Home » Uncategorized » When our rights collide

When our rights collide

Caricature of SteveKentucky county clerk Kim Davis has a right to object to gay marriage on religious grounds.  That’s a private decision and she has several options for exercising her belief.

But as an elected official her obligation to serve the public trumps her private views.  Standing behind the counter of her office, she is legally required to issue marriage licenses to any qualified couple.  And the Supreme Court has ruled that same sex couples are qualified.

If Davis doesn’t like it, which is obvious, she can simply say to the applicants, “Please wait here, (NAME OF OTHER EMPLOYEE) will help you.”

In this scenario, Ms. Davis has acted on her private opposition to gay marriage, she has allowed her office to fulfill its legal obligation, and another couple can get married.  It’s simple and it’s right.

Private citizens may feel they have no recourse within our existing institutions.  But Kim Davis is hypocritical.  She asked the Supreme Court to allow her to refuse marriage licenses for gay couples because that would violate her religious views.

When the Supreme Court rejected her appeal, she decided to thumb her nose at the very institution she hoped would back her.

Had she won, Davis would be happy to cite the court when refusing to issue licenses.  But when she lost, she decided not to play by the rules.

Her objection to same-sex marriage is her right and she can express it various ways.  But her refusal as a public servant to uphold national laws is illegal as the Supreme Court told her.

Elected Officials

Elected officials who are supporting Davis’s resistance are equally free to express their opposition to gay marriage.  That is their right as citizens.

But members of Congress who are presidential candidates should not advocate civil disobedience.  Instead, they should draft legislation to override laws they oppose and work within the system.  Ostensibly, that’s why they are in Congress.  In the office they occupy, they can propose legislation to effect change and try to persuade other lawmakers to join them.

But our governors, representatives, senators and presidents cross the line when they suggest that Americans openly defy laws with which they disagree.

We are a nation of laws.  If we don’t like the laws, we change them through established democrat institutions.

Any presidential hopeful who thinks and speaks otherwise, should be rejected by American voters.


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