Official stands above the law

By Marie E. Matyjaszek   

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier in the summer that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states.  Celebration was pretty much country-wide, but, of course, there are those who do not agree with the ruling.  Most voiced it on social media or to their friends, and then went about their lives.  However, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Rowan County, Ky., was willing to go to jail over it.

As one of her job duties, Davis has to issue marriage licenses, which bear her name and title.   When she got word that she would have to issue these to gay couples, she refused to do so because of her deeply held religious beliefs, sparking legal action, which ended up with her in jail. 

I do things I don’t want to every day – work, pay bills, eat healthy – but I still do these things because I really don’t see much of an alternative (minus the eating healthy).  I also live within the constraints of the law because the last thing I want to do is end up behind bars eating bologna sandwiches.  I fully understand and support standing up for what you believe in, but there has to be some limit to this in terms of what makes sense.

After being released from jail, Davis went back to work as she refuses to resign (shocking).  To avoid another stint in jail, she stated that she personally would not sign or issue any marriage licenses for gay couples, but she would not stand in the way of her deputy clerks issuing them, although she does not approve of this.  However, she wants the license to state that it was issued pursuant to a federal court order, as opposed to her authority.  In Kentucky, only county clerks can issue marriage licenses, and not the state itself, so there is not a present solution to this dilemma without a legislative change.  Davis’ refusal to issue the licenses as she should has led to speculation regarding the validity of the license itself.

Many see Davis as a hypocrite, given her three husbands, four marriages and set of twins born out of wedlock. Her answer to this is that she has only recently renewed her faith and religion, and that God has forgiven her for all of these past faults.  This begs the question, if God forgave her past sins, and she thinks gay marriage is a sin, why isn’t that forgiven too?  She certainly seems to be living by the “forgive and forget” mentality, but apparently can’t extend this leniency to all people.

(The author is a family law attorney whose blog site is:­ She can be reached by e-mailing her at