Five Bizarre Arguments Kim Davis' Supporters Have Used To Defend Her Lawbreaking

Religious Right activists claimed that they were shocked and stunned this week when a federal judge held Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court after she repeatedly refused court orders to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even after losing her appeal to the Supreme Court.

While the Religious Right has been outraged, many legal observers have wondered how anyone could be surprised that a judge would actually hold Davis accountable for blatantly violating the law. Some have even questioned whether Davis' lawyers at the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel are giving her bad advice and urging her to break the law in order to turn her case into a fundraising bonanza. As one retired judge told Louisville's Courier Journal, “I think you have an ethical responsibility to tell your client she doesn’t have a legitimate cause of action.”

Of course, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver has been urging public officials to defy the Supreme Court since even before the court issued its landmark marriage equality decision. The group acknowledged that the marriage equality ruling would “expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.”

Davis, who identifies as a born-again Christian, doesn’t seem ignorant at all of the fact that she is breaking the law. In fact, she attempted to convince lawmakers to change Kentucky’s laws on marriage licenses in order to suit her demands. When that didn’t happen, Davis went ahead and ordered officials in her county not to issue any marriage licenses to any couples, citing “God’s authority.” According to Davis, “if I left, resigned or chose to retire” from the county clerk position, “I would have no voice for God’s word.”

Davis and her supporters are instead tried to use bizarre legal arguments to back up her case:

1) God’s law trumps U.S. law

Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty Counsel attorney, offered insights into the group’s legal thinking when she delivered a lecture to the Liberty University School of Law, which named Lindevaldsen its interim dean after Staver decided to dedicate more time to his work at Liberty Counsel.

Lindevaldsen told students in a speech titled “Do Government Officials Have Authority to Impose Their Morals on Others?” that any law that is not “consistent with Scripture” — or, more accurately, their interpretation of Scripture — is no law at all, and therefore, officials are obligated to break such laws since “civil government only has the authority that God has established.”

With this reasoning, Liberty Counsel thinks that officials can impose their morals on others as long as they are acting according to their understanding of the Bible, and therefore don’t need to respect the legalization of same-sex marriage because its unbiblical.

“Whether it’s zoning or taxes or marriage or abortion, in those issues, government doesn’t have authority to say that these things are appropriate because they’re contrary to Scripture,” Lindevaldsen said.

In a case involving a child custody dispute between a self-identified “ex-gay” and her former lesbian partner, Liberty Counsel similarly advised their client, the "ex-gay" woman, to break a court-approved custody agreement because, after all, God’s law is superior.

Staver said that Davis should not follow the Obergefell decision as it would violate her oath of office, which, he said, requires her to “not act in contradiction to the moral law of God.” He also told other officials not to respect the ruling because it “directly conflicts with higher law.” As the judge in Davis’ case noted, such arguments would allow Roman Catholic clerks to deny a marriage license to a previously divorced person because the Catholic Church proscribes divorce.

2) Davis was elected before Obergefell, so she’s exempt

In one positively bizarre defense of Davis, Religious Right activist Keith Fournier said that Davis’ oath to uphold the laws only requires her to uphold the laws that were in effect before January 2015, when she was sworn into office.

Some contend that that because Kim Davis works for “the government” she must comply by issuing the license with her name on it. In other words, she loses her right to religious liberty because she has a public position. This fails to consider the crucial fact that when she was elected to her post as the Rowan County Clerk, marriage under Kentucky law was solely between one man and one woman. That was the law she swore to uphold. Then the five oracles of the Supreme Court issued their edict in Obergefell v Hodges, with no basis in the Constitution, past precedent, common sense or the Natural Law.

If this was the case, then anyone who was elected to office before the Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down state bans on interracial marriage, would then be able to refuse to issue marriage licenses to such couples. Likewise, officials who took office Brown v. Board of Education would be allowed to block the integration of schools.

Furthermore, as the appeals court pointed out in this case, the office doesn’t belong to Davis, it belongs to the people of the county:

The injunction operates not against Davis personally, but against the holder of her office of Rowan County Clerk. In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court.

