Yesterday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail and almost immediately took the stage at a campaign rally for Mike Huckabee, arm-in-arm with the GOP presidential candidate and with her attorney, Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel.
This is the moment that Staver has been waiting for. The former dean of Liberty University’s School of Law has repeatedly urged public officials to break the law when it comes to gay marriage, and with Davis he finally has his test case.
Much of the public attention on Staver has focused on his bizarre, and so far unsuccessful, legal argument that Davis should be able to order her entire county clerk’s office to follow her personal religious views, even in defiance of several court orders. Staver has gone all-in on the Religious Right’s claim that LGBT rights is leading to the persecution of Christians, claiming that obeying gay marriage law is tantamount to handing over a Jewish person to Nazi enforcers and comparing Davis to victims of the Holocaust.
But it’s important to remember that when Staver is not playing the victim of LGBT rights, he is spouting virulently anti-LGBT rhetoric, going so far as to suggest that supporters of gay rights are ineligible to hold public office and defending laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad.
As these 10 anti-gay comments make clear, Staver isn’t seeking a live-and-let-live world, but rather one where the government is a religious tool of conservative Christians and LGBT people are forced into the shadows.
1) Labels Gays ‘Demonic’
For Staver, the battle against gay rights is part of a spiritual war, since he believes that the gay rights movement is “doing the bidding of the Devil” and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and “demonic.”
2) Defends Bans On Homosexuality
While he has portrayed himself as a defender of freedom and liberty at home, Staver has actually praised moves in Russia, India, Malawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. The group also defended U.S. anti-sodomy laws by citing [PDF] a satirical essay that joked about how gays “will sodomize your sons.”
3) Compares Gays To Terrorists
The Liberty Counsel founder has claimed that there is no need to negotiate or compromise with gay rights supporters because they are acting like terrorists.
“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game,” he said of gay rights advocates during the debate about Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law. “It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist.”
4) Thinks Gays Will Force Us To Be Gay
Prior to the 2012 election, Staver warned that the Obama administration was planning to impose “in-your-face forced homosexuality” upon the nation.
He also charged that society would “just simply cease to exist” under marriage equality.
5) Paints Gays As Child Molesters
Staver, who once warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, recently claimed that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to “allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts” will lead to “all kinds of sexual molestation” as the organization transforms into “a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”
6) Wants Gay Rights Supporters Out Of Office
Staver had strong words for members of Vermont’s legislature who voted for a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying that they were unfit for office: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.”
7) Warns Gay Marriage Will Cause A Crime Wave
Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime:
He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls…. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”
8) Blames Gay Marriage For Bank Failure
During the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, Staver said that the failure of two of the country’s biggest banks, Washington Mutual and Wachovia, was a price they had to pay for supporting gay marriage: “Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.”
9) Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Civilization
Staver believes that marriage equality will “has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty” as it leads to “the unraveling of the United States.”
“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said in an interview last year. “It really is, it’s that serious.”
In 2013, Staver claimed that gay marriage would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
10) Wants War To Fight Gay Marriage
Staver’s opposition to gay marriage is so fierce that he has even threatened to wage a revolution to fight it:
This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.
He said that while he would prefer a non-violent revolution, “you never know what happens.”
Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on what the committee’s Republican leadership called “the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest abortion provider” was supposed to amplify the Center for Medical Progress’ recent smear campaign against Planned Parenthood. But seeing as neither a representative from Planned Parenthood nor from the Center for Medical Progress was invited to testify, it turned into a catch-all discussion of various efforts to turn back reproductive rights.
Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican, used his time at the hearing to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and to push his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House earlier this year.
Franks said that legal abortion after 20 weeks — a point at which only a tiny percentage of abortions take place — is “the worst human rights atrocity in the history of the United States,” claiming that many fetuses aborted after 20 weeks “cried and screamed as they died, but because it was amniotic fluid going over the vocal chords instead of air, we couldn’t hear them.”
