In Kentucky, one county clerk is standing up bravely for what she believes in: hating gay people. Kim Davis has quickly been turned into an artificial folk hero thanks to anti-gay organizations bussing in supporters and handing her awards for refusing to do her job, which is to give marriage licenses to people who want them, even if she doesn’t like those people.
Fundamentalist Christians in the United States have made a trend out of not doing your job, like pharmacists refusing to give women medicine because it may also prevent them from getting pregnant, or bakers not selling cakes because they may be eaten by gay people. On the scale of how fucked up this is, I’d say Davis falls somewhere in the middle of those two other incidents: probably no one will die from not getting a marriage license (though I guess it could happen if they were marrying to get their spouse’s medical insurance), but without a marriage license they definitely wouldn’t even be able to order a wedding cake from a homophobe, let alone be denied one.
Amazingly, Federal District Court Judge David Bunning has yet to fire Davis for failing to do her job, though he has ordered her to do that job. An order that she is continuing to defy, only heightening her folk hero status amongst the other homophobes.
The bigots are pretending this is a case of religious freedom: it’s against her religion to do her job, so she shouldn’t be fired. I would personally love to see them argue that when it comes to people with other religions doing other jobs. For instance, what if you get in a car accident, lose a lot of blood, and find that your nurse at the ER is a Jehovah’s Witness? Blood transfusions are against her religion, and you can’t fire someone for not doing their job due to their religion, right?
Or what if your clerk at the DMV is a fundamentalist Muslim, and you happen to be a woman? Issuing driving licenses to women is against his religion, and you can’t fire someone for not doing their job due to their religion, right?
I certainly sympathize with Ms. Davis, of course. If I were a county clerk in bumfuck Kentucky and two homophobic bigots came in looking to get married, I’d be very tempted to exercise the tiny amount of power I have in my otherwise pathetic life to make their lives just a little bit worse. But I wouldn’t, because I know that if I did that, I’d get fired, even if I pointed out that my religion is secular humanism, which I interpret to mean that I should not bring joy to the lives of assholes or else I risk going to humanist hell, which, ironically, would be a fundamentalist church service at 8am on a nice Sunday morning.
So I wouldn’t. And neither should Kim Davis, bigot folk hero.