3) Davis is the only clerk obeying the law

Mike Huckabee has been making the case that Davis is the only clerk upholding the law and that it is actually the vast majority of clerks who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who are the ones breaking the law.

As Huckabee said on MSNBC yesterday, marriage equality can only be legal in Kentucky if the legislature passes a same-sex marriage bill that the governor signs into law, adding that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision is invalid because the court “cannot overrule the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God.”

When host Joe Scarborough said that Southern states still had to desegregate their schools after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown, despite the fact that the states still had segregationist laws on the books, Huckabee insisted that “you have to have enabling legislation.”

“The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a statement. “They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.”

Before Obergefell was decided, Staver insisted that a state “does not have to obey” a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality because it would be “so far removed from the Constitution” that it would cause one to ask if the justices have “literally lost their mind.”

Pat Robertson made the same claim, saying that Davis and others are “not obligated” to follow Obergefell.

4) Gays can just drive to another county

Davis and her lawyers argue that all 20,000 Rowan County residents must accommodate Davis’ personal religious views — views that she ordered all deputy clerks to follow — by driving to another county if they want to access government services.

“You drive 30 minutes in any direction in Kentucky and get a marriage license,” Staver said. “You don’t have to force Kim Davis herself to issue the license.”

And what if officials in the neighboring counties join Davis and the other handful of clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses? Staver doesn’t seem to know, as he would likely to defend such clerks as well, insisting that it is more reasonable to let one official disregard the law than to allow taxpayers to receive access to taxpayer-funded services.

5) Anti-religious test for office

While Davis may have exhausted her appeals in the case where couples challenged her refusal to issue them licenses, Liberty Counsel has tried to throw a Hail Mary by filing a lawsuit against Kentukcy's governor, alleging that enforcing the Obergefell is actually unconstitutional since it would impose a religious test as a qualification to hold the office of county clerk.” The group even argued, like Fournier, that issuing marriage licenses would violate Davis' oath and represent anti-Christian discrimination:

19. Before taking office as County Clerk in January 2015, Davis swore an oath to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky “so help me God.” Davis understood (and understands) this oath to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God, natural law, or her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions. Davis also understood (and understands) the constitution and laws she swore to uphold to incorporate the constitutional and other legal protections of all individuals’ rights to live and work according to their consciences, as informed by their sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions, including without limitation such rights she holds in her own individual capacity.

20. Davis’s sincerely held religious belief regarding the definition of “marriage” was perfectly aligned with the prevailing marriage policy in Kentucky at the time she took office, as provided in the Kentucky Constitution, Kentucky statutes, and controlling court decisions, and as effected by the Commonwealth through Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst.



38. Governor Beshear’s targeted and discriminatory marriage policy pronouncements constitute government-imposed pressure on Davis to act contrary to her religious beliefs, and expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.

But the Rowan County office is not Kim Davis’ church or her “business,” as she once referred to it. Davis does not have to offer her personal support or approval to same-sex marriage; in fact, she and her church can remain dutifully opposed to such unions, but she cannot stop the government, which has legalized gay marriage, and county clerk deputies from performing job functions just because she has a personal disagreement.

Mike Huckabee: Government Treating Gitmo Detainees Better Than Kim Davis

Promoting his Tuesday rally in Kentucky defending county clerk Kim Davis, Mike Huckabee told Fox News that the government has been more accommodating to detainees in Guantanamo Bay than to Davis, who was jailed for contempt after violating court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

If gay people want to receive a marriage license, Huckabee said, then they should wait until Election Day to vote for a new county clerk.

Huckabee isn’t the only one bestowing martyrdom status on Davis.

In yet another column defending the Kentucky clerk, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “perhaps one day, students of history will read not only letters from a Birmingham jail, but letters from a Kentucky jail.” He even likened Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated judge who held Davis in contempt of court, to Bull Connor:

 

Federal Judge David Bunning did with a gavel what Bull Connor tried to do with dogs and fire hoses. Please...

Posted by Todd Starnes on Friday, September 4, 2015

 

Barber: Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses 'Would Be The Most Hateful Thing' Kim Davis Could Do

On an upcoming episode of the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver discuss the case of Kim Davis with Matt Barber, who, though he has has reportedly left Liberty Counsel to start his own ultra-right wing website called BarbWire, still regularly appears as Staver's co-host on the organization's daily radio program.

Staver and Barber discussed Liberty Counsel's representation of Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who has been jailed due to her ongoing refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, with Barber declaring that if Davis relents and agrees to issue such licenses, it would be "the most hateful thing that she could do."

If Kim Davis were to put her "put her stamp of approval ... on counterfeit gay marriage," Barber said, "that is the least compassionate, most hateful thing that she could do, to issue same-sex marriage licenses to people who are about to enter into a counterfeit and false institution that is rooted in mortal sin, in the sin of homosexual immorality."

Homosexuality is an "abomination," Barber continued, "and if she were to engage in this, she would be leading others and supporting others in sin, putting her own self in danger of judgment. She wants a clear conscience before she stands before God."

Todd Starnes: Jails Will Soon Fill Up With Christians

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has been at the forefront of the Religious Right’s campaign to turn anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis into a martyr, and appeared on American Family Radio yesterday to denounce the judge who put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals because of her continued violations of the law.

“I warned people of faith that this kind of stuff is coming,” Starnes told “AFA Today” host Crane Durham. “Now we know that it is here and this is a very dangerous and very disturbing development. But quite frankly, you know what, we all knew, Crane, those of us who read our Bibles, we all knew that there was a time coming in this country where the persecution would happen and it seems as though, at least in the case of Mrs. Davis, that time is right now.”

Discussing his recent interview with Davis, in which she said that she wouldn’t resign her position because she plans to use the county office to spread “God’s word” and act as “a vessel God,” Starnes said that Kentucky lawmakers failed to even meet with Davis about legislative remedies for her supposed plight. He added: “I hope that the folks listening to this program in Kentucky will call their state legislators and their representatives right now and demand that they take action to protect other Christians in the state of Kentucky, otherwise I suspect the jails are going to start filling up pretty quickly.”

Rick Wiles: 'Homosexual Gaystapo' Will Murder Christians Like Kim Davis In 'Reign Of Terror'

End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles appears to be just a little bit upset with a judge’s ruling that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis must remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals for consistently violating the law.

Davis had ordered her county office not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and, after the Supreme Court rejected her final appeal, Davis said that she would still continue to deny marriage licenses because she is acting under “God’s authority.”

Wiles stood by Davis yesterday in an epic rant where he claimed that America will soon see massive violence as a result of gay tyranny:

Kim Davis’ imprisonment is only the beginning of the reign of terror by the Obamanista communist regime’s gaystapo. If I am right about America being Mystery Babylon, eventually the blood of the saints must be spilled in the streets, martyrdom of Christian saints is one of the attributes of Mystery Babylon in the Last Days. When Babylon’s economy collapses, so too will its old constitutional republic framework. What will ensue in the aftermath of a massive economic collapse will be bloody and brutal tyrannical repression of Christianity by the Jesus-hating homosexual gaystapo. Just like the militant homosexuals who terrorized Germany in the 1930s through the Nazis, the National Socialist Party, the Democratic Party is the new National Socialist Party, the Nazis.

The “Trunews” host later added that America may soon face a military attack from China and Russia as divine punishment for its treatment of Davis and for the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

As Wiles explained, the U.S. government has effectively turned into Sodom and Gomorrah and will consequently be punished. 

Glenn Beck Warns That 'God Will Take His Mighty Arm' And Wipe America Off The Map

Glenn Beck long ago transitioned from a self-described "rodeo clown" into a full-blown apocalyptic End Times preacher, so it was no surprise to see that his television program last night consisted mostly of him delivering a sermon to his studio audience warning that God is going to utterly wipe this nation out for passing the Iran nuclear deal and for failing to close down Planned Parenthood.

Preaching once again from the book of Jeremiah, Beck declared that "history books will remember us as people who chose death over life" and proclaimed that when future generations look at what caused "our demise," they will point to the Iran deal and Planned Parenthood as black scars on our record.

Beck went on to relate that, as a Mormon, he believes that "the Constitution is divinely inspired and that this land is sacred," and so God's warning through Jeremiah to Israel applies equally to America today. As such, Beck warned that, just like ancient Israel, "if we go awry, God will take his mighty arm and he will wipe it clean."

And that is exactly what is about to happen.

Kim Davis' Lawyer Invokes Nazi Gas Chambers, Warns Of Massive Persecution

On Wednesday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, founder of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel, compared Davis to a Jew living in Nazi Germany.

Following a judge’s order yesterday that Davis remain in custody of U.S. Marshals for continuing to defy the courts by refusing to issue marriage licenses in her county, Staver appeared on the Family Research Council's “Washington Watch” program, where he once again brought up Nazi tyranny.

“Washington Watch” host Craig James, after mentioning his own lawsuit against Fox Sports for terminating his job as a football analyst over comments he made mocking gay rights, claimed that America is now on a “slippery slope” of anti-Christian persecution. Legal organizations like Liberty Counsel, he said, need to “confront people who are breaking the law" — which, in James’ mind, apparently does not include Davis.

Staver then accused Davis’ critics of turning America into Nazi Germany: “Back in the 1930s, it began with the Jews, where they were evicted from public employment, then boycotted in their private employment, then stigmatized and that led to the gas chambers. This is the new persecution of Christians here in this country.”

The Liberty Counsel chairman has previously claimed that respecting gay marriage laws is no different than handing Jews over to the Nazis: “You cannot obey something that is contrary to God's law. And we would easily say, well, what would happen if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany? All of us would say we wouldn't do that, we wouldn't listen to that. Well, we're about ready to walk into the moment.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/3/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/3/15

  • "Respected prophet" Cindy Jacobs says that "historic changes will take place in the coming days that will be a prophetic catalyst for a great awakening."
  • Laurie Higgins has some thoughts: "One’s sex cannot change, which is a fact with which even leftists agree. Bruce Jenner is not now, nor ever has been, nor ever will be a woman. He can pretend and with enough money the mask and costume he wears to the cultural masquerade may become increasingly convincing. But to aid and abet his delusional desires, he needs to eliminate all glimmers of truth."
  • Glenn Beck is, yet again, ashamed to be an American citizen.
  • FRC prays against Planned Parenthood: "May God give congressional leaders courage to stand up to the evil of Planned Parenthood. May they lead to permanently prevent Americans from being forced to fund Planned Parenthood! "
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer blasts Ben Carson for supporting civil unions: "As a medical professional who is committed to restoring human health in any way possible, he should be opposing the normalization of sodomy with every fiber of his being rather than looking for a way to accommodate it. As a medical doctor, he should no more support civil unions than he would support the normalization of IV drug abuse."

'There Will Be Blood': Bryan Fischer And Caller Agree The Kim Davis Controversy Is 'A Pivotal Point In American History'

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer spent the first hour of his radio broadcast today voicing his outrage at the news that Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis had been held in contempt of court and taken into custody for her ongoing violation of court rulings ordering the county clerk's office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Fischer was not alone it his outrage, as he took a call from a listener who declared that conservatives are tired of "being pushed back to a cliff" and called for "a massive national demonstration of solidarity" with Davis, warning that if 10 million people do not come together and "flood Washington, D.C.," then all will be lost.

"The media belongs to the Antichrist," the caller said. "We're at the point now where there must be a massive national upheaval. If we cannot have it, I will predict, I will prophesy to you, there will be blood and it will be massive."

Fischer agreed, declaring that "this is a pivotal point in American history" and asserting that Davis will "wind up being the person on which American history turns."

Asserting that this is proof that "every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty," Fischer proclaimed that every GOP presidential candidate must now be "pushed to the wall, backed into a corner" and forced to state a position on the controversy because this issue is now "the dividing line in the GOP nomination campaign."

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious