Kim Davis: an issue of church and state

Kim Davis is a reminder that the legacy of George Wallace lives on, though this time we’re dealing with same-sex marriage rather racial integration, and rather than standing in front of a school door, Davis is gatekeeping through her job as county clerk.

Davis started denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26 and has since then been ordered to issue the licenses, but has continued to avoid doing so.

Her reasoning? She is exercising her freedom of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Davis’s argument is problematic in that in this situation, as an elected official she is acting as the state and therefore her religious views should be separate from her work, something also guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Same-sex couples in Rowan County should be able to obtain a marriage license in their own county and not be forced to get a license from a county over, not just for convenience, but because Kentucky law explicitly states this as the procedure for marriage licenses.

Because Davis is an elected official, she is expected by the people of Rowan County to uphold her duties as county clerk, which includes, among other things, issuing marriage licenses according to the state and federal law. It is not her job to interpret those laws to cater to her own beliefs in practicing her job.

If an elected official cannot fulfill the position he or she was elected to do because of a personal belief, he or she should not have opted to run for the position in the first place. Granted same-sex marriage was made legal after Davis was elected, Davis should step down because she can no longer fulfill the duties described as ­­­Rowan County clerk.

LGBTQ individuals have faced and still face adversity and prejudice every day. The LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly for years to be seen as equals in terms of marriage. To deny those in Rowan County Kentucky what the rest of the country has finally achieved is a slap in the face at best.