|County Clerk Kim Davis|
Davis is not asking that same sex couples not be issued marriage licenses. Only that her name not be required on the licenses. This is a remedy provided for regarding other Kentucky licenses.
Importantly, Davis is not claiming a substantial burden on her religious freedom or free speech rights if someone else authorizes and approves a SSM license devoid of her name. Davis is also not claiming that her religious freedom or free speech rights are substantially burdened if she must complete an opt-out form to be exempted from issuing SSM licenses, as Kentucky law already permits for other licensing schemes. (p. 18)Davis suggests a whole list of easy fixes. (pp. 30-31)
There's a whole lot of not inventing the wheel going on here. What she asks for has already been granted on the same sex marriage issue to another high Kentucky official.
|Governor Steve Beshear|
Notably, Gov. Beshear did not provide the same ultimatum to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (“Atty. Gen. Conway”) when he refused to defend the Kentucky Constitution and democratically-enacted marriage law. VC, ¶¶ 15, 34. According to Atty. Gen. Conway in his tearful and prayer-induced proclamation at the time, “There are those who believe it’s my mandatory duty, regardless of my personal opinion, to continue to defend this case…I can only say that I am doing what I think is right. In the final analysis, I had to make a decision that I could be proud of – for me now, and my daughters’ judgment in the future.” VC, ¶ 14 (emphasis added). Gov. Beshear did not force Atty. Gen. Conway to abandon his “inescapable” conscience and instead hired outside counsel to represent Kentucky in defending its own Constitution and
democratically-enacted laws—which cost the Commonwealth upwards of $200,000. VC, ¶¶ 14-15, 34-36. (p. 7, footnote 6)
|Attorney General Jack Conway|
In addition to his unmitigated “approve or resign” rule, Gov. Beshear has ominouslyActually, according to the New York Times, seven Democratic state Attorney Generals declined to do their duty. But, the Times did not call for their resignation or jailing.
declared that “the courts” will deal with county clerks who do not comply with his SSM Mandate. See VTC, ¶ 35. Moreover, immediately after issuance of the SSM Mandate, Atty. Gen. Conway even threatened possible legal action against county clerks who did not comply with the SSM Mandate, even seemingly inviting this very lawsuit against Davis: “Any clerk that refuses to issue marriage licenses is opening himself or herself to potential legal liability and sanctions. Any couple or person denied a license may seek remedy in federal court, but should consult with a private attorney about their particular situation.” See, e.g., Several county clerks defy same-sex marriage ruling, refuse to issue marriage licenses, Lexington Herald-Leader, June 29, 2015, available at http://www.kentucky.com/2015/06/29/3923157_some-kentucky-county-clerksrefusing.html?rh=1 (last accessed August 28, 2015); Steve Beshear and Jack Conway: On refusing marriage licenses, WTVQ.com, June 30, 2015, available at
http://www.wtvq.com/story/d/story/steve-beshear-and-jack-conway-on-refusingmarriage/39801/_4cM2DBkQ0aBolGpMeZz_A (last accessed August 28, 2015). (pp. 27-28, footnote 18)
Mr. Conway became the seventh state attorney general — all Democrats — to refuse to defend laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, generating criticism by Republicans that they were ignoring their duties and thwarting the will of voters who had enacted the bans.This resulted in "criticism" not a call for jailing or resignation. Who are the hypocrites here (beside the media which is fine with public officials refusing to fulfill their sworn duties as long as the media also opposes the same issue)?