County Clerk Who Refuses To Issue Marriage License To Gay Couple Says She Will Remain In Jail, So Be It.

By Darren Smith Weekend Contributor

kim-davis-mugshotAfter the Rowan County Kentucky Clerk, Democrat Kim Davis, defied a court order to issue gay couples marriage licenses, and was subsequently arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and jailed, her husband stated that she chose to remain in jail rather than compromise her religious beliefs by performing her statutory duty. Her contempt of court ruling will stand until she resumes issuing such licenses and thus in jail she shall remain.

And so it should.

The issue is not the content of her religious beliefs that are on trial. It is that of failure to perform her duty and denial of a civil right as mandated by the Supreme Court. For this reason she has two choices: being in contempt indefinitely; or resigning her position. For the near term it is as simple as that. If she continues her defiance, a third party must step up, show some leadership, and make the decision for her by ejecting her from office.


When a politician takes an oath of office upon their swearing in they affirm to uphold the constitutions of their respective states and that of the United States, and that they will discharge also their statutory and common law duties mandated by the legislature and the state’s courts. This is not an optional recommendation, it is conditional of receiving the position and taking salary and benefits. In this case Ms. Davis knew, as a second generation politician to her mother’s thirty seven year tenure as the former county clerk, what these duties encompass. The excuses she made to justify her failure to perform on her duty are 100% irrelevant whatever they might be, religious, personal or otherwise. Her authority does not include usurping the legislature and the courts to suit her own goals.

Ms. Davis, through her attorney, claimed that a compromise can be made by the removal of her name from the certificates of marriage granted to those couples she objects to. This also is completely unacceptable. The duality of this settlement offer is that she previously stated the certificates issued by her deputy clerks, in her absence, were void.

The authorization official charged with issuing marriage licenses is that of the County Clerk, and from working convention is usually performed by a deputy delegated and commissioned through this authority. If Ms. Davis chooses to remove her name from the form, the marriage license could be contested as being invalid since it was not assented to by the county clerk. For this reason she implored the governor to call the legislature into a special session to amend the statutory language to facilitate the compromise that would be agreeable to this one individual politician–at a cost of course of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hubris and arrogance she exudes on that demand alone certainly should be enough cause for the legislature to impeach her or the voters to generate a recall. If this becomes necessary to remove her from office a failure to act upon this by either entity and allow this usurper to remain in office would be a true embarrassment to themselves in the eyes of a great many.

Anecdotally, all of us who have worked in an official capacity know that sometimes you cannot do what you like. We cannot legally make arbitrary actions that are outside the law. To do so leads straight to corruption and an erosion of the system and the liquidity of society. The result is almost always a patchwork of patronage and differing rules and the abandonment of trust in the public that ultimately grants the government its legitimacy. The controversy is this, we stop malfeasances of office now before they lead to worse.

Not only that but in addition to moneys wasted in salary payable to an incarcerated elected official–who is unable to perform her job–it is all but certain expensive lawsuits alleging violations of civil rights will result. It is an outcome frankly the county government deserves.

Ms. Davis clearly wants to have her cake and eat it too. She reportedly takes an $80,000.00 salary along with benefits. In addition, she has family members within the employ of her office. This is why I personally find political dynasties to be in direct conflict with democracy, because it almost always leads to nepotism at least and despotism at worse. The Rowan County Clerk’s Office seems a great family business for the Davis family because that is how she seems to choose to operate it. But as the Rolling Stones famously sang…

It is time that Kim Davis “gets what she needs”…termination of her employment.

By Darren Smith



The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

254 thoughts on “County Clerk Who Refuses To Issue Marriage License To Gay Couple Says She Will Remain In Jail, So Be It.”

  1. Who and under what authority did cause the removal of Mrs. Davis name and title from the license form issued to the county by the state? Is a statute that no form may be altered.

  2. Willis Mcintyre,

    You’re right. Since the issuance of licenses is ministerial, mandamus is the rule of thumb that immediately comes to mind.

    I have a few questions.

    Since Davis is following the state statute, and a federal court is disrupting the status quo with an injunction to the contrary, then how is the court not required under Title VII to provide a reasonable accommodation to Davis? How is jailing Davis more reasonable than simply removing her name from the license?

