such unions.”

    Based upon the recent actions in Oregon and Colorado, no, the situation would not be different. The State would still punish this woman if her privately owned business refused to serves teh gayz.

    And although it has been repeated here ad nauseum, this is why the “true Scotsman” Libertarians have said all along that supporting government sanction of gay marriage is NOT a step in the right direction for getting the government out of the marriage business.

    You reap what you sow.

    1. Correction* The state might not punish this woman in Kentucky, but some private citizen would most likely find an excuse to sue. And, we all know that the recent Oregon and Colorado incidents will not remain isolated to those two states.

  27. “Kim Davis was jailed for asking the perfect question: ‘Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?’ That simple question is giving many in Congress a civics lesson that they never got in grade school.
    The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law. They can only make a ruling on an EXISTING law. Congress makes the laws.
    Because Congress has made *NO* law allowing for same-sex marriage, Kim does *NOT* have the Constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.
    *LEGALLY*, she is resisting being forced to break the law.”

    1. “Because Congress has made *NO* law allowing for same-sex marriage, Kim does *NOT* have the Constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.
      *LEGALLY*, she is resisting being forced to break the law.””

      Speaking of needing a course in civics, you’d fail.
      Congress also did not make a law allowing me to have a beer at a ballgame.
      The government does not grant rights, regardless of your ignorance.

      1. Right, because making it up as you go along is the essence of libertarianism.

        /sarc

      2. Having a beer at a ball game is not related to the execution of official duties as an elected official. Spurious argument Sevo. Try again.

        1. Kentucky has a list of people who may not be granted marriage licenses that included among others, close relatives, minors, people who are already married, people who have been deemed mentally incompetent by the court & same sex couples. The SCOTUS struck down the prohibition on same sex couples. Congress did not pass a law allowing couples of different races to be married after the miscegenation laws were overturned. No new law is needed now.

          Is that simple enough for you to follow?

      3. “allowing me to have a beer at a ballgame” is not in any way analogous to Kim Davis’ circumstances. This is isn’t about what she has the right to do when acting for her self on her own time in which case we all have the right to do anything we want that is not contrary to the constitution and inalienable rights of others.

        Neither is UncleJohnny asserting anything regarding rights. The question he correctly asks is by what AUTHORITY does Kim have the ABILITY to issue such marriage licences since she can do nothing as a clerk without lawful authority.

        The SCOTUS has no jurisdiction on state marriage licenses.

    2. As someone who opposes same-sex marriage I have to admit this is a slight of hand type reasoning. No, the courts can not make a law, they can however invalidate laws, which means those laws no longer apply. In this case all legal reason for not issuing a marriage license to two people of the same gender because of their gender, was struck down. (In some states, specifically those with blood tests, a same-sex marriage license can still possibly be denied if one party is found to be related or have AIDS.)

      1. “if the two people are found to be too closely related.”

      2. When the Court strikes down a law, for example, when it struck down D.C.’s weapons law in Heller, it sends that legislative body back to the drawing board to create a new law that would comply with the ruling.

        By way of specifics, Kentucky has a law that defines state-sanctioned marriage, to wit,

        402.005 Definition of marriage.
        As used and recognized in the law of the Commonwealth, “marriage” refers only to the
        civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for
        life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent
        upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.

        And also

        402.080 Marriage license required — Who may issue.
        No marriage shall be solemnized without a license therefor. The license shall be issued by
        the clerk of the county in which the female resides at the time, unless the female is
        eighteen (18) years of age or over or a widow, and the license is issued on her application
        in person or by writing signed by her, in which case it may be issued by any county clerk.

        The Kentucky law 402.005 provides no same-sex marriage, while 402.080 makes no provision for the place of issuance or who may issue a license in the case of man-man marriage.

        In light of Obergefell, these laws are assumed to be void, but absent a compliant re-write, it certainly does seem that there is no valid legal way to issue a same-sex marriage license in Kentucky.

        1. And, it seems that the clerks who are issuing licenses now are risking having all those licenses found to be void, having been issued without any legislative authorization.

        2. Exactly. Until the Kentucky legislature acts the clerks are legally unable to issue such licenses. Of course, this is the same legislature that everyone agrees would fail to impeach her as well.

          Amazing though isn’t – when something like Heller invalidates restrictive gun laws it’s never a matter of come-get-yer-guns-as-you-like. No, the legislature, or municipality is given all sorts of time to craft stalling and interfering acts – acts directly contrary to the expressed intent of the ruling. And nobody goes to jail over it.

  28. the ACLU filed charges under the Civil Rights act of 1964\65 which was later amended to allow sodomites to have rights under the guise of sexual orientation. The law was changed to ‘sexual orientation’ after the liberal crowd realized that homosexuality was a ‘choice’ and not a birth right or a birth defect. The CRA was shoved up the backside of the nation via the man how replaced a voting democracy with diversity: Martin L. King jr. He is responsible for destroying the unity of the UNITED states. Thus, once the liberals had played the minority race card as long as they could, they then began to play the homosexual race card. The crux of the matter is the Supreme court does NOT make the laws. Congress does. The court merely rules on the existing laws. So when the court said sodomites could not be discriminated against, they overstepped their bounds as no law was passed by congress saying homosexuals had the right to marry. It all boils down to the court said the gays had the right so sodomize each other or for a woman to go down on another woman if they wanted to. But congress NEVER said the gay crowd should have a license to do so.

