Davis Suits up for Court

Barb Wire

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is back at work this week, but it’s anything but business as usual. Fortunately for her, her attorneys at Liberty Counsel understand that the best defense is a good offense. Mat Staver, who heads up Kim’s legal team, is suing Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) for his failure to accommodate Davis’s religious beliefs. Kim, who spent five days in jail for daring to exercise her First Amendment rights on marriage, was forced to make her own accommodation when Kentucky refused to grant one.

After scrubbing her name from the county’s marriage licenses, Davis said she wouldn’t stand in the way of her staff granting them — but doubted they had legal standing without her authorization. Unfortunately, Kim had little choice in the matter, when the courts and her own Governor disregarded her fundamental freedom of religion. “I want the whole world to know,” Kim told reporters yesterday, “if any deputy clerk feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them. However, any unauthorized marriage license that they issue will not have my name, my title, or my authority on it. Instead, the licenses will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.”

The compromise Davis seeks is a simple one: remove her name from the licenses that bear it. Instead, Governor Beshear seems intent on making an example of Kim, when he could be making an example of Kentucky’s willingness to compromise. Regardless of what the media says, Kim isn’t looking to force her faith on anyone — she’s looking to keep hers in the face of a far more imposing religion: secularism. “This case is far from over,” Mat Staver vowed. “We will not rest until a permanent accommodation is made for Kim Davis.” And, he went on, “lest anyone think what Kim Davis is facing is unique to her, you would be wrong. She is one of millions of people in the public and private sector whose deeply held religious convictions will collide with the opinion of the five Supreme Court justices issues just over two months ago.”

Next week, you can hear from Mat and Kim in person at the Values Voter Summit, where FRC is honoring Davis with its “Cost of Discipleship Award” — an award, unfortunately, that we may have plenty of candidates for if these issues aren’t resolved.

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To register for VVS, click over to Summit website.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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