Kim Davis has recently received a lot of attention since her release from jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But many people are probably wondering who exactly Kim Davis is and what her reasons are for doing this?
“A defiant Kentucky clerk said Monday she will not interfere with her deputies if they keep issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but she declared they will not be authorized by her and questioned their validity…,” according to a Huffington Post article released on September 14. “Davis said that she’s being forced to disobey God since her name is on the gay marriage licenses issued by her office, whether or not she actually signs them.”
This is a complicated issue that can be viewed from so many different perspectives. Every story has many sides to it but one question I would like to ask Davis, is breaking the law worth your beliefs?
As a society we all have our own obligations and duties that we follow. My current obligation at California Lutheran University is to get by fall semester with at least some decent grades. Davis’s obligation as a government employee is to abide by the law.
“I respect the fact that it’s her belief but I don’t respect that she’s breaking the law. It is the law of the land. The courts have told her she does have to issue marriage licenses and she still refuses to,” Michelle Cerami, junior and Vice president of PRIDE (People Respecting Individuality, Diversity and Equality) club at Cal Lutheran said. Cerami said. “I understand this feeling of being conflicted and it being against everything you believe in, but at this point she just needs to sit down, make a decision and decide ‘is it worth it to me?’”
Cerami even proposed a solution for Davis’ workplace to have a general process or county clerk so couples don’t only have to go to Davis to officiate their marriage. This idea is definitely one that Kentucky ought to consider.
“I completely and 100 percent support the supreme court ruling, but I can sympathize with where she’s coming from. Her job [however] is to uphold the law as a government employee,” Cerami said.
A Supreme Court ruling is not one you can just break or ignore or else that will land you in jail.
Eventually Davis will run out of her get-out-of-jail free cards and could potentially lose her job because she hasn’t adapted to change.
Everyone is entitled to his or her own belief. However why are there people who have to control every aspect of someone’s life because of personal beliefs? Davis let her beliefs meddle into other people’s lives, happy couples who only want to officiate their relationship.
But now let’s pause for a second and step back to see the big picture. The big controversy isn’t about the fueling hatred between religious groups and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning intersex, asexual community. It’s more or less about respect.
“I certainly think that if Kim Davis is holding these beliefs to be her own then she’s certainly entitled to those beliefs as are any religious believers in this country,” said professor Robert Doyle, who teaches a course on sexual ethics at Cal Lutheran.
“When these beliefs run up against other issues, then that’s when we as a public have to say ‘ok what discussions do we have in the public square? So that your religious beliefs are respected and my legal rights are respected.’”
I agree that Davis can believe whatever she wants, but she wasn’t necessarily respectful to the LGBTQIA community when she was not performing her duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“A lot of times with issues like Kim Davis’, you have people on the side of religion who are very passionate about that,” Doyle said. “You have people on the side of LGBTQIA rights who are very passionate about that and the passion has just become a shouting match where neither side is listening to either side. There’s no progress being made at this point.”
Society grows and matures over time because it looks at the big picture. These two powerful groups don’t quite see it yet because their focus hasn’t centered on the idea of a public square, a place where people come together and respectfully talk it out.
Too much shouting ultimately leads to less voices being heard.
Published September 30th, 2015