Kim Davis and the law

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 3, 2015

For those who haven't been following it, Kim Davis is a Democratic County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage certificates because she considers gay marriage a sin. She's been sued and repeatedly lost. Today, a judge ordered her jailed for contempt of court for refusing to issue the marriage certificates.

I'm of the opinion that issuing a certificate is her job, like it or not, and that her proper course of action as a public official is to resign her position. (This is a completely different situation than all of the bakers, florists, photographers and wedding venues—private sector enterprises all—being forced to offer their services to gay weddings.) In fact, Kevin Williamson's piece over at National Review Online is a pretty good summary of my view on the whole issue.

Having said all that, the delight that my former journalistic colleagues on Facebook and the media in general have taken in Davis' jailing is conveniently hypocritical and disgusting.


Once upon a time, so-called slut-shaming was a big no-no. But the left has taken delight in the fact that Davis has had 3 prior marriages and two children born out of wedlock.

Hypocrite! they scream.

The problem is, she's not a hypocrite, because at the time she was doing all of that, she wasn't a Christian. As the headline on a piece by The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway put it:

Kentucky Clerk Didn’t Follow Christianity Before Converting To It

Yeah, Davis converted to Christianity about four years ago. Her third divorce took place in 2008. For those of you (journalists) who find math difficult, that's at least two years before her conversion to Christianity. Check out Hemingway's piece for a great collection of tweets by journalists who think Davis has a Delorean customized by Doc Brown and should've used it to tell her old self that she'd become a Christian someday.

Defying the law

Once upon a time, defying the law was cool—on this very topic. Nicholas Frankovich over at National Review Online helpfully provided this list of people who ignored the law and never saw the inside of a jail cell.

  • In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of California state law.
  • In 2004, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of New York state law.
  • In 2010, attorney general Jerry Brown declined to answer legal challenges to California’s marriage law, which, after Proposition 8, was that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.” His job was to represent the state of California in legal matters and defend its laws, including those he didn’t like.
  • In 2013, D. Bruce Hanes, an official of Montgomery County, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of Pennsylvania state law.

Of note is the fact that this is the same Gavin Newsom that yesterday posted this gem on Facebook:

Kim Davis and the Law - Gavin Newsom's Amazing lack of self awareness.
Gavin Newsom's Amazing lack of self awareness.

You could count the number of concealed carry permits issued by the San Francisco County Sheriff on Gavin Newsom's watch on your hands, and have plenty of fingers left over.

Frankovich argues that those who applauded Newsom, West, Brown and Hanes for defying a law that they sincerely felt was wrong "must now judge Davis by the same standard." Frankovich is the deputy managing editor of National Review and is old enough to know better. (When I first read that line, I thought he must be a 20-year-old intern.)

If defying the law lands you in jail...

David Harsanyi over at The Federalist points out that if public officials who ignore the law should get thrown in jail (and they should), then we're going to need a few more cells. Barack Obama's repeated circumvention of the democratic process should've landed him in jail long ago, but he should be joined by Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Hillary Clinton and the D.C. police chief who right this second is ignoring a federal judge's order to issue concealed carry permits.

The Federalist's Sean Davis lists some other lawbreaking that needs the attention of local jails for those who are interested.

Finally, I leave you with this truth from Moe Lane on Twitter:


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September 2015



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