Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Held in Contempt of Court

 photo KimDavisMugShot.jpg

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County Clerk Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has been pitching a fit about the Supreme Court gay marriage act now for months. As a result, many couples, both gay and straight, who wanted to get married in the county where they live and pay taxes have been unable to get a license. As details have emerged about her own private life, she has been exposed as a royal hypocrite:

Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official, and can only be removed by legislative impeachment. Unfortunately the Kentucky Legislature is out of session until January and Democratic Governor Steve Beshear has decided not to waste taxpayer money on a special session, since the Legislature has to change many laws to be in compliance with the SCOTUS ruling:

From Kentucky Courier-Journal:
"The General Assembly will convene in just four months and can make any statutory changes it deems necessary at that time. I see no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 and 120 county clerks are doing their jobs."

Several straight and gay couples who had been turned away by Ms. Davis sued to put pressure on her to comply. The attorneys of Davis, paid goons from the so-called conservative "Liberty Counsel," appealed to the Supreme Court to save her, but were turned down flat. Why? Because their arguments have no standing under the law, so they write about Ms. Davis's feelings and opinions as if they matter more than any other citizen in Rowan County or the state of Kentucky. Basically, they are just using Davis to rabble rouse the far-right evangelicals who give money to groups like . . . Liberty Counsel. It's a money-makin' deal. God told them to do it, I guess. Oh, and they really, really hate "The Gay."

At that point a Federal Judge ordered Ms. Davis and her staff into court in Ashland, KY, and it all hit the fan today. There was chaos outside the Federal Courthouse, lots of shouting and sign-waving from both sides:

Judge Dunning decided not to seek monetary fines from Davis because he knew that religious groups would just continue paying them. Instead, after asking if she would comply and she refused, he ordered her into "indefinite" custody of Federal Marshalls. Outside the courthouse, those in favor of equality cheered.

Later in the day, five deputy clerks told the judge they would be willing to give licenses to gay couples, except for one - Davis's son - who for some reason was not charged with contempt of court (I would have charged him!). Davis was asked back into court, but she refused and merely sent her attorney to tell the judge she would not comply and if released she would "interfere" with marriage licenses. So Judge Dunning proceeded with contempt charges. Later she was booked and a mug shot taken. Her attorneys are trying something to get her out, but I doubt if it will work.

She wanted to be a martyr, so she's a martyr. She's also probably lost a plum $80,000/year job that is rare as hen's teeth in Rowan County, Kentucky. And she's caused everyone who works there distress and legal fees, for which they will not thank her. The religious right will scream and wail "Christian Persecution" (Huckabee and Cruz, for instance). The Legislature may try to save her, but hey - she can always work for Hobby Lobby or Chick-Fil-A, right?

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