Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Editor who fears media circus in his county says remove county clerks' names from marriage licenses

Kim Davis, county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, has made international news for refusing to issue marriage licenses, citing her religious belief against same-sex union. Davis—who last week was sent to jail for contempt of court but was released Tuesday on the condition that she not interfere with issuance of licenses by her deputies, who had agreed to issue them—has received support and opposition from presidential candidates; local, state and national politicians; and just about everyone with an opinion, while other county clerks who have also openly refused to issue marriage licenses have mostly gone unnoticed.

One of those clerks—who has publicly supported Davis—is Casey Davis (not related to Kim Davis), county clerk in Casey County, Kentucky. Larry Rowell, editor of Casey County News, emailed The Rural Blog a column he wrote about Casey Davis. Since the column is not available online, we have published it here in its entirety. The column is headlined, "One stroke of the pen would bring peace."
"With the jailing Thursday of Rowan County Court Clerk Kim Davis for her defiance of a judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the implications of this action are far reaching, beyond even the scope of imagination.

"Here are some possibilities:

Larry Rowell
"With Kim Davis jailed, what about our Casey County Clerk, Casey Davis, who remains resolute that he will not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? When is this storm coming to our quiet little corner of the Commonwealth?

"Will the ACLU and its legions of fairness campaign cavorters descend on our Courthouse lawn to focus the national spotlight on our clerk?

"Granted, Davis has already made the national news; it just hasn't brought the protesters on a continuing basis to Liberty.

"Davis, whether one agrees with him or not, has actually come up with a sensible solution that addresses both sides of this problem. If Gov. Steve Beshear would issue an executive order removing clerk's names from marriage licenses, then that resolves the issue of Christian clerks authorizing marriage for anyone, gay, straight or remarried.

"On the other side, gay couples would still get their blank license forms from the clerk's office, take it to whoever solemnizes the wedding, and then return it to the clerk's office to be recorded for posterity.

"It's a win win situation for everyone, including a governor who hired outside counsel to do Attorney General Jack Conway's job when he refused to appeal a judge's ruling declaring Kentucky's 2004 constitutional amendment making marriage between a man and a woman unconstitutional.

"Granted, Conway is not required to appeal every decision, even if the governor wants him to. It was solely Conway's decision.

"Here's another possible scenario –there's a Beshear on the ballot this fall. Andy Beshear is running for attorney general, and the question begs itself, will Kim Davis and Casey Davis supporters remember the governor's inaction on this matter when they step into the voting booth in November?

"It seems politically expedient if the governor wanted to help his son's chances of winning, then an executive order to remove clerks' names from marriage licenses might be the ticket to this seat in Frankfort for his son.

"Davis's supporters would be happy, and why would gay couples care? They still get their licenses. 
"On a larger scale, will this issue of non-action on the governor's part hinder Conway's chances to succeed Beshear in the governor's mansion? Possibly, as Conway's opponent, Matt Bevin, has publicly and unequivocally thrown his support behind Kim Davis. Conway need not underestimate the memory of evangelicals of voting age, especially those 50 and older.

"However, with predictions of voter turnout this fall hovering in the low teens, will it matter? That remains to be seen as does other unforeseen consequences from the June Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage."

No comments: