Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk who has refused to issue marry licences should leave office now. The licenses being issued from her office, by her own admission, are of unknown legal validity. Anyone can issue dubious marriage licences. Only one person in Rowan County can issue valid, unquestionably legal licences and she refuses to.
Why does it matter? It raises all kinds of legal issues for the people of Rowan County regardless of their sexual orientation. Straight couples are being affected too. Will an insurance company be able to deny health coverage to a heterosexual spouse by claiming the marriage isn’t legal? We don’t know. Can the state claim property and deny survivors rights to a heterosexual couple if one spouse dies? We don’t know. Is a pre-nuptial agreement enforceable if one party claims the contract isn’t in effect because the marriage wasn’t valid? We don’t know. Can a husband remove his wife from life support if the family challenges the validity of the marriage? We don’t know. Why? Because Kim Davis won’t do her job .
She claims she has the right to be a conscientious objector. She does. Just like a soldier who decides that he could never take a human life can’t be compelled to go to war. But that soldier has to leave the military. He can’t collect his full pay and benefits and then pick and choose what missions he will go on. He must Go. Even military chaplains don’t get to place their own religious beliefs above their job requirements. Chaplains must agree to provide services to soldiers of all faiths, even if it is not their own. If they can’t do that, they can’t stay.
Kim Davis campaigned for that job. She took an oath. She has broken it and has refused to do her job as the law requires and as the citizens who elected her deserve. She suggests that anyone wanting to marry should go to another county’s office, someplace separate but equal, if you will. She can’t be forced to stay and do something against her religious beliefs, but she can’t sit back and collect a paycheck from the taxpayers while shirking her responsibilities. If she truly has any moral convictions she should leave office now. Don’t take pay for a job you won’t do. Don’t force others out of their way for your 15 minutes of fame. Don’t put couples, gay or straight, in the position of having to defend their marriage against legal challenges from health care providers, insurance companies or government offices.