Jesus-American County Clerks Paralyzed By Gay Cooties
Despite the Supreme Court ordering every single American to get gay married right this second, some Real Good Christians are shouting, "Don't wanna! Don't hafta! YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" Which is rude and also wrong, but that rarely stops bigots from doing that thing they do. Which is why they are inventing loopholes, or outright defying what is now the law of the land, to continue their battle against equality.
Like this jerk Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky:
"What has happened is that five lawyers have imposed their personal view of what the definition of marriage should be on the rest of us. And I, as a Christian, have strong views, too. And I know I don't stand alone."
Davis is A Idiot, not only for cribbing the loser talking points from Chief Justice John Roberts's dissent, in which he also whined about his colleagues being mere lawyers and unelected judges, but also because that is not how our justice system works. When the Supreme Court issues a ruling, that's the end of that, and your strong views are not legally enforceable. Sorry not sorry.
Davis is not the only one who thinks she has a special note from Jesus; a number of county clerks in Kentucky have cited religious objections as an excuse for not doing their jobs. FYI, losers:
It's a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky — first-degree official misconduct — if "a public servant ... refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office."
Attorney General Jack Conway said in a statement: "Any clerk that refuses to issue marriage licenses is opening himself or herself to potential legal liability and sanctions."
County clerks who won't give a marriage license to qualified applicants of any sexual orientation can expect a civil-rights lawsuit, said Bill Sharp, legal director of the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
We'll be shedding precisely zero tears for any clerks charged with the crime of refusing to do their jobs because no one gives a damn about the strong views of people paid with taxpayer dollars to process paperwork.
In Texas, where the attorney general has already informed clerks that they're free to ignore the Supreme Court if the Bible tells them so, Trinity County Clerk Shasta Bergman has accepted that gracious offer, but she's invented a clever work-around for The Gays:
“However on the heels of the Supreme Court decision, my staff and I have worked out a solution that works for each person's religious freedoms as well as other personal beliefs and opinions,” Bergman said. “After checking with each deputy clerk in order to get their individual perspectives on this issue and to ensure that any decision was not going to trample the rights of any clerk by delegating the duty to someone who held the same religious beliefs as myself.”
That's nice. One might think it inappropriate to ask employees about their personal religious beliefs, but that's far less important than guaranteeing none of them have to perform the duties of their job if they don't wanna. One might also be concerned about the practicalities of allowing employees to refuse to do their job. "Oh, you two dudes wanted a marriage license? Sorry, but Jesus says I can't do that for you, and Bob, our office homo-lover, is on vacation." But as long as Ms. Bergman has figured it all out, nothing to worry about, probably.
Another clerk in Texas, Katie Lang of Hood County, says others in her office will issue licenses, but she will not:
[She] said staffers will issue the licenses although she will not do so based on her Christian beliefs, which she believes are protected under the Constitution.
"I am grateful that the First Amendment continues to protect the sincerely held religious beliefs of public servants like me. That has not changed since last Friday," Lang said.
Elsewhere in Texas, Lubbock Justice of the Peace Jim Hansen declared that, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, he will no longer perform weddings at all:
For personal religious reasons, I have decided to no longer perform wedding ceremonies effective immediately.
Upon announcing this decision, I also wish to share that I have no anger, fear, or hatred toward any person or party. I am simply guaranteed my religious rights as guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
Please don't think him a bigot simply for exercising his religious right to cease performing all weddings just to avoid those icky gay ones.
Some clerks are just up and quitting their jobs altogether because they'd rather be unemployed than gayed, which they are welcome to do, and for which they deserve the tiniest modicum of respect for acknowledging that they cannot keep their jobs if they believe they cannot perform their duties. And best of luck to them explaining to future potential employers why they left their last jobs. Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey in Arkansas resigned Monday, though she was hoping to keep it on the down low so no one would think she's a dick:
“It is definitely a moral conviction for me,” she said. “I didn’t announce anything publicly or on social media or anything because I didn’t want my decision to be seen as hateful. I know some people will look at it like that, but this wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. And I do not hate anybody.”
OK, honey, whatever you say. In Mississippi, Grenada County Clerk Linda Barnett also resigned to avoid The Gay, and apparently, she don't give a fuck if anyone thinks she's a hater because she's got the Bible on her side:
I am resigning before my term expires because the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s decision violates my core values as a Christian. My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name, because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan and purpose for marriage and family. I choose to obey God rather than man. I want to thank the citizens of Grenada County for giving me the honor of serving as their Circuit Clerk.
She seems nice, and by nice we mean Christ, what an asshole. Would love to see her try to get out of a speeding ticket, but maybe God doesn't trump traffic cops.
At least she knows she's not entitled to a paycheck if she's unwilling to perform her job, unlike other dead-ender clerks who want to keep their jobs without the burden of doing their jobs. We'd like to imagine that they all will get fired and replaced with workers who are able and willing to do the work required of them, but this is America, and in America, it's tricky. Because in America, sometimes you can opt out of your work or even legal responsibilities, if you invoke those magical words about your "sincere religious beliefs."
You do remember when the unelected lawyers on the Supreme Court created a new law in 2014 that says you don't have to comply with the law, so long as you claim it violates your sincere religious beliefs, don't you? You do now. Katie Lang of Hood County sure does, or at least she remembers whatever summary she heard about it on Fox News.
And in case you were dumb enough to believe the Court when it said this new rule applied only to closely held corporations who don't want their employees' health insurance to cover certain types of birth control, stop that right now. Because ever since, the Court has been expanding that oh-so-narrow ruling, and a number of cases seeking to expand it even further are working their way through the courts this very minute. And, as you know because we've written about 10 trillion words on the subject, many states have tried to expand their own exemptions, through Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, to protect "good Christians" from icky gays and whores and whatever else they imagine God hates.
And don't forget the conscience clauses most states have, allowing medical professionals to opt out of doing their jobs, for Jesus. Like, if you're a Walmart pharmacist in Florida, and some lady needs to fill a prescription after having miscarried, but you're a jerk and also an idiot, and you think her prescribed medication is really a slutty abortion in a pill, so you tell her, "No, I won't give it to you, and you can't make me, because that would hurt my religious feelings, FIRST AMENDMENT, BITCH." Yeah, like that.
We'd like to think that the Supreme Court's very explicit ruling that "same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry" would be the end of it. And we'd like to think, should anyone ask the Supreme Court justices whether they were serious about that, they'd say, "Yes, you dumb asshole, we were serious about that." The law of the land is clear: gay couples are constitutionally entitled to marry in all 50 states now. So long as those government workers obligated to issue and process the appropriate paperwork actually do so.
But this is America. And in America, you might have a constitutional right -- to vote, to make reproductive decisions, to marry -- but there's always the issue of access and how easily you can actually exercise your right. And it's amazing how those who oppose those rights can and will do to prevent others from exercising them, in the name of "beliefs." So brush up on those extra-special exemption rules and clauses, because you never know how some sneaky unelected judicial activists might give their fellow believers a way to opt out. Unfortunately, sigh and alas and groan, that fight might be on its way.