Official stands above the law

By Marie E. Matyjaszek

When 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. Those who do not agree voiced it on social media or to friends, and went about their lives. However, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Rowan County, Ky., was willing to go to jail.

As one of her job duties, Davis has to issue marriage licenses, which bear her name and title.  When she got word she would have to issue these to gay couples, she refused because of her 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 do these things because I don’t see much of an alternative (minus eating healthy).  I 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.

After being released, Davis went back to work as she refuses to resign.  She stated she personally would not sign or issue marriage licenses for gay couples, but would not stand in the way of her deputy clerks issuing them.  However, she wants the license to state 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 three husbands, four marriages and twins born out of wedlock. Her answer  is that she has only recently renewed her faith and religion, and God has forgiven her for 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 seems to live by the “forgive and forget” mentality, but apparently can’t extend this leniency to all people.


The author is a family law attorney who can be reached  at