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The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Kim Davis

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

Kim Davis Image

A monumental decision was reached by the Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges on July 26, which decided the legitimacy of gay marriage. In the aftermath of the decision, those of us fighting for the equality cause chanted in unison across the nation: love wins. Love had in fact won, yet, while a great number of Americans saw it as a reason to celebrate, there were those who considered it a fallout, an end of times, a travesty.

Among those who were not as happy with the decision was Kim Davis, a clerk presiding over Rowan County in rural Kentucky. In the weeks following the decision, Davis refused to follow both the decision of the Supreme Court and that of the Kentucky governor. Davis repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and eventually stopped issuing licenses altogether.

This turn of events led to a media bonanza over the course of a few weeks. In that time, a circuit court decision once again said that Davis needed to issue marriages by law. Still, Davis did not comply with the order saying that she was acting under “the authority of god.”

Davis is free to exercise whatever religion she wants. In turn, she is able to carry whatever prejudices she pleases. That much is true, and as far as I am concerned she is absolutely entitled to her thoughts.

However, as an elected government official, Davis is sworn to uphold the law in any case no matter her own beliefs, prejudices or bigoted thoughts. The amendments strictly prevent the upholding of religion in government, especially above the law. Yet candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz and their army of social conservatives are heralding her as a martyr.

Kim Davis was held in contempt and jailed for her decision to act under the “rule” of god rather than the rule of the courts. In this, I see the justified imprisonment of someone who repeatedly disobeyed the law in every instance. Davis was even given a plethora of chances to simply do her job. She is no more of a martyr than Donald Trump is a legitimate candidate for president.

What people on the side of Davis do not seem to understand is that she is not being imprisoned for her beliefs. As previously stated, Davis, who has been married four times to three different men and whose children are neither her first nor second/fourth husbands, is free to think whatever she wants. The true issue is that she is trying to hold her religion above any rule of law.

There is also no “criminalization of Christianity” as Ted Cruz claims — the courts are entirely blind to that. Davis has been taken to court, imprisoned and sued because she chose to hold herself above the law and that was her choice.

Point being, through all of my ranting, nobody, much less a clerk from rural Rowan County, Ky., should be able to hold his or her religion above the law. She is not a martyr, she is not a figure to congratulate and she is most definitely not of enough importance to pay attention to.

People like Davis are already the minority, and soon enough, that line of thought will be so infinitesimally small that their voices will no longer reach the masses. So for now, let them entertain us with their shouting, protesting and refusals. Why should we care — we already won.

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