Kentucky Clerk in Gay Marriage Dispute, Kim Davis, Joining GOP | us news

Kentucky Clerk in Gay Marriage Dispute, Kim Davis, Joining GOP

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis registers as a Republican.

The Kentucky clerk jailed for bucking a federal court order that requires her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples said Friday that she and her family had switched to the Republican Party, many of its members having rallied behind her in recent weeks. “My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?” Davis told Reuters in an interview at a hotel in Washington, where she is being honored Friday by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group. Much was made about the fact that Davis was a registered Democrat earlier this month, at the height of the national discussion about religious freedom Davis stirred. I had already weighed the cost and I knew what I was prepared to do,” Davis said. “When Judge Bunning told the marshals to remand me into custody, I sat there very calmly with just a flood of emotions going through me.” “I walked out of there calmly and as soon as they took me back into the holding cell, I hit my knees [and] I started praying,” she said. “When I went to jail I was treated very fairly. Davis was ordered by a federal judge to issue the licenses but refused, and spent five days in jail for continuing to defy the order, propelling her to folk hero status among some on the religious right.

And it was made all the more confusing when GOP presidential candiates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz joined her at a rally in Grayson, Ky., when she was released from jail after five nights behind bars. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist preacher running for president but trailing badly in the polls, rushed to Davis’ side, visited her in jail and held a religious freedom rally on the jailhouse lawn.

But Davis added that, even if she is now registered as a Republican voter, the idea that she may campaign for GOP candidates remains “kind of far-fetched.” Once incarcerated, Davis’ deputies began issuing marriage licenses again (albeit, altered ones) to all eligible applicants, including same-sex couples. Huckabee addressed her as well during his remarks to the evangelical crowd. “Kim Davis and people like her will never ever go to jail one minute if I’m president of the United States,” he said. What we have asked for all along is a simple accommodation to remove my name and authority and the county clerk’s name and authority off of the marriage license applications,” Davis said. “We’ve made it clear from the beginning that the interpretations of other people is always their own.” “I’ve wondered why would God ever choose a woman like me stand up and defend marriage,” Davis said. “It’s not mine to question because his ways are perfect. Democrats make up 65 percent of the county’s 14,000 registered voters, but Davis’ switch is not a huge surprise because many Kentucky Democrats still represent the party of decades ago, which was long dominated by rural whites with conservative values.

It is by the blood of Jesus that I have been redeemed, I’ve been made whole, I am a new creature.” On Thursday, Davis’ legal team filed a 40-page court document saying Kentucky Gov. The biggest question is whether the licenses issued in the past month could even be considered valid, as Davis never gave permission for her deputies to perform such duties and removed her name and title from the actual forms. But the state’s Democrats have grown frustrated with the national party’s shift on social and environmental issues, embracing gay marriage and abortion rights while acknowledging climate change and supporting new emission standards for coal-fired power plants. Steve Beshear had “commandeered” the county clerk offices and had “usurped control of Kentucky marriage law.” Beshear sent letters to 120 county clerks directing them to issue gay marriage licenses after the Supreme Court handed down its ruling recognizing gay marriage in all 50 states. In a court motion filed Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union said Davis “immediately” began meddling with the licenses that her office was issuing, thus violating the conditions of her release from jail.

The case against Davis is not about marriage licensing, but about forcing her and others to act against their conscience, said attorney Matt Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel, which is representing Davis. “If they really wanted a license, they could have a license, they could drive 30 minutes either direction. But since 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president, Republicans have added 183,635 registered voters in Kentucky while Democrats have added 23,957 during the same time period. Steve Beshear – a Democrat – of “commandeer[ing]” county clerks’ offices when he instructed officials last June to comply with the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling. While the state’s governor and five of its six statewide elected officers are Democrats, all but one of the state’s congressional delegation are Republicans and a Democratic presidential candidate has not won the state since Bill Clinton in 1996.

Davis meanwhile lumps blame for her legal problems on Steve Beshear, the state’s Democratic governor, who refused to call the state legislature for a special session, where lawmakers could hammer out a way to exempt religious clerks from issuing the licenses. But they want the person with the deeply held religious convictions being the one to do it.” The issue is about whether Christian or people of other faiths with deeply held convictions regarding marriage can hold public office, which is bigger than any individual, Staver said. “If Kim Davis resigns, that means if you are a Christian and you believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman — which people have believed through millennium and Jesus spoke about himself in the gospels — that means you better not run for office,” Staver said. “If you’re in office, you better resign.

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