Mrs. Kim Davis went to jail, and now Kentucky county clerks are giving out marriage licenses.
I have some empathy for Mrs. Davis as a human being living (if erroneously, in my view) according to her scruples, but I believe more strongly in marriage equality.
I try to remember that she had
A) every opportunity to quit her job, and
B) a chance to let others issue the licenses without her personally doing it (she refused, since it would still have her name on it).
In America, we have a lot of freedoms: of speech, of religion, of the press. One freedom we don’t have – and shouldn’t have – is the freedom to “make things be so” simply because we will it. The culture has changed – as marriage equality advocates predicted – and while no one will be forced to specifically endorse what they don’t believe in, they will be forced out of the way if necessary.
Please keep that in mind, as we go forward. She was not forced to do something she didn’t believe in. That would be wrong. But she was removed from a job she took an oath to do when she failed to uphold that oath.
Supporters claim she’s looking for martyrdom, but in fifty years, I doubt Mrs. Davis will be much of a martyr at all. I think her name will be listed below even people like George Wallace. Just a footnote of a footnote. Another stone wall eventually subsumed by the tide of history.