I am a stickler for people getting what is due to them. If you have been wronged, my hope and prayer always is that you find closure. Whatever that looks like for you. I don’t judge when it comes to what enables a person to move on peacefully after a bad situation. There are wrongs in this world that sometimes leave a cripplingly affect on individuals who just want to live their lives. In the same manner that I champion for those wronged to get what they deserve, I vehemently want to see people who do the hurting have their day in court; figuratively and when it applies, literally. That’s why I cannot agree more with the three judges of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to allow a same-sex married couple to sue Kim Davis, the Kentucky Clerk who denied marriage licenses to gay couples in 2015.
If you are not familiar with this story, in a nutshell, an overtly religious county clerk in Kentucky, Davis, used her religious beliefs to justify not signing marriage licenses for newly married gay couples. This situation garnered national attention, put Davis in the ranks of other conservative zealots like Mike Huckabee and the whole situation made her out to be a kind of martyr. David Ermold and David Moore, the married couple who brought the suit again the Rowan county clerk, took a hit when U.S District Judge David Bunning dismissed their case last August because of a technicality (Kentucky governor issued an order that marriage licenses no longer needed a clerk’s signature). As a result, Bunning rendered theirs and several other couples complaints, moot. But recently, three court of appeals judges ruled, pretty much, there’s more to the story.
“We conclude that the district court’s characterization of this case as simply contesting the ‘no marriage licenses’ policy is inaccurate because Ermold and Moore did not seek an injunction — they sought only damages. This action is not a general challenge to Davis’s policy, but rather seeks damages for a particularized harm allegedly suffered by a specific set of plaintiffs.”
This is a big deal. In the world we live today, too many people claiming conservative ideals and values, which many agree are rooted in Christian beliefs, are getting away with treating people in ways that they would not stand for themselves to be treated. Allowing the lawsuit to go forward against someone like Davis, who abused her authority and caused emotional distress to these people, is a step in the right direction. I am here for it, and I hope Ermold and Moore get everything that is due to them.
What Davis did, and continues to do, by trying to get sympathy for her “plight” is dangerous. It is also damaging because it sets a precedent that others like her feel they can follow when faced with a similar situation. I say this a lot in my writing because I want to establish the validity of my perspective on this topic- I know first hand how Republicans and conservatives view the world because I was one for 14 years. The length at which they are willing to go to preserve some extremely biased paradigm is disturbing. Now that we are faced with dealing with a fake Republican in the White House and die hard, conniving, self-serving Republicans in the House and Senate, those of us who believe in equality, equity, access and inclusion have to fight more when they try to enact their belief system on the entire country.
This is not about revenge. It is about letting people who get away with too much know that we are not going to stand for it anymore. We cannot sit idly by, let stuff happen and say, “That’s just how it is.” Davis, who touts the Apostolic Pentecostal faith, a religious sect that I was also a part of during my 14 years as a Republican, is not the victim in this situation. She never was. There was never an attack on this woman. She doesn’t represent truth, pride or Jesus. She is nothing more than an individual caught up in a religious organization that shames women for wearing pants and cutting their hair (among a host of other things). She believes it’s her duty to dispel the “carnal” “worldly” “sinful” culture of America by touting a soapbox of conservative religious rhetoric that has a healthy dose of privilege, entitlement and self- indulgence. Remember the ones supporting Kim Davis’ decision to break the law are the same ones who continue to give Josh Duggar passes, despite him molesting his sisters and their friends and cheating on his wife. The double standard Republicans, conservatives, and overzealous Christians possess is astounding!
This lawsuit needs to happen. People like Davis need to know that using their religion as a crutch to discriminate against those who don’t believe as they do is never a good look.