    Also, since the fourteenth amendment’s due process clause protects employment under an implied promise of continuation and the Takings clause applies to contracts of employment, then how is the Fed not on the hook for compensating Davis if it continues to deny her a reasonable accommodation and forces her to step down as clerk?

    All of that is more reasonable than simply removing her name from the license?

  3. By definition, Mandamus cannot be issued to compel an elected official to do something against statutory provision. The State of Kentucky must strike that provision (marriage being one man and one woman) from its books before the mandamus directive can be legitimate. Moreover, her function is administrative and not judicial, so it would be questionable even under that circumstance.

  4. Darren you are a good little robot. I suppose that you would have stood up for Hitlers’ SS guys as they were upholding their oaths?

    Do you have any idea what the term ‘Moral Turpitude’ means? I think not as you are a tunnel visioned, good little conformist.

    If you apply you can probably get a job being a shoeshine boy for Obomono.

  5. “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” — George Orwell

    Palsy Schultze: “Your maxim smacks of the foolish hobgoblins of small- mindedness.”

    The cliche you’re attempting to rely on so as to evade critical thought and argument is:

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

    The key word is FOOLISH.

    That maxim you’ve labeled as mine

    To wit:

    Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.

    is called the categorical imperative and is the foundation of all Law; i.e. hardly a “foolish inconsistency.”

    You remember Law, don’t you? That thing you cite as your justification for jailing Kim Davis in the first place?

  6. Bob: Your repetitious insistence on this maxim of yours betrays a deeper obsession.

    But, I’ll humor you.

    Your maxim smacks of the foolish hobgoblins of small- mindedness. Not all actions result from similar motives. That’s one reason why the death penalty was never universally applied to all convicted murderers. And I suspect the reason there aren’t any mayors sitting in jail is because judiciary sees it that way, too. What, no conservative judges in those districts?

    I’m amending my earlier assent regarding Newsom somewhat. His actions were based on legal principle, not religion.

  7. Palsy Schultze: ” I haven’t really formed much of an opinion on “sanctuary cities”. You seem to think they are significant and somehow relevant to Kim Davis and the issue of gay marriage and religion. I do not.”

    Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.

    Your opinion on the sanctuary city case has been sealed by your justification of the jailing of Kim Davis; i.e. by adopting the maxim that all officials who refuse to carry out their lawful duties must be jailed.

    Accordingly, that same maxim you claim to be following in the Davis case necessarily applies in the sanctuary city case. Your conclusion regarding sanctuary cities is that all those officials who refuse to carry out their lawful duties, as Kim Davis did here, must be jailed.

    Otherwise, your argument lacks any legitimacy whatsoever.

    1. “….i.e. by adopting the maxim that all officials who refuse to carry out their lawful duties must be jailed….”

      If this were the case all cops that swear an other to protect my constitutionally protected rights should go to jail for enforcing the unconstitutional drug and gun laws. Which they should because they fail to protect my rights when they enforce these “laws”.

  8. FYI

    In March of this year the Pastor, who we shall refer to as Pastor Revere, was invited to attend a meeting of his local FEMA chapter which circulated around preparedness for a potential bio-terrorist attack, any natural disaster or a nationally declared emergency.

    The FEMA directors told the Pastors that attended that it was their job to help implement FEMA and Homeland Security directives in anticipation of any of these eventualities. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to “obey the government” when martial law is declared.

    It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the “cowboy mentality” of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure. It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that “this is for their own good.”

    We have received confirmation from other preachers and Pastors that this program is a nationwide initiative and a literal Soviet model whereby the churches are being systematically infiltrated by government volunteers and used as conduits for martial law training and conditioning. The Pastor was told that over 1,300 counties were already on board.

    It falls under the umbrella of the NVOAD program which is training volunteers in a “Peer to Peer” program in a neighborhood setting.

    Pastors were told that the would be backed up by law enforcement in controlling uncooperative individuals and that they would even lead SWAT teams in attempting to quell resistance

    1. You are right Neo. Churches in the US are almost all 501c3’s not churches and the God of most Christians is guberment. They remain silent when the government tramples our God given rights….. When you get right down to it most contemporary Christians are the enemy of anyone that loves freedom.