“What is so liberating about brutally and painfully dismembering living, helpless little human babies?” he asked.
Claiming that he was “protecting these little babies and their mothers” against the “evil acts” of legal abortion and Planned Parenthood, Franks declared, “The sands of time should blow over this Capitol dome before we give Planned Parenthood another dime of taxpayer money.”
Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who barred her county office from issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
Perkins, who usually loves to talk about the supposed rise of Islamic law in America , dodged Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s question about whether a Muslim county clerk could deny a marriage license to an interfaith couple, saying that it is up to the voters to decide whether that Muslim clerk should keep his or her position.
Perkins also claimed that there is no religious objection to interracial marriage because “interracial marriage is very difficult to point to in scripture.” Public opposition to interracial marriage was actually much higher when the Supreme Court struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia than opposition to same-sex marriage is today, and many of the Religious Right leaders of that day denounced interracial marriage as unbiblical. As the trial judge in the Loving case said: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
In fact, Perkins attended Liberty University, an evangelical school founded by Jerry Falwell, an interracial marriage opponent who got his start in politics by attempting to stop the federal government from stripping Bob Jones University of its tax-exempt status over the school’s ban on interracial dating.
“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” Falwell said of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in language reminiscent of anti-gay preachers today. “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”
Perkins also falsely claimed that Davis is not barring her deputy clerks from issuing marriage licenses.
Kelly: You know the argument on the other side though. What if somebody goes in there and says, my sincerely held religious beliefs and now we're back in 1952 say, blacks and whites shouldn't get married. And therefore, I don't care that the Supreme Court said it's legal, I object and therefore, no.
Perkins: Well, it's much different. You have a long standing orthodox view about marriage in the Bible. The issue of interracial marriage is very difficult to point to in scripture. Are there some that hold that view? Yes. But it is --
Kelly: What about Muslims? What about Muslims who say, a Muslim man may not marry a Christian woman and therefore you applying to me on the Muslim clerck? I'm not giving you that marriage license.
Perkins: If -- are you saying if there is a Muslim and clerk that --
Kelly: The Muslim clerk says, I want a religious accommodation -- how many accommodations can we grant?
Perkins: Right. In this particular case. What you have are the voters of this district, of this region of the country that elected her as the clerk. If they don't like what she is doing they can kick her out. It is not up to some unelected judge to impose his views on her and hold her in contempt of basically whatever he wants.
Kelly: And she may yet be if somehow she interferes with future licenses to be issued by the deputies although it doesn't sound like she is going to do that if they changed the issue.
Perkins: Well, here is all she wants. All she wants is to have her name off the license. She is not saying nobody in my office can issue this. She's saying, I just don't want my name --
Last night on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Ben Carson defended Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ decision to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses because she has religious objections to gay marriage.
Ironically, Carson said that gays are trying to force their “way of life” on Davis: “I don’t actually believe that they have the right to force their way of life upon everybody else, nor would I want to force my way of life upon everybody else.” Of course, it is actually Davis who is using a public office to impose her religious views on others, and gay couples are only asking that she follow the law.
When host Megyn Kelly asked Carson if he believes that a Muslim county clerk should have a right to “refuse a marriage license to Muslims who want to marry Christians,” the GOP presidential candidate said that Christians can cite their religious beliefs to refuse marriage licenses because “this is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana claimed yesterday that people are being put in jail in the U.S. because they “disagree with gay marriage,” even as Hillary Clinton remains “one email away from going to jail.”
When Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway asked Jindal about Clinton’s apology for use of a private email server while at the State Department, the Republican presidential candidate replied, “I thought she was apologizing for this failed foreign policy, I thought she was apologizing for Benghazi, for failing to stand with Israel, for allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. She’s got a lot to apologize for.”
