Kim Davis Uproar Shows That Breaking The Law Is Only Okay When Progressives Do It
By Sean Davis9/3/2015
The main contestant on this week’s edition of Internet outrage theater is Kim Davis, a Democratic clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis, who was arrested by police today for not issuing the licenses, says her religious beliefs prohibit her from rubber-stamping applications for same-sex marriage licenses:
U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning placed Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in the custody of U.S. marshals until she complies, saying fines were not enough to force her to comply with his previous order to provide the paperwork to all couples and allowing her to defy the order would create a “ripple effect.”
“Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” Bunning said. “Oaths mean things.”
Davis, who was tearful at times, testified that she could not obey the order because God’s law trumps the court.
“My conscience will not allow it,” she said. “God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”
Davis’s arrest was met with cheers by same-sex marriage advocates who for some reason did not demand imprisonment of officials who lawlessly issued gay marriage licenses in clear contravention of state and federal laws. Take, for example, Democrat Gavin Newsom, who is currently the California lieutenant governor. Back in 2004, when gay marriage was banned under California state law, Newsom openly defied the law and used his power as the mayor of San Francisco to force taxpayer-funded government clerks to issue gay marriage licenses:
Newsom unleashed a political and legal tempest February 12 when he ordered the city clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Nearly 3,200 same-sex couples have gotten licenses in a nine-day frenzy that included thousands of family, friends and soon-to-be betrothed couples ringing City Hall, sometimes for days.
Just like Kim Davis, who is an elected Democrat, Newsom justified his lawlessness by citing his own conscience and beliefs about right and wrong rather than deferring to the actual laws of his state.
If you look for evidence of gay rights advocates chastising Newsom for his blatant lawlessness, you won’t find it. Because it doesn’t exist. You similarly won’t find any evidence of these principled law enforcement purists chastising California state officials for refusing to enforce or defend the Prop 8 ballot initiative in California, which was passed overwhelmingly by California voters.
And don’t you dare look for evidence of high-minded progressives demanding prison sentences for the Washington, D.C. bureaucrats who openly defied federal court orders to issue concealed carry permits in the nation’s capital. Nope. Instead of enforcing the law as handed down in multiple Supreme Court cases, D.C. officials kept manufacturing new reasons to justify their refusal to comply with federal gun laws.
Don’t even get me started on federal laws regarding drug possession. You won’t find progressives calling for the prosecution of scores of Colorado officials in open defiance of federal drug bans, or calling for the heads of federal officials who refuse to enforce federal drug laws in Colorado. No, those federal laws are icky. Sure, they’re indisputably the law of the land. And sure, officials have a duty to equally apply and enforce standing law, but icky laws are different. Only non-icky laws need to be enforced.
Perhaps natural marriage advocates should abandon their religious liberty arguments and instead declare whole cities to be marriage sanctuaries. That strategy has worked splendidly for open borders advocates. Who cares what the federal law requires when it comes to illegal immigration? Those laws restricting citizenship rights to citizens are icky, so they don’t need to be enforced. Sanctuary cities are great, so long as they provide sanctuary from icky laws of which progressives disapprove.
Oh, and those laws regarding the proper handling of classified national security information? Meh. Yeah, those are icky, too. So lay off Hillary Clinton, you dirty law truther. Who cares if she ignored clear law and policy by setting up an unsecured, unsanctioned e-mail server which was then used to house and distribute classified information? Who cares if President Barack Obama himself signed the executive order mandating the protection of national security information, the unauthorized release of which could damage American safety and security? Who cares if she intentionally sent classified information to people outside the government who were never cleared to receive it? Progressives think that law is icky, too, so you’ll have to excuse them from not caring about Hillary’s blatant violation of it (laws regarding the handling of classified information are totally not icky, though, when applied to Republicans like David Petraeus or Scooter Libby).
When you really think about it, though, this whole kerfuffle is obviously the fault of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue gay marriage licenses. She should’ve known better. She should’ve thought this whole thing through.
If Kim Davis really wanted to avoid the ire and attention of progressives and their media allies, she should’ve just videotaped herself killing babies and then selling their organs. Then she could operate with total impunity.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.