  9. Raise your hand if you have been ordered by a judge to do something and you have intentionally, deliberately chosen to disobey that order.

    I’m betting that none of the commenters here raised their hand. If you did, however, please share what happened next.

    There is little to admire when a public official intentionally refuses to obey a court order in these circumstances. Circumstances matter, just as circumstances matter when you disobey a direct order in the military. In this case, she was ordered to grant a marriage license. She refused to obey the order and sought multiple stays of the order pending appeal, all the way to the top of the judicial food chain. She lost at every level. Now it is time to obey the order or have the balls to resign. The minute she resigns, she gets out of jail. And she avoids violating her religious beliefs. But while she remains on the job she must comply with the rules, as interpreted by the courts.

    For those who say we all should refuse to comply with court orders that we think are unconstitutional, I doubt that you have spent any time contemplating what this country would be like if everyone could pick and choose what court orders to obey.

    And for those of you trying to equate this situation with Obama (or anyone else) not enforcing immigration laws, how many of you think that the Highway Patrol-persons and other LEOs who enforce the speed limit should be thrown in jail for not enforcing the speed limit when they don’t ticket you when you do 70 in 55 mph zone? After all, when you speed you increase the chances of someone getting hurt or killed. Here is a hint: the cop hasn’t violated a court order. Nor have the mayors of sanctuary cities.

    Now we can (and should) debate the wisdom of not enforcing the speed limit and of not enforcing immigration laws, but that is a different issue from the issues associated with an intentional refusal of a public official to comply with a court order.

    1. Don de Drain wrote: “For those who say we all should refuse to comply with court orders that we think are unconstitutional, I doubt that you have spent any time contemplating what this country would be like if everyone could pick and choose what court orders to obey.”

      If the courts functioned properly, and the federal government respected the limited powers it has been granted by the Constitution, and respected the powers granted to the States and to the people, then we would not have to choose which court orders are unlawful and therefore invalid.

      You imply that our decision to disobey federal orders are capricious, but they are not. When a higher law protects you, such as the Constitution, you are not only right to obey the higher law, you have a duty to obey it. Otherwise, you are complicit in the tyranny of the tyrants who are taking control over the people.

      Consider these words from the very first founding document of our great nation, written a little over 11 years before our Constitution:

      “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

  10. Liberals are such phony hypocrites! American History of full of people who ignored or disobeyed what they believe to be unjust laws.

    Current liberals love to disregard laws regarding illegal immigration and establish sanctuary cities. Let some pro-life mayor disregard Roe v. Wade in his jurisdiction and see how much sympathy they receive from the left.

    Or watch some DA attempt to prosecute a black on white violent act as a hate crime even those such crimes are much more common than white on black ones.

    Liberals love free speech, right? Those who profess to be the most tolerant are the ones now advocating European or Canadian style “hate speech” laws.

    If we Red Staters are so wicked and backwards, let us go! Secession yes!

  11. As to the author’s point of knowing the position she sought (the job) and the oath she voluntarily took to uphold the law, and disobeying the (changed) law as a matter of conscience instead of resigning, I sought a career as a Naval Officer, took the oath to “…support and defend the Constitution……..obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me…..”

    Well I refused to obey several lawful orders during my 25 yr career. Each case was a matter of conscience except for two. One was unnecessarily dangerous and the other was just plain stupid, yet lawful. I even offered my resignation twice but was retained.

    As mentioned in another thread, I served this country so that others could protest as the clerk is doing. That service also included the enforcement of the law. In a “couple of other countries” she would have disappeared by now. In another era in one of those countries, her family might have “joined” her. Not so in this country for an elected or appointed official (well not in the last 20+ yrs)
    (I’ll not get caught up in the drone issues, or Project Phoenix this thread.)

    For all of its faults, this is the country of which I am proud. The struggle over this clerk’s stance is a significant one and one which proves the strength of one individual in the face of many. This isn’t a case of a murderer, embezzler, child molester or church bomber. We are first a Republic with rights of the individual and the right to the workings of Justice when in conflict. She does not deserve to be pilloried. But she does deserve to be protected.