Jindal contrasted Clinton with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly held by U.S. Marshals when she was found in contempt of court for barring her office from issuing marriage licenses, which he claimed shows that you can be put in jail if “you disagree with gay marriage.” (Back in 2009, Jindal took a very different tack with a justice of the peace who cited his personal beliefs in refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, demanding that the official lose his job.)
“Here’s where we are in our country today,” he said. “If you disagree with gay marriage, they put you in jail, as you see what happened in Kentucky, and yet if you mishandle national security information you’re allowed to run for president. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live in.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday blamed his state’s high teen pregnancy rate, its third-in-the-nation poverty rate and its sexually transmitted infection crisis on Planned Parenthood, claiming that the women’s health provider, which operates two clinics in the state, had failed to make “things better.”
Jindal, in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway, reacted to a Des Moines Register editorial that criticized him for cutting off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood in his state in the wake of recent smear videos. The newspaper’s editorial board notes that few states have a greater need for Planned Parenthood’s services, including affordable STI tests and treatments and contraception than Louisiana, which has some of the highest teen pregnancy and STI rates in the countries, and some of the nation’s worst poverty.
Planned Parenthood's two Louisiana clinics conduct tens of thousands of STI tests and other health services each year; neither provides abortions.
But Jindal insisted that his state’s abysmal public health and poverty record is just proof that Planned Parenthood is “awful at what they do.”
“If they’re doing such a great job, why aren’t these things better?” he asked. “We should cancel their contract for no other reason, just that they’re awful at what they do.”
Yesterday, a federal judge released Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis from custody after deputy clerks in her office began issuing marriage licenses. Davis had ordered the deputy clerks not to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage because she said doing so would violate her religious beliefs.
Davis’ release came just in time for a Mike Huckabee campaign rally that was scheduled to take place outside the jail where she was being held.
After leading Davis out to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger,” the Republican presidential candidate said that the Kentucky clerk’s stand could save America from the threat of “the tyranny of one branch of government.” Just as divine intervention started and sustained America, Huckabee said, “God showed up and he showed up in the form of an elected Democrat named Kim Davis.”
Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that the judge’s decision to release Davis from custody was nothing short of a miracle: “I think it is a God of miracles that we saw act in getting Kim Davis out of jail. But her being in jail brought attention to something that many of us have warned about: the criminalization of Christianity.”
On his “Generations Radio” program yesterday, far-right Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson praised anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for her “courage” in standing up to “the forces of darkness.” Swanson said he is thankful that Davis is upholding “the laws of God” by refusing to issue marriage licenses in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
“Anybody that tries to approve of the absolute worst possible abomination on planet Earth and give a marriage license to homosexuals is violating the laws of God,” Swanson said.
Swanson went on to condemn the governor of Kentucky, along with every other governor in the United States, for lacking the courage to stand up to the Supreme Court and offer support to Kim Davis. According to Swanson, if the governors abide by the Supreme Court ruling and “refuse to act as ministers of God,” they are placing the Supreme Court above the word of God and therefore “they will go to Hell.”
“They have their place in the lake of fire,” he said. “These magistrates will go to Hell if they do not assume the courage to stand up against the Supreme Court of the United States and fear God, the God of Heaven and Earth over the Supreme Court of the United States, they will go to Hell. And it’s hard to imagine that all 50 governors of all 50 states are on their way, but if they are cowardly, if they are in a position of authority and refuse to act as ministers of God, they will go to Hell.”
Swanson also revealed his plan to invite Davis to his National Religious Liberties Conference, which will take place in Iowa in November.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is incensed that Judge David Bunning, the son of a former Republican U.S. Senator who identifies as a Roman Catholic and personally opposed the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality ruling, decided to enforce the law when it came to Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to let her county office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Starnes told “AFA Today” host Crane Durham yesterday that the judge should have instead upheld the teachings of the Catholic church that gay marriage is wrong.
What gets me about Judge Bunning, I saw a profile piece over the weekend and they said that he is a devout Catholic man who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue. So what does that tell me, Crane? It tells me this man is not a man of strong character if in fact he ruled against the basic tenets of his own faith. So I think we are dealing with a lot of unscrupulous characters here.
Starnes’ insistence that the judge cite Catholic teaching over constitutional law in this matter, and that his refusal to do so shows that he lacks character and is an “unscrupulous” individual, reveals a lot about how the Religious Right views the Davis case. (Ironically, it is usually Religious Right activists who allege that “activist judges” are putting personal feelings ahead of the law).
Starnes believes that the judge should have sidestepped the U.S. Constitution and imposed his personal religious beliefs on the people in his courtroom, just as Kim Davis imposed her personal religious beliefs on the people seeking a marriage license from the county.
But the courthouse isn’t Bunning’s church, just as the county clerk’s office isn’t Davis’ church.
It seems that those supporting Davis believe that public officials should make sure that everyone else in the country has to follow their personal reading of God’s law, as long as that personal interpretation of God’s law corresponds with the political agenda of the Religious Right.
Parody Video from 9th Grader Marks Second Weekly
Prize Winner in Democracy for All Video Contest
Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the second of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.
The winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is a parody video titled ‘Democramole’ submitted by 9th grade student Simon Lundquist from Falls Church, Virginia. The video highlights the inequity in our country’s campaign finance system by telling the fictitious story of two brothers, one of whom is working to control the price of guacamole through campaign contributions to the disadvantage of the other.
Click here to see ‘Democramole’: http://democracyforall.com/entries/democramole/
Last week, a spoken-word rap tying corruption in the chemical industry to lobbying and campaign contributions that hijack the political system from everyday Americans won the first weekly, 1,000 prize.
From when the contest launched in August until December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.
“Simon’s video boils down our broken and complex campaign finance system in a way that is creative, fun and accessible,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “Humor and creativity are an important part of this contest - and vital parts of making sure legislators know the public is ready for the Democracy for All Amendment.”
“The videos in this contest have the capability to influence the future of our democracy and give the next generation's activists, innovators, and dreamers a chance to get their voices heard,” added contest winner, Simon Lundquist, who hopes to make videos professionally in the future.
Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/
The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 137 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.
Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.
Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. Marge Baker and Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Drew Courtney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pat Robertson once again hailed Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who is barring her county office from issuing marriage licenses, as a hero for challenging the “criminalization of Christianity” in a country that “was founded as a Christian nation.” The “700 Club” host said today that a judge’s decision to temporarily put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals for repeatedly breaking the law proves that now anyone can be sent to prison just for their faith.
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he claimed. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.”
“Kim Davis is not exactly that champion we’d all want to stand up for our beliefs but nevertheless she did it and she’s the heroine of the piece, but there will be many, many others,” he said.
Somehow, Robertson himself has avoided a prison sentence, despite the alleged criminalization of Christianity in America.
Today, conservative reality TV stars Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson will be addressing a rally headlined by Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck in opposition to the Iran nuclear accord.
With such an all-star lineup, it may be easy to miss that one of the rally’s sponsors is none other than the Center for Security Policy, a far-right group led by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney’s role in organizing an event headlined by the likes of Cruz, Beck and Palin — who all believe that Sharia law is coming to America — may be fitting, considering that Gaffney is one of the most unintentionally hilarious right-wing conspiracy theorists out there:
2) Obama Is A Secret Muslim!
Gaffney is positively convinced that Obama is not only bolstering radical Islamists but is also “talking like one and perhaps believing like one,” suggesting that “he isn’t the Christian he claims to be.” He has also alleged that Obama has “a profound affinity for” Islamism and wrote that “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.”
3) President Obama Bringing Sharia Law
In the run-up to the 2012 election, Gaffney accused the Obama administration of supporting a United Nations resolution that would have legitimized blasphemy laws. In reality, the Obama administration actually forcefully opposed the resolution in question, with the president personally speaking out against blasphemy laws during a United Nations address.
