Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Just do your job!

On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied the request of Rowan County (KY) Clerk Kim Davis for a stay of an order that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her appeals are exhausted, and as of now, her choices are either to do her job and issue marriage licenses to all who seek them under the law, or face being held in contempt.

Now, I happen to think that any two humans who want to live together as married people should be able to do so, and nothing anyone can say would change that opinion, just as nothing is going to change the minds of those who feel otherwise.

Which is fine!  No problem if you don't agree with the Supreme Court.  Lots of people don't agree with lots of Supreme Court decisions.  In Korematsu v. United States, in 1944, a 6-3 decision upheld internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. But 1954's Brown v. Board of Education ruled that separating black and white students in public schools is unconstitutional. That was a unanimous 9-0 vote.

More controversy?  Right here:   Loving v. Virginia, 1967, was a 9-0 decision invalidating state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

To put that in modern terms, 48 years ago, states still had laws saying that black people and white people could not be married. Think that over for a minute. 

And the case that gets dragged out every so often: Roe v. Wade, the 1973 7-2 decision that said women have a constitutional right to an abortion during the first two trimesters.

Certainly controversial, and likely to stay that way.

But I understand that schools are not much for teaching civics as thoroughly as they used to, so many people (including some people who wish to be president) do not know that in the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law.

It's like a baseball game:  they can go to the replay, but when the umpires watching the tapes at baseball headquarters call someone safe or out, the argument ends there. 

Ms Davis is paid by the people of Rowan County to issue licenses, including marriage licenses.  

She happens not to agree with the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

She says that as a Christian, she is following God's authority, so she has been refusing to issue marriage licenses.

If you happen to agree with her stance on this, then surely you wouldn't mind if called 911 to report your house being on fire but the operator said that his Zoroastrian faith included fire worshipping, so he could not countenance putting out the fire... called the local Recreation and Parks office to reserve a soccer field for your child's coed soccer league, only to be told that the local rec supervisor belongs to a faith that forbids mingling between the genders, so no field for you... call the Health inspectors so you can get clearance to open your pork bar-b-q carryout, but the inspector who comes out is opposed to the consumption of pork for reasons owing to both her faith and her belief that pork is unhealthy, so too bad...

Public Service? are in the throes of cardiac arrest but the paramedic who arrives states that as a male he cannot administer life-saving CPR to a person of the opposite gender...

All ludicrous examples, I know, and don't think for a minute that any of those made-up scenarios take place.  They don't, because 911 operators, Rec and Parks staffers, Health inspectors and paramedics are civil servants, who understand that their job is to SERVE CITIZENS, not to impose their religious beliefs, no matter how deeply held, on others.  

And anyone who encourages Ms Davis to continue her foolish, illegal behavior is encouraging foolish, illegal behavior, and that's foolish.

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