Six days in jail apparently were not enough for the Kentucky county clerk whose religious views prevent her from recognizing same-sex marriages.
Kim Davis was back on the job Monday and while she has not resumed preventing marriage licenses from being issued to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, she has altered the wording on the documents. Instead of stating the license was issued by the Rowan County Clerk’s Office, the document now says it was issued “pursuant to a federal court order.”
While family law experts in Kentucky said such wording won’t affect the licenses’ standing, Davis herself said she has “grave doubts” about the validity of the new document.
This despite being let out of jail with a stern warning from the district judge who said: “If defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this order, and appropriate sanctions will be considered.”
Davis should be preparing either for a return to her isolation cell — or life without a government job when she refuses to obey the law. She is not standing in the way of deputy clerks issuing licenses, but her intent stands in defiance to U.S. District Judge David Bunning.
“I am no hero,” Davis said in a Tribune News Service report. “I am just a person who has been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work and be with my family. I want to serve my community.”
If she truly believes the altered marriage licenses are invalid, she is not serving her community. Or abiding by the conditions of her release.
We would agree with this for-now government employee: She certainly is no hero. And that has nothing to do with the hypocritical stance Davis has taken about the sanctity of biblical marriage after herself being married four times, divorced three times, and having out-of-wedlock children. Her personal life should have nothing to do with the job she was elected to fulfill.
But that is what she insists upon. Prior to her arrest, Davis said: “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. … It is a heaven or hell decision.”
That personal stance does not appear to have changed even now that she’s back at work.
Davis’ religious liberties have not been violated. The only thing she can’t do is break the law or attempt to force her understanding of religion onto others, and she doesn’t appear to have grasped that.
Sending Davis back to jail will not cure the problem. A forced removal from office for violating federal law is the appropriate next step.
Editorial by Patrick Lowry