Do not Mistake the Incompetence of Kim Davis for Courage

Do not Mistake the Incompetence of Kim Davis for Courage

Lauren Wigren

The Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal in all fifty states as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment on June 26, 2015. Unfortunately, there are still people who misconstrue the ruling, meant to ensure the civil rights of same sex couples, as an attack on their beliefs.  Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was willing to go to jail over granting marriage licenses to same sex couples. As a result, many in the Christian community, including Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hailed her as a martyr.

Kim Davis was not a hero and was certainly not fighting for civil rights by denying them for others. In response to the ruling, Davis not only refused to marry same sex couples, but straight couples as well. As a result of this boycott, American couples could not exercise their right to marry. Davis punished innocent people for a court ruling that they ultimately had no control over.

 Kim Davis used her identity as a Christian to justify her extreme behavior. It is true that Americans must not overlook citizens’ right to freely practice their religion and conform to certain beliefs. However, it is one thing to subscribe to an unpopular belief or practice, but it is quite another to let these beliefs hinder others’ civil rights and ability to live freely. Kim Davis has every right to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman only; however, she is not allowed to prevent others from exercising their constitutional right to marry someone of the same sex. It is not only the law of the land, but also a way to ensure that people are not oppressed because of factors that are simply out of their control (as people do not get to choose whether they are gay or straight).

Some conservative Christians even compare Davis to Rosa Parks. Ironically, however, Rosa Parks took a stand as part of a fight for civil rights, while Kim Davis took a stand against them. Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat on the bus because of the systematic oppression of African Americans.  Davis’s job is to sign marriage licenses; it is her responsibility, not an attack on her character or personal beliefs. If anyone is the oppressor in this situation, it is Davis because she refused to do her job simply because of her clients’ sexual orientation, thus denying them basic civil rights.

If Kim Davis has such strong moral qualms regarding the issuing of same sex marriage licenses, she should look for work elsewhere. She is certainly not the only one to ever dislike or disagree with a certain aspect of their job. Many teachers strongly believe that teaching to standardized tests limits students, yet they still carry on with lesson plans tailored to testing because they realize that it is a major method of judging both students and teachers throughout the nation. Many defense attorneys work to defend people who they knew were guilty, yet they continued to look for weaknesses in the prosecution or ways to obtain a lesser punishment for the defendant because ultimately, they needed to make a living.

Kim Davis is allowed to believe whatever she wants, as it is a right of American citizens to freely practice their religion. However, it is also a right of American citizens to marry whomever they choose, regardless of race, religion, or gender. People like Davis interfere with the lives and free will of American citizens and should be condemned, not praised. There are many other career options that do not require people to take part in same-sex weddings, and maybe Kim Davis should look into them.