    Funny though, I note some of the verbal stones being thrown around and some of those at Christianity. Seems to me that there is an account about being the first to cast a stone? So how many out there meet the criteria?

  12. I’m actually surprised that there is a gay couple wanting to marry in Eastern Kentucky. Were these two coal miners who got trapped in the mine too long? I recall something about some coal miners trapped down there for 30 days or so…..hmmmmmm. In any event, I would think that if an employee of the Commonwealth of Kentucky refuses to perform some new aspect of his or her job, that any disciplinary action should be a matter for the Commonwealth, or for the voters of the county who elected her. For a Federal judge to imprison someone for failing to carry out a new job duty seems draconian, as well as unconstitutional. Why doesn’t the federal judge perform the gay marriage ceremony himself, rather than imprison Ms. Davis? Because he can’t. The marriage contract is a matter of state, not federal law. But the federal judge is forcing her to perform a purely state function. Is that because they couldn’t find a Kentucky judge willing to imprison her, so the Feds stepped in? Kentucky may be Obama’s Waco.

  13. All historians agree homosexuality was quite open in the Roman and Greek cultures BC.

  14. Many historians consider the wide acceptance of homosexuality a contributing factor in the fall of the great Greek and Roman cultures. Back before the gay mafia was formed, that was discussed openly. I don’t know enough of that specific aspect of history to either believe or disbelieve that theory. But, you can look it up, read up, and decide for yourselves. Or, you can call me a homophobe. But, Writer33 brought it up.

    1. Nick – homosexuality was generally frowned on in the Roman Empire, although there were so many slaves to have sex with and they did not count. If you have seen the series Rome you can get a feel for this. Most historians think it was a variety of things that brought about the end of the Empire, including from lead based pottery.

      What we have on the Greeks is mostly from two city-states, Athens and Sparta. The Spartans lived in male barracks after they reached manhood. And they did spend much of their time at war so there might have been situation homosexuality. In Athens there was a custom of older men finding young men to hang out with. There is some thought that this is sexual. However, sex between adult males was frown on.

  15. Kim Davis is not fulfilling the requirements of her job, and – whether elected or not – should be discharged. Either the woman has a martyr complex, or is living in the stone age.(It is also possible that she may be planning a lawsuit – preferably with attendant publicity.)

    The classical Greeks and Romans , unlike their Christian successors, were civilised and intelligent. Homosexuality was a normal part of their culture. They would have laughed at an ignoramus like Kim Davis.

    In the event, relations between consenting adults concern only those who engage in them, and are not to be determined by public opinion.

    1. Writer33 – want to give me a cite to both the Romans and the Greeks and homosexuality. As much as I have read about it, you are not correct.

    2. Writer33 wrote: “Kim Davis is not fulfilling the requirements of her job, and – whether elected or not – should be discharged.”

      Have some patience, dude. The Supreme Court’s ruling is recent and the State legislature has not had time to decide what to do in response to their decision. Kim Davis did the right thing. She stopped issuing all marriage licenses until the State addresses the issue. Discharging her is the wrong thing to do.

      Writer33 wrote: “The classical Greeks and Romans , unlike their Christian successors, were civilised and intelligent. Homosexuality was a normal part of their culture. They would have laughed at an ignoramus like Kim Davis.”

      Actually, the Greeks and Romans NEVER accepted the idea of gay marriage. The wealthy and powerful elites in their society accepted homosexuality, which often included pedophilia as well. It was especially prevalent among the soldiers with the older men having their younger lovers. But the idea of gay marriage was ridiculous to them. They would have laughed at the Supreme Court.

      Writer33 wrote: “In the event, relations between consenting adults concern only those who engage in them, and are not to be determined by public opinion.”

      We saw very little comment with the Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 that forced States to legalize sodomy and homosexuality. So the problem is not about relations between consenting adults. In fact, most States pursued defining the rights of homosexual lovers through defining domestic partnerships and civil unions. The Domestic Partnerships in California are essentially equivalent to marriage in California. The problem now is forcing the States to redefine marriage in such a way that it destroys marriage as an institution. That power has not been given to the federal government. Even SCOTUS admitted this in the recent Windsor case. The SCOTUS is unstable and unfit to rule this nation with is poorly reasoned “laws.”

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