But that didn’t stop Gaffney from claiming that the exact opposite had happened and warning that the president would begin to ban anti-Islamic speech in the U.S. as he pushes “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies, that is to say suppressing freedom of expression in this country which is our constitutional right.”
“President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith,” he wrote, warning that Obama has “brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such 'slanders' be prohibited and criminalized.” By giving “policymaking and advisory” roles to “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney claimed, Obama is going to try to “restrict your freedom of expression.”
Gaffney, who has likened Obama to Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, suggested last year that Obama would cave to “stealth jihadist groups” and allow for the criminalization of anti-Islamic speech on the internet.
4) Chuck Hagel Is A Secret Agent
Back in 2013, as Sen. Ted Cruz was wondering out loud if Chuck Hagel, then the nominee to serve as U.S. secretary of defense, was secretly working for North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Gaffney was just asking if Hagel was in fact be an Iranian secret agent.
“You couldn’t find a guy who has been more active in terms of promoting the interests of Iran at the expense of the United States than Chuck Hagel other than somebody who is actually an Iranian agent,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that he is, I don’t know, but I certainly think that’s the point of comparison here because it’s almost that full-throated.”
5) Huma Abedin Is A Muslim Brotherhood Agent
Gaffney helped engineer the witch hunt taken up by several GOP congressmen including then-Rep. Michele Bachmann against Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, and other Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Gaffney claimed that Abedin “has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and was part of “ this enemy inside the wire.”
“Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” he said.
6) Restore HUAC
In order to find all of these Muslim Brotherhood agents who have infiltrated the U.S. government, Gaffney said that we need “a new House Anti-American Activities Committee” to find the “treasonous” actors inside the administration.
7) Chris Christie Committed Treason
Gaffney was very offended in 2011 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie derided the “crazy” rhetoric about Sharia law coming to the U.S. In fact, he was so offended that he thought Christie could be committing “misprision of treason,” or the act of concealing treasonous acts against the U.S.
8) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The GOP
Gaffney believes that “folks with the Muslim Brotherhood associations” have been “active even to this day in conservative circles,” particularly within the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. His claim that the ACU has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood even got him banned from CPAC, the group’s annual conference, after the organization released a report debunking his claims that conservative leaders Grover Norquist and Suhail Kahn are Muslim Brotherhood agents. Gaffney also tried to convince Beck to leave the NRA in protest of Norquist’s membership in the group’s board, forcing the NRA to open an investigation into Norquist’s supposed Islamist ties.
But like all of Gaffney’s other conspiracy theories, this one didn’t exactly pan out as Norquist was easily re-elected to the group’s board of directors.
Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ attempt to block her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples has inspired Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who writes in a column today that Rowan County should become “a ‘sanctuary county’ where the biblical view of marriage continues to be honored and respected.”
However, Schlafly writes in WorldNetDaily, judicial tyrants are instead sending Davis to jail “merely for abiding by state law and the Bible.”
When the Supreme Court ruled by the narrowest possible margin that Kentucky’s definition of marriage is unconstitutional, the Court’s decision was qualified by its assurance that religious freedom would not be jeopardized. “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection,” the Court solemnly intoned on June 26.
In the Appalachian hills of eastern Kentucky, one brave woman is testing whether Justice Anthony Kennedy really meant it when he wrote those words. But the local federal judge for eastern Kentucky, David Bunning, wrongly sent Kim Davis to jail for her beliefs, without respecting or accommodating her sincere Christian beliefs.
It is not “rule of law” to jail someone based on judge-made law; it is “rule by judges.” Kim Davis is not committing civil disobedience, because she has not violated any law. She was arrested, humiliated with a mug shot and jailed, merely for abiding by state law and the Bible.
When the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must license same-sex unions on the same terms as marriage, the court was implicitly declaring that Christianity and the Bible are wrong. If San Francisco can be a sanctuary city, let’s allow Rowan County, Kentucky, to be a “sanctuary county” where the biblical view of marriage continues to be honored and respected.
Linda Harvey of Mission America agrees, calling in her own WorldNetDaily column for such sanctuary cities to not only ban same-sex marriage but also prohibit gay pride parades and sexual reassignment surgery. Because “family life would be much healthier and safer in these cities,” Harvey thinks “the trend would be contagious as people share their positive experiences with friends and relatives across the country”:
Since we are beginning to see violations of constitutional rights based on objections to homosexuality as marriage, I believe there’s a clear precedent for establishing sanctuary cities for authentic, lawful, man/woman marriage.
Think about how great life would be in those cities. After all, unlike the defiance of immigration law, these cities would be upholding the actual law under our actual Constitution, not the imaginary one in the mind of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
So, why not cities that uphold a standing, just law? Family life would be much healthier and safer in these cities. Keep out the vile “gay-pride” parades as well as harassment lawsuits against bakers and florists. And how about no pro-homosexual lessons in school, falsely implying that some people are born homosexual, or born to mutilate themselves by sex-change surgery? Also, no ban on counseling for teens who have same-sex attractions.
Of course, such cities would not be without challenges. They would be targets for dirty tricks, phony “hate crimes,” special sections on “gay apartheid” by the New York Times and so on. The formulaic fables and drama, based on no facts but lots of screeching, can be composed now in advance.
We are not unaware of the schemes of Satan, nor of Saul Alinsky adherents.
It will take a courageous city council to take this step, yet the trend would be contagious as people share their positive experiences with friends and relatives across the country.
Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign organized a rally this afternoon in front of the jail where anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was being held in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Huckabee brought along with him not only Davis’ attorney, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, but also Religious Right leaders including Brian Brown, Rick Scarborough, Tony Perkins and the Benham brothers. GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin also addressed the rally and Huckabee’s 2016 rival Ted Cruz met with Davis upon her release.
As fate would have it, Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger.”
After briefly losing her composure, a teary-eyed Davis thanked God and the crowd, beseeching attendees to keep up the fight. Huckabee then closed things out by claiming that pastors and school administrators may soon end up in prison for opposing gay marriage, even though that is not the reason that Davis was put in the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Spotted at Mike Huckabee's Kim Davis rally pic.twitter.com/RBDO7JV229— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 8, 2015
I don't get it pic.twitter.com/6MPkHnSY02— daveweigel (@daveweigel) September 8, 2015
As Religious Right activists continue to compare anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to actual victims of oppression such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Dietrich Boenheffer, Jan Huss and Holocaust victims, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins decided to partake in the fun, telling “Washington Watch” listeners last week that Davis is much like Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was imprisoned for leaving Islam for Christianity.
“A year ago, we were working for a young, 27-year-old woman who was in prison in a Third World country because of her faith, Meriam Ibraham,” Perkins said. “I never thought, less than a year later, that I would be working on behalf of a woman in the United States of America imprisoned by her government because of her faith in Christ. That’s where we’ve come.”
Perkins also claimed that the U.S. Marshals and county prison officials “should have refused” to follow a federal judge’s finding that Davis was in contempt of court for refusing to obey court orders that her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
He said that Davis and others have no obligation to follow “laws that have no moral foundation that are actually in contradiction to moral law and truth.”
Liberty Counsel, the radical anti-LGBT group representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her crusade to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, has been having a field day in trying to profit off Davis’ detention, going so far as to compare her to a Jewish person living under Nazi tyranny and conjure up images of the gas chambers.
One Liberty Counsel attorney active in the case, Harry Mihet, recently spoke at a rally outside the jail where Davis is being held in contempt, where he invoked Martin Luther King Jr. to defend Davis, claiming that the clerk will never resign from her post:
KIM DAVIS UPDATE | MESSAGE FROM JAIL through her Attorney. Like, Comment and Share to Spread the Word! #freekimdavis #KimDavis #FreeKimPosted by Federico Freddie Hidalgo on Monday, September 7, 2015
Mihet also appeared on American Family Radio’s “Sandy Rios In The Morning” yesterday to discuss the case, comparing a judge’s decision to put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals after he found her in contempt of court to the massive persecution Christians faced in Romania under the brutal Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.
