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Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 5 comments

What Do “Law and Order” Conservatives Have to Say About the Kentucky Gay Marriage Controversy?




You’ve got to hand it to conservatives.

The so-called advocates of “law and order” have become champions of unlawful disorder.

A Kentucky woman named Kim Davis, a self-described “Christian,” opposes marriage between same-sex couples.  Fair enough.  As a free citizen, she’s got that right (to protest).  In fact, any liberal on the other side of the issue (myself included) would defend her individual rights as a citizen to the fullest to speak out on behalf of her beliefs, no matter how wrong we think they are.

Trouble is, Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Davis (I’ll explain my intentional repetition in just a moment) just so happens to be a public official.  She’s an elected representative working for the people of her jurisdiction, sworn to uphold all local, state, and federal laws.  She once even placed her hand on a book called The Holy Bible to uphold those laws, when she took office.

As the County Clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, she’s required to adhere to even the most petty things — like Supreme Court decisions.  See, public officials don’t get to pick and chose which laws they want to uphold versus disregard.  Federal law isn’t the lunch buffet at the Golden Corral.  Federal laws granting equality for all aren’t like the creamed spinach that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for five hours.

Want some background?  READ EARL BURTON’S RECENT TAKE ON THE CONTROVERSY, which is the best overview I’ve seen.

One would think that once Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Davis exhausted all of her legal rights and appeals, ultimately losing to the very highest court in the land as happened earlier this week, she’d do the right thing and begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.  Either that, or resign from office.  Well, that’s didn’t happen.  Not so long as there’s an opening for religious martyrdom ready to be filled.  Since Jesus isn’t around, Bible thumpers need their sacrificial lambs to purportedly do the lord’s work.



Upon any further defiance to the laws of the land, one would certainly expect conservatives — widely championed as advocates of “law and order” — would start to distance themselves from this close-minded religious bigot who’s now openly defying laws and legal authority.

Not happening.  Not in this poisonous political climate where playing the religious card is worth so many brownie points among Republicans.  So much for expectations that conservatives might finally come to their senses and act rationally.  Nope.  Not when religion is involved.  Hard to debate someone who thinks Sky Daddy is whispering to them.

Consistently on the wrong side of history (against worker safety, against civil rights, against unions, against equal pay for equal work, against consumer protections, against equality, and so forth and so on), conservatives are once again showing their true colors.  They see red while the rest of America sees an increasingly frightened and hopelessly out-of-touch movement continuing to tumble into the abyss of darkness.  Seriously, conservatives?  Is this where you draw a proverbial line in the sand?  Is this really your choice to be poster child for so-called “religious freedom.”

Upon further investigation, Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Davis has quite an interesting past for someone now professing to uphold “God’s law” on the topic of holy matrimony.  Already married FOUR times and divorced THREE times (and counting), as well as a self-admitted adulterer, she married ONE of her husbands TWICE.  Thing is, she’s also popped TWO children out of wedlock.  We’re not yet sure about all the details, but apparently husband number 4 had already been broken in by Mrs. Davis sometime earlier.  In fact, one suspects that husband number 4 is the same as husband number 2.  The story gets murky because husband number 4 adopted her two little bastards from husband number 3.  I think this is correct, but she’s still a work in progress.  So, who knows?  Stay tuned for breaking developments in this case courtesy of TMZ.

Based on all this, Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. David doesn’t sound like a county clerk to me.  She sounds like a rabbit.  [READ MORE HERE]

Incredibly, this is the woman conservatives are now championing to stand up against the law?

Well done!  Praise the lord!  She’s the best recruiting tool for secular-humanism in the country, right now.

Naturally, conservative and religious media has lit up like a Christmas tree overdosing on steroids.  Here are just a few of the countless of headlines, tweets, and Facebook posts from various conservative news sources, websites, and even the Republican presidential candidates themselves:

Kim Davis is doing what every Christian magistrate should


Here’s a “pro-family” advocate and spokesman who now warns us against “LGBT tyranny.”


And another:


Bobby Jindal, who’s running behind the local dogcatcher in most polls when it comes to the Republican nomination chimed in with the following, railing against the “earthly court.”  Shudder:

The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on statesí rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.


Rick Santorum, who still thinks its 1953, tweeted out the following:


Carly Fiorina, who one might think would have a common sense approach to this topic, and perhaps even show some pragmatism, disappointed by posting the following comment on Facebook about the “activist Court.”:

This is only the latest example of an activist Court ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law is and not what the law should be. Justice Alito spoke for so many of us when he said that “[t]oday’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage…All Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.”


Scott Walker, who’s plunged in national polls from 7 percent down to 4 percent, hopes to rally his base with the following tweet:


Rick Perry, the man-child former cowboy governor of Texas, famous for his ghastly flubs, gave us his own brand of judicial wisdom.  I’d donate $100 to his campaign right if someone went up to Gov. Perry and asked him to recite what the 10th Amendment is, and he could answer it correctly:


King of all Assholes, Donald Trump, purportedly once a supporter of gay rights and marriage equality, couldn’t resist taking a shot at his political rival, Jeb Bush:


Predictably, man of god himself Mike Huckabee was the most outraged by the court ruling:

The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.


Sometimes, we liberals and secular humanists don’t need to say or do very much.  Sometimes it’s better just to let conservatives and religious bigots to speak for themselves.  What they write and say sure does reveal a lot about their real definition of law and order.