    1. You must be lovely at parties.

      1. I imagine your’e quite popular. Village idiots are often very entertaining.

    2. Civil Rights act of 1964\65 which was later amended to allow sodomites to have rights under the guise of sexual orientation

      You mean the same Civil Rights act that already gave a group of cannibalistic idolaters known as Christians “to have rights under the guise of religious belief”?

      So when the court said sodomites could not be discriminated against, they overstepped their bounds as no law was passed by congress saying homosexuals had the right to marry

      The court didn’t rule that “sodomites cannot be discriminated against”; there still is no federal anti-discrimination law for “sodomites”. What the court ruled was that a legal relationship that is available to two consenting adults should be available regardless of the sex of the people involved, a decision rooted in the equal protection provisions of the US constitution.

  29. So it seems to me that Kim Davis is just another person competing in the Oppression Olympics for “victimhood points”. The fact that she politically sits on the right instead of the left is of very little consequence other than being notable in the fact that everyone is basically a hypocrite.

    Here is a hint to future elected officials: When the post you are elected to requires you to perform an act that goes against your conscience, the dignified thing to do is to resign in protest.

    Hmm, on second thought, a dignified politician is a bit of an oxymoron isn’t it?

    1. “When the post you are elected to requires you to perform an act that goes against your conscience, the dignified thing to do is to resign in protest.”

      Except this was not the case when she took office.

      1. “Except this was not the case when she took office.”

        So? Laws change from time to time. She wasn’t elected to decide which laws she follows. She has said she won’t resign because she wants the platform to air her religious views. That should bother anyone who doesn’t think our elected officials should be putting their creed above the rule of law.

        And yeah, if President Trump goes to the courts & gets a ruling turning over all of the local “sanctuary city” laws, the officials who ignore that ruling should be subject to the same fate.

        1. That was not though the basis of your original argument. She was elected to a post that, when she was elected, did not require an act against her conscience. I would agree that if you were a sincere pacifist and knowingly ran for a government position that required you to violate that belief the burden on you are imposing your belief on others if you got elected and refused to do your job.

          Her job description changed barely 3 months ago. Most legislative branches have not had the time to deal with its ramifications. Why is there such a militant attitude of “do your job” and “don’t impose your belief on others” when her job changed and when 3 months ago this would not be an issue of “imposing beliefs?” I am a sincere believer in that the government, not anybody else is the first to be inconvenienced. If this means that for 6 months or however much time was needed to find a fix the government can not function freely, so be it. If you are that “in love” what is 6 months to wait? How about giving the rest of the world a chance to figure out how this is going to work? Everybody is tuck in their own little universe.

          1. The SCOTUS ruling didn’t come out of the blue. Davis would have been perfectly aware that same sex marriage was likely to become the law of the land before her term was over.

            If you are a sincere believer that government, not anyone else be inconvenienced, I have to wonder why you put her convenience as a government official above that of the taxpayers?

            Davis’ mother was the Rowan County Clerk for 40 years. Davis has worked there for 26. Her son works there. It seems to me that it’s run like a family business, which may explain why she is very confused about her right to speech as a private citizen versus her duties as an elected official.

            1. The evidence that it’s run like a family business is…….?

    2. “The fact that she politically sits on the right instead of the left is of very little consequence…”
      —————–
      n.b. she’s a Democrat.

  30. In our society the state has the function, right or wrong, to regulate marriages. That means it has the right to designate whomever it wants to be an official over marriages, be it construction workers, left handed people, or bank tellers. However, it should not, and I believe does not have the right to make anyone undertake the work of administrating marriages on the state’s behalf.

  31. Thanks for this article to hash it out some more. Some commenters have questioned the premise of the article. But if the clerk is preventing people in her jurisdiction from getting married, then isn’t that a serious problem? I suppose people could go to a different county to get married, maybe, or if the state recognizes common law marriage, then people could have a ceremony and claim common law marriage. So there may possibly be workarounds. Still, she’s not really helping anyone with her refusal to do her job.

    1. She isn’t preventing people in her county from getting married. She is preventing them from getting a license to be married in Rowan Co. There are seven counties bordering Rowan, all with county seats between 15 and 20 miles from Rowan’s county seat.

      The judge ruled that the defendants would be irreparably harmed if they had to travel to another county.

      Kentucky does not recognize (for the purpose of bestowing status and benefits) and marriage solemnized without a license.

  32. After a recent Supreme court ruling that effectively overturned local laws in many states (and counties & municipalities) on the basis that the laws were denying people their Constitutional rights, it seems that at least one government official has determined that she does not have to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, nor comply with a Federal judge who order her to begin issuing licenses to people who are lawfully applying for them.

    No, I’m not talking about Obergefell and Kim Davis refusing to issue marriage licenses in violation of peoples 14th Amendment rights. I’m talking about District of Columbia v Heller and Cathy Lanier and people being denied their 2nd Amendment Rights. Lanier is the Chief of Police for DC Metro PD and she joins several sheriffs in California who are refusing to issue weapons permits to people in defiance of SCOTUS and lower courts rulings and injunctions.