Reflecting on Ceaușescu’s attempt to push the church underground and round up Christians, Mihet said that “never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that the day would come that I would have to represent an American citizen jailed for her convictions.”
The way Mike Huckabee sees it, the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was “illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful” and thus Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is actually the only clerk in Kentucky, and possibly America, who is following the law by denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As Huckabee said on MSNBC last week, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell has not yet come into effect because “you have to have enabling legislation” and neither Congress nor the Kentucky legislature have passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage.
Huckabee seems not to have considered the far-reaching implications of his legal theory, which, if correct, would mean that thousands of public officials across the country are violating the law by failing to enforce outdated codes that have been left on the books after being struck down by the courts.
The state of Georgia, for instance, only repealed its school segregation laws in 2005, more than 50 years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Surely, Huckabee doesn’t think that such laws should have been implemented for decades after Brown v. Board of Education was decided.
Similarly, while the Supreme Court struck down state bans on interracial marriage in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, Alabama only repealed its invalid anti-miscegenation law in 2000 following a popular referendum.
In an act of defiance that may be worthy of Huckabee’s commendation, the Louisiana legislature voted overwhelmingly last year to keep on the books the state’s “crimes against nature” law — which bans consensual oral and anal sex between people of any gender but had been used to target LGBT people — after fierce lobbying from Religious Right groups, even though the law had been overturned by the courts years earlier. This year, a Baton Rouge police officer arrested two gay men for violating the law, but his police department, recognizing that the law is not in effect, apologized to the men and didn’t press charges.
Of course, Huckabee doesn’t get to become the authority in America who gets to decide what God’s law says and which U.S. laws it trumps, just as Davis doesn’t get to use a county office to impose her personal religious views on others.
Seeing that Davis has said that she would never recognize gay marriage because, in her view, it violates God’s law, even if Congress passed a law legalizing gay marriage nationwide, Davis would still feel justified in ignoring it...and we bet she would still win Huckabee’s support.
On Friday, Mike Huckabee appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program to defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was found in contempt of court after repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses following the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Speaking with FRC President Tony Perkins, who will be joining the former Arkansas governor at a rally in defense of Davis today, Huckabee said that Davis’ rights have been “trampled upon by those who practice judicial tyranny.”
“I wonder if the president would be willing to trade some terrorists to get her out of jail,” Perkins joked. “It’d be nice if he would,” Huckabee said. “Bowe Bergdahl was traded for terrorists.”
Huckabee went on to say that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have been “accommodated in every way and they were terrorists in our custody, yet Kim Davis is not given an accommodation of her faith and that’s why I say it is absolutely the criminalization of Christianity.”
Huckabee also told Perkins that Kim Davis’ case proves that gay marriage has an impact on all of us, claiming that now anyone who opposes same-sex marriage “may end up going to jail.”
“This is a county clerk who is in jail this weekend without bail, let me point out, because she believed that her faith was more important than following an illegal, unconstitutional and, as yet, an unlawful decision by the Supreme Court,” Huckabee said. “Congress hasn’t made a law yet that says there is same-sex marriage…. This federal judge is trying to enforce something that does not exist yet.”
Of course, Davis is not in jail because she opposes gay marriage, but because she has been held in contempt of court for consistently breaking the law. Requiring her to allow her office to perform its official duties for taxpayers in no way requires her to approve of same-sex marriage.
The GOP presidential candidate went on to say that Davis’ case shows that the government will soon imprison pastors or “the leader of a youth group that refuses to let transgendered [sic] people go and sleep in the same dorm at a church camp.”