  1. As more than a few commentators have wondered (Dan Savage being the latest), how do you think these crackpot Christians would react if a devout Muslim refused to serve a woman who entered his shop unaccompanied by her husband or refused to pick her up in his cab on a rainy, nasty evening?

  2. Good summary from Amanda Marcotte:

    What’s increasingly clear is that Davis’s legal team, which is being provided by the fringe right group Liberty Counsel, thinks that they are going to her case into a cause célèbre for the right to rally around, restoring the anti-gay momentum the right had just a few years ago. In their eagerness to make this happen, as Mark Joseph Stern of Slate points out, they are violating their basic duties as lawyers to look out for the best interest of their client. “When a federal judge ordered Davis to issue licenses or be held in contempt of court, the Liberty Counsel advised her to disobey the ruling,” he points out, even though doing so puts their client at real risk of going to jail for no good reason.

    “Yet the Liberty Counsel didn’t mind putting their client at risk—perhaps because the idea of a middle-aged woman being hauled off to jail for purportedly following her conscience would send thousands of anti-gay Americans reaching for their pitchforks (and checkbooks),” Stern concludes.

  3. Here’s the problem. Freedom of Religion is not a Drop The Mic statement that allows you to go and do whatever you want and violate other basic tenets and laws without consequences. For example, you can’t go kill a bunch of people in the name of Jesus or Allah or whatever your chosen deity may be, and claim Freedom of Religion and get off scot-free.

    First and foremost, you have to understand what the law is, and then see how it applies to each individual situation. The 1st Amendment basically states 3 things regarding religion:

    1) Congress can’t make a law that prevents a religion from being established.
    2) Congress can’t make a law that favors one religion over another.
    3) Congress can’t make a law that prevents someone from exercising/practicing their chosen religion.

    Now, regardless of the irony of this woman’s marital history, you have to look at this situation based on those facts:

    1) The issuing of marriage licenses to homosexuals didn’t prevent this woman’s religion from being established. It already was.
    2) The issuing of marriage licenses to homosexuals does not favor one religion over another. I haven’t done any polling, but I’m willing to bet there are gays in just about every religious and non-religious sect out there… including Christianity. I know that last part for sure ’cause I’ve met some.
    3) The issuing of marriage licenses to homosexuals does not prevent this woman from practicing/exercising her religion. She believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman. That’s fine. That’s *HER* religious belief.

    However, inherent in the right to practice your choice of religion is the right to choose not to practice any religion. And if in doing so, you feel that marriage does not have to be bound by an intergender dynamic, guess what? You can’t deny homosexual couples the *legal* right to marry.

    They may not be able to get married in your church, or get married under the auspices of your faith or doctrine, but as far as the law of the land goes… sorry, this woman doesn’t control that.

    Now, she does have the right to protest, thus we all get to debate it. And sadly, all the “conservatives” have to come out against her, lest they be branded traitors by their extreme political bases and thus denied funding for future campaigns. But one thing the people against gay marriage may want to keep in mind is this.

    Forbidden love is one of the most popularly resonant stories throughout history. It has been told and retold countless times under varying rationales of forbiddance. Whether it’s caste-based like Cinderella or Aladdin, clan-based like Romeo & Juliet, race-based like Westside Story, or any other taboo (many of which we look back on today with the wisdom of history as pure folly), we all know the tale and we all understand and empathise with the protagonists who just want to be happy and live their lives together.

    And as good as the intentions of the forbidders in these tales might have been in their own minds, they always come out in the end looking insensitive, prejudiced, and villainous, and often times foolish. After all, don’t they know that love always wins?

    No matter how good the intentions of the anti-gay-marriage group might be, and no matter what rationale they try to use to articulate their position, all the gay community hears is, “You’re telling me I can’t love this person the way I want to. That I can’t be compassionate, supportive, caring, and capable of merging my needs and desires with someone else.” That’s a tough pill for anyone to swallow. And it’s going to generate a lot of anger, angst, and bitterness. You then try to *legislate* that, telling people who they can and can’t love (which, again, is all the gay community is hearing), you’re walking on a very slippery slope that’s going to meet some very motivated opposition.

    Because it’s love. A confounding, amorphous emotion that has been researched for millenia that we aren’t much closer to understanding since we were clubbing women over the head and dragging them back to our cave. Our techniques might be more refined now, but how many guys have been madly bewitched by a woman who professes her love for you constantly, who raises your children marvelously, who nurtures hearth and home in ways you never could’ve imagined, who you couldn’t envision living without, and after 15 years of wedded bliss just picks a fight for no reason? Does she still love you? Of course. Does the unnecessary emotional trauma make sense? Of course not. That’s love for you.

    They say humor is often the best teacher and sitcom creator Chuck Lorre may have had one of the more brilliant insights into the issue when he stated the following; he believed that inherent in an American’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the right to death, bondage, and the pursuit of unhappiness.

    And that is why he supports gay marriage.

  4. I wonder what people think about how much has been written that Kim Davis is a registered Democrat. I too though feel that people are entitled to their beliefs… just should not impose them on others.

  5. Can’t paint all Republican candidates with a broad brush. John Kasich yesterday said, despite her religious belief which he supports,Kim Davis needs to follow the law as she is a public official.

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