Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis seems to have made up her own version of the U.S. constitution.
It appears she actually believes that, as a public servant, she can nullify the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the name of her religion. Kim Davis is now the country's Orval Faubus and George Wallace of 2015, men who defied court orders in support of Jim Crow segregationist policies.
Former Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, once a low key southern politician, became a national household name on September 2, 1957. Despite the Supreme Court having ruled three years prior that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional, he decided to run things differently. Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine black students from stepping foot inside Little Rock's Central High School. In response to Faubus' refusal to follow court orders, President Eisenhower sent 1,000 paratroopers to enforce the integration orders and allow the young African Americans to attend the school.
"I've been the most liberal governor in the South, but they can't come in and cram (integration) down our throats," stated Faubus during the controversy. It turns out, he was wrong. President Eisenhower left the paratroopers there for the remaining of the school year to assure those nine students of their constitutional rights.
Then there was George Wallace, a former Alabama Governor and four time presidential candidate, took a hardliner approach on segregation in order to clench the Governor's mansion in 1962. Making the campaign promise of "As your governor, I shall resist any illegal federal court order, even to the point of standing at the schoolhouse door in person, if necessary." During his infamous 1963 Inaugural Address, Wallace yelled to the crowd "Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!"
A few months later, Gov. Wallace famously blocked the doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent two African American students from attending class. After being confronted by the U.S. Attorney General and refusing to budge, President John F. Kennedy ordered 100 Alabama National Guard troops to assist federal agents and prevent violence.
And now, it appears, Kim Davis is making quite the name for herself as well.
On June 26 of this year, Obergefell v. Hodges brought this country a Supreme Court ruling that will forever be remembered in U.S. history. With a 5-4 majority, the court ruled that under the 14th amendment same-sex couples have the constitutional right to be married. Just like that, the fight for marriage equality was over...Or so we thought.
Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, who's job description entails issuing marriage licenses to Rowen County residents, decided she no longer had to issue them based on her religion. After repeatedly denying multiple same-sex couples, and even heterosexual couples, Davis was ordered by a district judge to begin issuing marriage licenses.
As a result of Davis not complying with the court order, on Septmber 3 a federal judge ordered her arrest for civil contempt. "Marriage is between one man and one woman...It's not of God," she stated on the witness stand.
After spending the next five nights in jail, Davis finally provided proof her office was issuing marriage licenses. She was set free, under strict court instructions that she, "Shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses."
No matter how much one may justify their bigotry using religion, it does not give public servants the right to deny fellow Americans their constitutional rights. If Kim Davis were a true Christian like she claims, she would have respect and understanding for these couples whom love one another.
It was a great day for those whose simple hopes and dreams of getting married to the one they love could finally become reality. Love has emerged victorious from a long, hard fought battle that should have been resolved long ago.
"We expect at the end of the day for the court's orders to be complied with," Judge Bunning told the courtroom. "That's how things work here in America."
Religion is not an excuse for bigotry.
And Kim Davis is most certainly not above the law.