Kelsey Van Horn
In Rowan County, Ky., county clerk Kim Davis was jailed for five nights before being released on Sept 8. by a federal judge for defying a court order to issue marriage licenses, something Davis had refused to all couples since the United States Supreme Court decision in June legalizing same-sex marriage.
Davis is among a small number of local officials around the country, including three of Kentucky’s 120 county clerks, to refuse to grant marriage licenses as per The New York Times.
While Davis is granted the freedom not only to have her own religious beliefs through her First Amendment rights in the Constitution and also her right to express such beliefs, she is still bound by the duty of her post to perform the granting of marriage licenses to all couples, even same-sex couples.
In fact, if Davis has an issue with the laws, she should protest in some way. That’s her right, too.
Just somewhere else.
An employee of the government abused her power of office to further her own agenda; whether she describes it as religious beliefs or not, ultimately, it is her agenda, not that of the law of the land. And that’s not religious discrimination; it is just the law.
Religious beliefs at their lowest level of their existence are nothing more than strong feelings and opinions. At what point do we say someone’s opinion is okay because it is a religious belief but someone else’s opinion is not because it doesn’t fall under a specific religion or church?
Moreover, if someone’s rights are infringing upon another’s, it is the infringing party who is out of line; no one has a right to infringe another person’s rights. And for Davis to believe she is in the right to act how she has is for her to believe she is above the law.
It is a slippery slope, and presumably the debate and protesting for religious exemptions will not end any time soon. But until that day comes, no one can choose what laws he or she follows. If she chooses to continue being a clerk, then she needs to realize her duty is to act as a function of the government and nothing else.
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