    Lanier was ordered by a federal judge in May to stop denying permits. As far as my albeit brief research can determine, she has issued some (44) permits but continues to deny permits (206 denials) based on her personal whim. The rest have so far been slow-walked through the process so as to avoid any decisions at all. So far she has not been sent to jail for contempt of court. It’s not know how many of the 44 are LEOs, etc. who are getting favorable treatment. One survey by a pro-2nd group showed fewer than 10 normal individuals have been granted a permit in the last 6 months.

  33. County sheriffs in California were similarly enjoined by the Ninth Circuit last November. So far, although the San Diego sheriff is accepting applications, no permits have been issued and no sheriffs have been sent to jail. The lead plaintiff in the 9th circuit case has been waiting since 2004 for his application to be approved. Specifically, the panel in the 9th ruled that “self defense” was a sufficient reason to meet the state’s “good cause” requirement, and that refusal by the sheriff based on his arbitrary personal decisions is unconstitutional. Also, the Sheriff continues to cancel the mandatory 8-hour training courses (claiming lack of staff) that are also required to be taught by his department–if the class is not offered, then no one can take it and so no one can qualify. They have also reduced the periods in which applications can be submitted to Tuesday and Thursdays only, and only between the hours of 9AM and 3PM. A one hour personal interview will determine the additional information required for the second interview. All permits are being held pending an en banc appeal. Note that you *can* get a permit if you are law enforcement (for off-duty carry), security guards, are a business owner who has to carry large amounts of cash. You can *theoretically* get a permit for “personal protection” but only if you have a “documented threat” *and* can manage to convince the sheriff that you’re case is special enough to warrant the permit.

  34. Getting back around to Kim Davis, though, in 2004 San Francisco mayor and clerks conspired to break state law and began issuing same-sex marriage licenses (same sex marriage at the time was illegal in California). The California Supreme Court ultimately stopped the practice, but the mayor and clerks were never disciplined, let alone sent to jail.

    1. Presumably, that’s because the government officials actually complied with the court order once issued, so they weren’t guilty of contempt of court. As I understand it, Kim Davis was sent to jail because she explicitly defied a court ruling and the court held her in contempt.

      The lesson is: don’t fuck with courts if you don’t want to be held in contempt.

      1. Sure, but what about the part where they conspired to break the law and broke the law repeatedly?

  35. Kim Davis ought to be held in higher esteem given the “facts” about her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. 1) She is upholding the Kentucky state law that expressly holds marriage to be between a man and woman 2) She is defending state’s rights over an oppressive Government 3) the Supreme Court rendered an “opinion”, only Congress can pass laws and to my knowledge, they have not passed a gay marriage law. If SCOTUS really meant to provide equal protection under the law by claiming that one state’s sanction of gay marriage must be acknowledged in every other state, then carry permits must also be universally recognized; how about fishing/hunting licenses; those states that legalized pot should be allowed to have their citizens smoke week in all the other states. Oh, how do we manage to allow sanctuary cities that violate real US Government laws? Round up the mayors and police chiefs and send them to jail without bail.

    1. Also, she is perhaps confused as to whether some applicants are entitle to file in her county:

      KY 402.080 Marriage license required — Who may issue.
      No marriage shall be solemnized without a license therefor. The license shall be issued by
      the clerk of the county in which the female resides at the time, unless the female is
      eighteen (18) years of age or over or a widow, and the license is issued on her application
      in person or by writing signed by her, in which case it may be issued by any county clerk.

      If two men want to get married, it seems there’s no way under Kentucky law for a clerk to know if they should file in one county or another, issuance being based on the county in which the female resides.

      1. I guess you missed the part about “unless the female is eighteen (18) years of age or over or a widow… , in which case it may be issued by any county clerk.”

        The scary thought to me is that there are a bunch of 17 year old widows in Kentucky.

        1. I guess you missed the part where if two men were seeking a license, there is no female involved, 18 or no, widow or no. The license has to be issued on “her application in person or by writing signed by her”.

          If two 17-year old women (non-widows) wanted to get married, it’d be a conundrum!

  36. “Kim Davis Has No Right to Impose Her View of Marriage on Others”

    Obama has no right to kill Americans without due process or allow the executive branch to assault people at the airport, but he does it anyway because there’s no one willing to stop or impeach him for it.

    “Rights” have nothing to do with what states do. Neither does legitimate authority. It’s a power game, and Kim Davis is a tiny little fish in a very large pond.

    The people who stand by and watched while Obama, FDR, and Bush violate the powers of their office with abandon are the same people who will take Davis to the cleaners, as, unlike the president and his acolytes, she has no ability to destroy their careers.

  37. Would someone please tell me where at in the Constitution the federal government is given this authority? That is really the heart of the matter here and I don’t understand all of this arguing. This is just another step in the direction of a centrally planned society. Government needs to get the hell out of our personal lives.

  38. Fun aside — a liberal MSM bias example: Did you know that Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis is a DEMOCRAT? No, you didn’t — because the MSM failed to report this fact. It doesn’t fit with the liberal narrative.

    Nor did most MSM outlets report the the judge who sent her to jail was a Republican. Again, that inconvenient fact didn’t fit the progressive message.

    Granted, the political affiliation of these two is not earthshaking news. Arguably it’s not even germane. But imagine what the press would have reported if the political affiliations were reversed. I daresay every major MSM outlet would have included the political parties of these two players.

