Rebellious Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis is speaking out now to ABC News about her experiences of refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She famously ended up in jail for five days for contempt of court for her refusal. Now she's out and marriage licenses are being handed out, but they've been altered to reflect that the judge has ordered them and do not have Davis' name on them.
Davis has said that she's not sure they're actually valid, and interestingly, some couples themselves have the same concern. Now lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Unions are representing some of these couples and are trying to force Davis back into court and demand the licenses to be changed back to the way they're supposed to be. They essentially want to force Davis' name to be on the license because the altered versions "feature a stamp of animus against the LGBT community, signaling that, in Rowan County, the government's position is that LGBT are second-class citizens unworthy of official recognition and authorization of their marriage licenses but for this Court's intervention and Order," according to the ACLU's court filing.
While normal human beings try figure out what on earth that above statement even means (Does anybody actually care whose name is on a marriage license but their own? As a lifelong bachelor I don't understand this argument at all), Kim Davis had her own rather curious comments that indicate she doesn't quite grasp what marriage licenses even are. From her interview with Good Morning America:
"I have never once spouted a word of hate. I have not been hateful," she said. She also said the licenses going out of her office now, issued by a deputy clerk, don't have her authorization and are "not valid in God's eyes." [emphasis added]
Does Davis actually believe that the God cares about whether the government puts its stamp of approval on a couple's marriage? Does she think that if she puts her name on the certificate, then God has to accept it as valid? Does God have to accept marriage certificates signed by atheist county clerks? Does God have to accept the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriages if Davis starts putting her name on marriage licenses? Or does He have to already because of all the other clerks and judges who have already been handing them out? So many questions.
The quotes from both Davis and the ACLU lawyers are why I find the whole fight so tiresome. The purpose of a marriage license is to indicate to the government that the two of you are a couple, with all the rights, responsibilities and privileges that entails. All that should matter is that it's valid, not that county officials express their love for you (or that God agrees).
As for Davis, she's an elected agent of the county government as a clerk, not an agent of God. She did make an additional comment that I actually agree with, yet it only highlights how bizarre her stubbornness is:
Faris noted how one gay man said he finally felt human after obtaining a license in Rowan Count, but Davis responded that dignity is something that people find in themselves, not the constitution.
"I feel really sad that someone can be so unhappy with themselves as a person that they did not feel dignified as a human being until they got a piece of paper, Davis said. "There is just so much more to life than that."
If it's just "a piece of paper," then she shouldn't have any problem handing them out with her name on them, should she?