She returns to work on Monday — to the dismay of some religious liberty advocates
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, center with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, left, and attorney Mat Staver, right, founder of the Liberty Counsel, the Christian law firm representing Davis, at her side, greets the crowd after being released from the Carter County Detention Center, Tuesday,(Photo: Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis returns to her job Monday in Rowan County, she’ll get to make another big choice.
She can obey a judge’s orders not to interfere with same-sex marriage licenses being issued by her deputies — and thus help end a national controversy over religious liberty and gay marriage. Or, she can continue to object on the grounds of her Christian faith, and add fuel to the fire.
CBS News said Sunday that Harry Mihet, one of Davis’ attorney, said his client respects the idea of a separation of church and state but feels she shouldn’t have to directly participate in issuing marriage licenses that go against her religious beliefs.
“The Supreme Court has said same-sex marriage is legal — she’s not trying to stop that,” CBS quoted Mihet as saying. “However, the Supreme Court has not decided that those marriages can be issued by a specific person in a specific county. … The Constitution and law do not force her to choose between her conscience and her livelihood.” He advocated finding a way that she could continue to serve and not violate her conscience.
No matter what she chooses, Davis could still face months of litigation, and either choice is likely to continue to divide an unlikely group: those who advocate religious liberty.
Davis has become a hero to many socially conservative Christians who see her refusal to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in June as a litmus test for religious liberty in an increasingly secular culture. But lost in the uproar are the voices of Christians, some equally conservative, who disagree with Davis’ stance and worry that holding her up as a martyr will ultimately hurt the cause of religious liberty.
“I think she’s wrong on the merits, wrong theologically and her stance is harmful to Christians both in the religious liberty debate …Read More