  39. However, it’s OK for the gay mafia to impose their views on us and terrorize and ruin anyone who disagrees?

  40. Here’s the deal. Kim was not forcing her beliefs on others. The government has no business regulating personal morality. It isn’t about gay marriage or performance of ones duties as an elected official. It’s about asking to have her name removed before issuing the license to avoid violating her sacred beliefs. Kim was elected to STATE office BEFORE this decision changed the definition of her job. She did not refuse to issue the license. She resisted having her name associated with the document to avoid sin and refused to issue the document while her name is affixed. The form is easily modified, her beliefs aren’t. If the court cannot respect her traditional beliefs that have stood the test of time since the beginning of Christianity and respect her inalienable right to those beliefs, then the Federal government and the courts violated her inalienable rights under the Constitution.

    1. The timing doesn’t matter. The rules changed, and if she doesn’t like the new rules, she is free to seek other employment.

      After I started my job, I was handed additional duties. I don’t like them much, but I do them because I choose to keep my job rather than looking for another one. That’s my choice.

      1. Yes, but if your new duties violate your conscience, and there’s a reasonable way to get around that violation of conscience, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to refuse that new duty and continue to do the work you do.

        In this case, Kim claims that removing her name from the license is her accommodation. Is it reasonable? I would imagine so. Thus, I would imagine that it’s reasonable for her to keep her position, and even fight for it.

        1. I don’t know if that’s reasonable or not. She’s the elected County Clerk and her signature is backed by the authority of her position. I don’t know if it’s possible to have a stand in.

          That being said, even if there were ways to accommodate her concerns, that does not mean her concerns need to be met.

          For example, if I tell my employer that it’s better for me personally to work different hours than expected, my employer isn’t required to accommodate me even if there is not practical problem with the request.

          1. As the law currently stands, if working different hours helps with a medical disorder, or religious observance, then yes, the employer must accommodate you, so long as there is no practical problem with the request.

            I personally don’t agree with this law–it’s a violation of freedom of association–but I would consider any employer not willing to make practical exceptions to be unreasonable as well, and would likely not want to associate with (in this case, be employed by) them.

            With government, *I* am the employer, and *I* want to see reasonable accommodations.

            1. My example was for personal preference and not religious holidays and medical reasons. I acknowledge that an employer is required to accommodate those specific requests when practical, but I used the working hours example to illustrate that my personal preferences weren’t necessarily of any concern to my employer – if I prefer to work at home and can perform equally well there, my employer is not obligated to let me do it.

              I also agree that I prefer all employers, including the government, to make reasonable accommodations for their employees and to have a reasonably flexible workplace. In the case of Davis, however, she is acting in the role of ‘the government’ as was the one who refusing to be flexible by not allowing deputies to perform a task that was required by her office but she didn’t want to perform.

      2. Did your new duties violate your fundamental and core beliefs? And in a manner completely unexpected in your job?

  41. If one is a vegan one doesn’t take a job at a steak house! Davis is imposing her beliefs on others who don’t share them. She should just quit that job. That would show integrity.

    1. Neither she nor her supporters are interested in integrity.

      1. In?teg?ri?ty – in?te?r?d?/: noun; the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

        Sounds like Kim Davis to me.

        Particularly in contrast to the SCOTUS and the judge who put her in jail who failed to uphold the oath of law which he made.

        More particularly in contrast to the GLBT movement for whom law, morality and integrity are enemies to be defeated.

        1. Wrong. She abused the powers of her office for a personal agenda. That is a complete lack of professional integrity, despite how much personal integrity she might have.

    2. She was a vegan and then the employer changed to a steak house. This usually results in an accommodation if it is reasonable for both. If not, then the vegan must seek employment elsewhere.

      Davis didn’t impose her beliefs on those who don’t share them rather, those who don’t share them imposed the changes on her and did so in violation of the Constitution.

  42. As an elected official, Kim Davis has every right to use her judgement in regards to her duties as she sees fit. If the people who elected her have a problem with it, they can impeach her.

    The folks who didn’t have a right to impose their views, were the 5 justices on the SCOTUS who unconstitutionally ruled on a subject matter in which they have absolutely no constitutional authority.

    Reason has become such a mindless mouthpiece in regards to this issue. Reason (as in not the magazine), law, and rationality be damned.

  43. Indeed, but Eugene Volokh makes a great point – religious protection acts force employers to make reasonable accommodations on the job for anyone whose beliefs conflict with his job duties. The State is not immune to this requirement. Davis may have grounds for a lawsuit, especially over being jailed for contempt.

  44. This issue is a bit complicated

    As an employee she should follow the rules of her employer. In this case she is empolyed by a govenment entity.which in this case means should isssue the license.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is legal on National level. This was a ruling that usurped States Rights for political reasons. That right now is the law of the land. Unfotunately politics has gotten into SCOTUS rulings. Not just on this issue but many other issues as well.

    Now lets suppose the clerk was a Muslim. For poltical reasons the Muslim would almost definitely not be jailed like a Christian was or a Jew, Buddhist etc would be.

    This whole mess in this case in this case results from

    1. The Fed government usurping States Rights
    2. Politics
    3. The govenment being involved in marriage, which it should not be.

    Having said that Kim Davis like any other employee needs to follow the rules of their empolyer even if their employer’s rules are poltical and the result of the Fed government usurping States Rights. .

    1. Either the ruling is constitutionally lawful or it is not. If not, we are not bound by the personal opinions of people who happen to express them while sitting as a judge.

      Judges derive their authority from law. If judges do not act in accordance with law, then by definition such acts are without any lawful authority. The law cannot simultaneously give authority to act contrary to the authority which it first gives. Therefore, any decision which contradicts law is without authority and of none effect.

      Anyone who enforces an unlawful act is also acting without authority. However, if such are acting in good faith and honestly believe they are acting under lawful authority then to that extent they are without guilt in enforcing an unlawful act.

      As individuals, we have an inherent human right to act according to law and to defend ourselves from unlawful acts that deprive us of our rights.

      Practically speaking however, it’s usually a losing battle with a high price, but a righteous battle it is.

  45. And just where does one draw the line when it comes to an overbearing government? Were civil rights protests therefore to be condemned in the same manner? Why is Martin Luther King a person who is honored with a holiday when he did far worse than not sign his name on a form?

    1. Because, as usual, it’s more about politics and less about actual law or our inalienable rights.

  46. Kim Davis, as a private citizen, can think anything she likes, can pursue any course of action within the law that might make her happy.

    Kim Davis’s course of action, as a public servant, public official, is more constrained. She is employed to “push certain papers”. She and I, for instance, might rub each other the wrong way. I, as a private citizen, am under no compulsion to enter into any dealings at all with her. She as a public employee is paid to perform certain functions for the public, which I’m part of. She does not have to be a public employee, or public official, she can do other things to earn her way in life. Since she elected to be a public employee, she is there to serve the public, notwithstanding her personal or religious preferences. End of story.

  47. As long as we’re making distinctions, why is the distinction not stressed in the article regarding the difference between being fired for not doing one’s job and being thrown in jail for not doing one’s job? If a law has to be passed to fire the woman, pass the law. How does “we find it hard to fire her” equal “and therefore it is appropriate to put her in jail”?

    1. I don’t know the exact process, but my understanding is that she was ordered to do her job by the court, and when she failed to follow the court’s instructions, she was held in jail for contempt of court. As such, she was technically jailed for contempt of court.

  48. Jacob, if you can show me where, when DOMA was the “law of the land”, you were calling for the imprisonment of county-clerks who issued SSM licenses in defiance of that law, I’ll go quietly into that good night.
    Absent that: STFU!

    1. Were there any county-clerks issuing SSM licenses when it wasn’t legal in there county.

      Perhaps you realize that under the DOMA, states could still legalize SSM but that those marriages wouldn’t be recognized in other states that chose to not recognize them, nor were those marriages acknowledged at the federal level.

      That, however, does NOT mean that SSM were illegal under DOMA. It just means that for federal purposes the contracts weren’t recognized as being valid.

      Now, STFU.

      1. “Were there any county-clerks issuing SSM licenses when it wasn’t legal in there county.”

        Yes, according to comments made previously, there were, in California, after it had been made specifically illegal. Later, those licenses were made null and void, but the clerks issuing them weren’t jailed.

        1. first, sorry for the typos in my original post. editing not available.

          if you’re referring to the 2004 cases in CA where the mayor of SF directed the count-clerk to issue SSM licenses, it was a different situation. the mayor argued that he believed the equal protection clause of the CA constitution gave him legal cover. the CA state supreme court then ruled against him and voided those licenses.

          in the KY case, the county-clerk refused to do her job in defiance of the court and was then held in contempt.

          consequently in the SF case, it was a legal dispute between SF and the state, but in the KY case, there was no legal dispute – Davis wasn’t claiming to have legal authority for not doing her job. The only thing close to a legal argument was her attempt to hide behind religious freedom.

          However, the irony to her attempted use of religious freedom is that it is in direct opposition of the establishment clause that protects religion. The establishment clause prohibits the state from establishing a state religion. Had she been successful, she would have opened the door to lawsuits for violating that establishment clause because the services her county would be providing would be governed by religion.

          1. This is just as much a legal dispute between Kim’s county, the State, and the Federal Government. Had she been successful, her office would still be issuing licenses, but the just won’t have her name on them. How would this have opened the county to lawsuits?

      2. I refer you to CA in the wake of Prop-8, and other venues.

        1. make your case. you might be able to, but having looked at the 2004 situation described above, it quickly becomes obvious that the situation was different.

  49. “The government, unlike private businesses, is constitutionally obligated to treat all citizens equally under the law. Last June, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court said that obligation means states must issue marriage licenses to couples without regard to their sexual orientation.”

    “In any case, as a representative of her state’s government, Davis is obligated to comply with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee”

    I think the author needs to read the ACLU’s complaint and Judge Bunning’s opinion.

    Davis did not issue any marriage licenses. She did not regard anyone’s sexual orientation. The complain and the ruling were based on due process, NOT on equal protection. The author is charging her with an offense that was not part of the court case.

    The question is whether she MUST issue marriage licenses at all. I believe that’s an issue with Kentucky law, not a federal judge, but the judge did rule that by denying opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples licenses, Davis had no compelling reason to deprive all those couples of the right to access government benefits that come with being married.

    The judge also ruled that these couples would suffer irreparable harm if they had to drive 20 miles to any of seven other county seats, regardless of how far they and to drive to get to the Rowan county seat, but that’s another issue.

  50. She was NOT a Christian and is still not!
    She needs to rot in jail for slandering Christ.
    Jesus would have quit being a clerk when part of His job as a clerk violated a belief.

    1. How do you know for sure that she is not a Christian? It is up to God to make that judgment, not you.

    2. Since the Constitution is fully in accordance with God’s law and directly based on God’s law, I think that if Jesus were here, having power to do so where Kim does not, he would overthrow the tables of these illegal lawchangers and Pharisees.

  51. I remember watching some video of a person acting as if they wanted a cake made for a gay wedding. So they went into a bakery and tried to get one and they were told “No.”
    But since it was a Muslim bakery, several different ones actually, not much was said or done about it.
    So let’s quit being boring about it, and put the spotlight on something like the aforementioned.
    But probably no public official types have the intestinal fortitude to do that.

    Otherwise, it is becoming more apparent that as long as the state compels that which is agreeable to________________, then the power of the state is just OK.

    1. It’s worth noting that Steven Crowder, who made the video found many Muslim bakeries that were happy to bake his fictional gay wedding cake.

      If an actual gay couple wants to try to order an actual cake & actually gets refused, they would have legal standing to bring a lawsuit. Otherwise, the government (thankfully) does not go looking for businesses who violate discrimination laws.

      1. Yes, he did find many Muslim bakeries happy to make his cake and had he checked with Christian bakeries I’m sure he would have found many alleged Christians happy to bake the cake too.

        However, gays are well aware that Muslims are more politically correct and that Christians and Jews are politically incorrect and therefore chose Christians, who are the great religious majority in the US, for their target.

        Notwithstanding the bold-faced violation of our basic human rights in the Civil Rights Act, we have a constitutional right to do with our property as we please and therefore have the right to discriminate against anybody for any reason in our homes and in our businesses and in general public.

        Since gays are now saying we don’t, that’s fine. So now we need to start forcing them to do things they don’t want to.

      2. “Otherwise, the government (thankfully) does not go looking for businesses who violate discrimination laws.”
        Really?

  52. I’d say the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction WRT marriage and that there is no “right to marry.”
    Same-sex unions are not even remotely similar to real marriages. Same-sex mariage is an oxymoron, believed in by dupes.

    1. You can say that, but you’re wrong. Easy as that.

      The SC ruled that denying gays the ability to marry each other was in violation of the equal protection clause of 14th amendment to the US Constitution. In case you don’t understand that, it means that since states and the federal gov’t provide specific rights and resources to married people, by denying some people from getting married without due process is a violation of equal protection.

      Again, it’s a very easy principle.

    2. The Rule of Law isn’t for everyone. I suggest you find a Theocracy in line with your views.

  53. In Canada when our Supreme Court rules on something it tosses out a law. For example, if the SC ruled against one of our Provinces, (Kentucky, in this case), banning same sex marriage it means the law is tossed out. There is no law at that point.

    I wasn’t aware the SCOTUS can write laws. I thought they can cross out laws, but not write them. Is a SCOTUS ruling like a law? Or, does it just invalidate laws?

    If it did not write a law, but merely invalidated one, then she didn’t break a law…since there would not be one to break.

    At most you could say she didn’t do her job. But, she did. Kentucky said ‘no’ to gay marriage. SCOTUS overruled that law. She is simply waiting for further instructions from her employer, and until she receives them she was legally in her rights to not issue gay marriage licenses.

  54. As usual Mr. Sullum is clueless and inconsistent, never out of mold. He locks on to the end product, not the beginning, why it began, how it began. He says that if an official (Judges, my inclusion) cannot perform their duty, they should resign. Well, he better include the SCOTUS Judges that should not preform their duties, (because of Conflicts of Interest) should resign or recuse. No Judge should participate in an event that they will presently rule on. Even a simple Journalist should not have a conflict of interest. But the Highest Court in the Land? Are you Blind Mr. Sullum? Or were you furnished by the LGBTQ Glasses that sees only rainbows? You seem to believe (erroneously) that the 14th A. is designed to protect “classes of People”. Question: How many ‘classes of people’ are out in our Society that the Constitution now has to protect? Hundreds. This is impossible. The Constitution survives because it protects only ONE. One Male and ONE Female. Anything else is Unconstitutional and discrimination, and impossible. Of which you advocate. You make a deep assumption that you understand the issue, but you are actually Clueless. Sorry, but you have my Pity

  55. For the record, I support the State being out of the marriage license business. But spend a minute and focus on the implications of how the court reached its decision and what that means.

    So what law did Davis break? Was there a law stating that marriage licenses could be issued to gay couples? If you state that the SCOTUS said so, then are you implying that the court can make law? Congress is the only one that gets to do that. Did congress pass such a law? The court only gets to rule on existing law. What about the rights of States to decide for themselves how they wish to govern themselves? Reason has often pushed for States rights. Why not this time? I believe the State of Kentucky passed a state constitutional amendment stating how they wished to be governed.

    While you may support the SCOTUS on their decision, it was decided incorrectly because it steps outside of what the constitution allows for. I don’t mean this to be about gay marriage but about how the constitution is structured. The 9th and 10th amendments are clear in that when the constitution is silent on a subject, then that issue is deferred to the right of the people and to the States. A more correct ruling would have stated that the issuing of marriage licenses violates the rights of free association and the rights of the people under the 9th amendment and that states should not be in the marriage business at all. Alas, a missed opportunity.

  56. In actuality there was no imposition of a view, simply the application of the definition of a marriage. While same sex couples may and should be allowed to contractually join similar to that of a marriage, it is not the same. Words become meaningless when we start adding to their definitions.

