The Right of Religion

Time to get political. One of the biggest stories in the country right now is the story of Kim Davis, Kentucky County Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. She claims that gay marriage is against her religion and that issuing the licenses is ‘wrong’ in her eyes. She went to court and was ordered to issue the licenses, but she still refused. She was then thrown in jail, and has since been released because her staff has been issuing licenses in her absence. The story became so popular that Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have pledged their support to Kim Davis.

I personally support gay marriage, to me I think it is ridiculous to deny rights to any group of people. I also don’t view marriage as a strictly religious institution. I think while marriage has a place in the Bible, many people get married without the religious aspect. You do not have to get married in a church, and the benefits are now financial in nature and are extended to anyone getting married no matter what their religion is. I see marriage as a union between two people who love each other. Period.

But not everyone feels that way, and I respect that. Some people view marriage as a strictly religious institution and that the Bible states that it is a union between one man and one woman. The great thing about the approval of gay marriage is if you don’t like it, you don’t have to marry a gay person. I don’t think giving rights to another group of people should offend people who have always had these rights.

Kim Davis’s job required her to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, because it is the law. She refused to issue licenses (even to straight people) because of her religion. If Kim Davis truly feels that it is against her religion to do her job then she needs to quit her job. She cannot be fired because she is an elected official and she refuses to resign. She is still getting paid by the tax dollars of the county she serves to not do her job.

An argument that I have seen on social media cites Tonya Parker, a lesbian judge in Dallas that refused to marry straight couples until gay marriage was legal in Texas. Now, I do not agree with Tonya Parker. Part of her job was to marry people and I do not think she should be able to refuse to do so. But I do want to point out a difference with Parker, as a judge she married couples vs. Davis who is a clerk that issues licenses. Parker said she would refer couples to another judge to be married. To get married you need a license in the county you are getting married in/living in, by Davis refusing to issue licenses, people in Rowan county literally couldn’t get married. Parker may have refused to perform ceremonies herself but she didn’t bar couples from getting married at all. And above all, do two wrongs make a right?

I think the support of presidential candidates for Kim Davis is incredibly unprofessional and unamerican. Whether you agree with the ruling or not, as a government official you should respect their decision and to encourage a government official to defy the law goes against the values of this country. The first amendment to the Constitution protects the freedom of religion, but there is also a separation between church and state. This country was not built on the Bible, it was built on the idea that a person can believe in the Bible or any other form of religion free of persecution. That means gay people should be protected from persecution as well.

As far as Kim Davis, either do your job or give your job to someone who will.

~Lauren

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