Tuesday, September 08, 2015

We want to know what you're writing about the Ky. county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses

Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis has made international news for refusing to issue marriage licenses, citing her religious belief against same-sex unions. Much has been written and said about Davis, who last week was sent to jail for contempt of court but was released today on the condition that she not interfere with issuance of licenses by her deputies, who had agreed to issue them. The Rural Blog would like to hear what rural journalists are writing about Davis and whether they support or oppose her actions. Links to stories, or copies, if your website is behind a paywall, can be sent directly to tim.mandell@uky.edu.

Stacey Menser, a reporter with The Times Leader in Princeton, in the heart of Western Kentucky, compares Davis to Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who has been outspoken about Mexicans and immigrants, and who recently had Mexican-American reporter Jorge Ramos, a U.S. citizen, removed from a press conference, after which a Trump supporter told Ramos to “Get out of my country. Here is an excerpt from Menser's column (if blocked by a paywall, click here):
Stacey Menser
We don’t need to "Free Kim Davis." She should be in jail. Kim Davis chose not to do her job. Her job as a county clerk is to issue and register legal documents for citizens of her county. And she chose not to do that. When she was sworn into office as county clerk, she took an oath to uphold the laws of the federal and state governments. She, and no one else serving in a government position, has the right to pick and choose which laws to uphold. If she can’t fulfill her duties because of her personal religious beliefs—and she says she can’t—then she should have stepped down from her position back in June when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples be allowed to marry across the United States—Kentucky included.

She has turned the Rowan County Courthouse into a circus; and she has turned all the eyes of the world to Kentucky, where she is making our whole state look like a bunch of backwards, insensitive idiots.

As a Christian, I find her argument that she is working 'under the authority of God' to be offensive. Yes, I believe God can use the simplest of people to do amazing things. But the God I know is a God of love, not hate. I see Kim Davis as a hypocrite, picking and choosing which Biblical verses, according to her interpretation, best suit her current situation. And that situation is standing in front of cameras and courtrooms and proudly denying tax-payers the rights afforded to them by the U.S. Government.

She looks at homosexuals (when she can spot them), the same way that particular Trump supporter looked at Jorge Ramos. You look different, you sound different, you act different and you are not welcome here. You are not welcome to enjoy the rights of an American citizen. So where is the line? Who is 'in' and who is 'out' in this country? Who gets to enjoy freedoms here in the U.S.? Freedoms of religion, freedom to marry, freedom to take an active role in the democratic system? I thought it was everyone, every single person living in our country. But I am afraid that’s not the case anymore; maybe it never was. The more I look at the behaviors of the 'in' crowd, the better I feel about tendering my resignation from the group. I’m out.

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