  57. perhaps she does not have the right to “impose” her “religious views” on others. Do those “others’ have the right to DEMAND she behave according to THEIR preference? As the lesbian females DEMANDING Melissa bake their cake the way they wanted her to bake it?

    Of does she have the right, pr perhaps even the OBLIGATION to uphold both Federal and Kentucky State Laws on the matter? That OPINION rendered by the corrupt and morally perverse Supreme Court is NOT law,. Those nine pyjamaed lawyers are NOT lawmakers. Two sets of LAWMAKERS have MADE LAW concerning government recognition of sodomy based contracts falsely called “marriage”, And in one of those cases, three fourths of the people of Kentucky voted to NOT recognise any form of relationship between two people of the same sex as “marriage”,
    So, WHO is forcing WHAT onto WHOM? Kim Davis is not forcing anyone. Many are trying to force her.

  58. Let me get this straight, Jacob . . . You’re a “libertarian”, right? And you’re saying Davis has no right to .. Blah! Blah! Blah! Why? There are over 2000 “Christian” sects and I belong to one of them. Mine doesn’t agree with Davis. IMHO, Kim Davis may have had a “Christian” option – not too unlike Jesus of Nazareth’s reaction to the woman caught in adultery. If I understand this right, the marriage license form requires the name of the “husband” and the”wife.” Since you can’t tell about gender, these days, by appearance or name, how can a Clerk assume it’s a same sex union without a physical examination? She could just approve the application and silently ask the Lord that they “go and sin no more.” IMHO, Jesus’ message was about individual freedom, compassion, and personal responsibility. It was, in no way Pharisaic – those are the ones who crucified Him.
    What I’m saying is: Jesus was a libertarian – even before Ayn Rand.

    1. Jesus was in fact a Libertarian. He specifically gave us a choice between good and evil and then commanded us to choose and to do good. He did not force us to choose good, however he advises that our choices will effect the rest of our eternity.

      In these latter days he set apart the “promised land”, brought forth men inspired to write and establish the Constitution of the United States, a Libertarian document. Under our Constitution, no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do and nor can you be prohibited in doing anything you want to as long as it does not violate the ability of all others to do the same.

      Therefore, no one can force us to wear a helmet or seat belt if we don’t want to; no one can stop us from smoking in our business or prevent us from doing anything in our business that does not impose on the rights of others WHO ARE NOT ON OUR PROPERTY/PLACE OF BUSINESS. We have the right to do drugs, engage in gambling and prostitution etc., ad nauseum.

      We may however, impose moral laws WHEN and IF there is a significant consequence to others in our society such as when children are born out of wedlock and/or preventing homosexuals or other deviant types of sexuality from becoming parents unless it is the best choice at hand, regulating vices in manner so that they do not significantly impose on others.

      However, since gays don’t agree with that, well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  59. Kentucky clerk Mrs. Kim Davis was following the law. Judge Bunning acted illegally.

    Davis asks: ‘Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?’ There is no such law. Kentucky passed Amend. 1 in 2004, prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages, by a 75% to 25% margin. In 1996, Congress passed by veto proof majority the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which Clinton signed, U.S. Public Law 104-199.

    In 2013, U.S. v. Windsor, Supreme Court ruled ONLY sect. 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. But sect. 2 confirmed primacy of state law and still stands. “[R]egulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States.”

    Justice Kennedy in Obergefell:”It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” “The First Amend. ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”

    In Obergefell, the Court was instructing THE STATES, 29 of them, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but left alone the right of individuals to act on their conscience. So far, Kentucky and the other states have taken no action.

  60. Wrong. Ms Davis isn’t trying to “impose her view of marriage” on others. She was following the Kentucky Constitution! The US Constitution is SILENT about the issue of marriage so the federal courts HAVE NO JURISDICTION in the matter and the SCOTUS “opinion” is without merit or effect. (Ever read the 10th Amendment?) The Kentucky Constitution FORBIDS “gay marriage.” THAT’S the controlling law…not the 14th Amendment which was written to apply ONLY to former slaves.

    1. what talk radio show has been saying this? this statement has been repeated ad nauseum and without any thought, apparently, to how ridiculous it is.

      1. Constitutional and State law are ridiculous? The 10th Amendment is ridiculous?

        Did I misunderstand your point?

        1. It’s ridiculous to suggest that the 14th amendment only applies to former slaves. Actually, its more than ridiculous, it’s outright stupidity celebrated in public view.

          the lawn chair lawyering going on to support davis is more than laughable, ridiculous, etc. it would be funny if the people espousing these idiotic ideas didn’t actually believe what they were saying.

          1. Lorenzo, while the 14th Amendment was written specifically in response to the slaves issue, I partially agree with you that the underlying principle espoused will apply to other similar situations.

            However, there is no basis to allege that the equal protection clause applies to any relationships besides a man and a woman and nor are other relationships harmed in any material or significant way that REQUIRES issuing a marriage license. Others can still marry in any manner they choose without any affect on their personal relationship whatsoever.

            The problem is their legal relationship. Governments have gone beyond granting benefits and privileges based strictly on a marital child-parent relationship to those of an interdependent relationship. Therefore, other types of unrecognized interdependent relationships suffer a demonstrable and material harm, but which can easily be remedied with appropriate changes in law.

            Granting a marriage license was previously based primarily on the government’s lawful interest and obligation to protect children who cannot protect themselves, and for which society suffers great harm when the parent relationship dissolves. A state marriage license granted certain benefits in voluntary exchange for legal authority to regulate certain occurrences during the marriage and especially the dissolution of a marriage. Since marriage for procreation cannot apply to LGBT couples, there is no equal protection issue.

            1. Actually, if you want to get into the history of marriage, it had nothing to do with protecting children. It had to do with inheritance issues in the middle ages with the need to know which children came from whom. The church only got involved because they were often the only literate people around AND because they kept records.

              Furthermore, anyone with a modicum of historical knowledge knows that child welfare was hardly a concern to society until relatively recently.

              Put another way, you’re just making stuff up.

    2. Great comments! Thankfully there are at least a significant minority who still understand American law.

      I have only heard bits and pieces here and there on this, but I don’t think Kim actually understood the law per se as you have explained, but rather just objected on personal religious grounds.

      One should not be able to refuse to carry out a fundamental lawful part of one’s duties based on religious grounds. But, as you have indicated, it most certainly isn’t constitutionally lawful.

      On the other hand, if gays are going to abuse the law for their ends, then almost anything anybody does to fight back is just desserts in my book.

  61. Wah wah wahhhh!
    No Ms Davis didn’t have a right to impose her views on others, but just like other more politically correct religions (any religions besides Christian or Jewish), both government and the private sector are supposed to be accommodating to the beliefs of others and so all they have to do is put one or more of the deputies names on the certificate and we are good to go.

    Since the liberal/gay sector has decided to impose their moral beliefs on everyone else, who cares anymore if they are discriminated against, particularly since the constitution is pretty much irrelevant.

    So I hope everyone uses their position, in accordance with the letter of the law as well as bending it beyond recognition, to discriminate against gays. Remember the golden rule, do unto others….

    1. Curiously, the judge offered to let one of her deputies sign instead of her, but she refused. So much for the lack of accommodation.

      The rest of your statement, therefore, is moot.

      1. I stand corrected on the assumed easy remedy. The certificates would still have her name on them, yet she still didn’t have lawful authority to issue certificates to same-sex couples. Though I doubt her objection is legal in nature.

        But that’s okay, paragraphs 2 and 3 still apply.

        1. Your second paragraph is without merit. Demanding equal protection under the law isn’t the same as imposing one’s moral beliefs on everyone.

          There are a lot of people whose moral beliefs I think are quite loony, including Kim Davis herself, but I certainly want her to enjoy the same rights and freedoms that I enjoy.

  62. Why do people support ignorance ? Kim Davis is COMPLETELY WRONG !!! Marriage has NOTHING to do with religion ! The WEDDING CEREMONY may be a religious one, if one chooses, but actual marriage is just the signing of a contract.Period.If doing her job conflicts with her religious beliefs, then she should quit her job !! Not deny others thier rights !!!

  63. If you believe in the value of civil disobediance as a tactic to demonstrate your right to maintain a belief system of morality that is contrary to a law, then she has the right to disobey the law and go to jail. She also has the right to try and get out of jail.

    I have an acquaintance in San Antonio who got crosswise with the IRS about providing them with information that could lead to civil or criminal penalties. He told them he couldn’t remember (aside: watch for Hillary to use this tactic like she did over 250 times when questioned by Congress)
    The IRS judge cited him for contempt and sentenced him to jail. He actually went to jail and served the maximum one year rather than give them information which he claimed he didn’t have.

    I’m not a religious person at all–but I believe she has the right to express her view through civil disobedience.

    1. Yes, we all certainly have the ‘right’ to go to jail…

  64. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  65. Sullen the jerk – claims Davis’ view on marriage “her own.” And about 5 bnillion other folks’ viewas well, as opposed to a tiny minority and 5 confused Supreme Court justices,who never explained how our Constitution gives anyone a right to marry or even what marriage is.
    Sullen the stupid

  66. The article has it all wrong. Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, every person if they met age requirements, could marry a person of the opposite sex and were prevented from marrying a person of the same sex. It didn’t matter whether you were straight or gay. Every one had equal rights. Advocates for same-sex marriage wanted to marry someone they love and of the same sex, vice opposite sex. This is something entirely different. The Supreme Court in their ruling changed the very definition of marriage from one thing to a different thing, in effect changing existing law. Now, my understanding of the Constitution is that only Congress or the state legislatures can change law. So how is this any different that President Obama all on his own, deciding to rewrite laws – he doesn’t have the power to do so and I suggest, neither does the Supreme Court.

  67. But, of course,, one supreme court justice can impose his views of marriage on
    250 million Americans.

  68. By what right (other than the one of superior force) do five unelected people in Washington DC impose their view of marriage on an entire country? The 14th amendment is irrelevant. As other commenters have pointed out the marriage laws of all the states treated all people equally. By Reason’s logic laws that punish armed robbers treat thieves differently than honest people. Besides, there are hundreds of laws that treat different people differently. The tax code comes to mind.

    Neither the Constitution nor state laws created or defined the institution of marriage. It has been defined by every culture throughout history as a relationship between people of the opposite sex. The laws merely reflected that reality. The ruling by the Supreme Court was nothing more than a blatant and offensive usurpation of power that violates the rights of the states and the people clearly set out in the tenth amendment.

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