Our Nation's Laws Apply To Everyone - Part 1

In the news recently is the story of a woman, the county clerk of Rowan County, KY - Kim Davis - who was jailed for comtempt of court for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. Ms. Davis cites her deeply held religious beliefs that the gay lifestyle, indeed, violates her belief system. The court cited that, by law, gays may not be discriminated against.

People on the conservative side of the political spectrum are all "up in arms" citing a travesty of justice. People on the progressive side are applauding the decision as an anti-discrimination "win".

Of course, both sides can't be correct. And, as usual, this type of thing is not as simple as it appears.

This story centers around the recent Supreme Court decision re: the right of gays to marry vs. the 1st Amendment's statement, "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion. And, this is where it gets a little complicated.

Let's first look a bit at the religious aspects of the argument. The Judeo-Christian Bible is often used to support the anti gay sentiment. Specifically, most often is quoted Leviticus 20:13 which states that gays should be put to death. However, the Bible also states "Thou Shalt Not Murder" - Exodus 20:13. So, which Bible statement is to be followed by the strictly religious? Yes, I know. Doing what the Bible says is not strictly "murder". Try that one as a legal defense in this Country and see what it gets you.

That does NOT mean the woman is not entitled to envoke her 1st Amendment rights. She was not trying to kill anyone, after all. She was attempting to live by her personal convictions.

Hold on to that for a minute and let's discuss the US Constituion.

The US Constitution is totally silent on this entire issue independent of Supreme Court rulings to the contrary. Read the thing and try and find out that I'm wrong. You will not be successful.

Now, per our Constitution, anything not SPECIFICALLY stated in that document, specifically Atricle 1, Section 8, is to be left up to the States to adjudicate. But, that seems to have little to do with how the Supreme Court often offers its "opinions". In the Declaration of Independence is stated "All men are created equal" - for the PC crowd "men" means all persons. However, the Declaration of Independence was not incorporated into the Constitution. The sentiment, however, is shared by all those who have a functioning conscience.

As such, no one, gay or not, should be discriminated against by the government - period - especially with reference to the "free exercise" of their religious beliefs. Was the Supreme Court correct in its opinion on gay marriage? Morally, "yes"; Constitutionally, "no" in my opinion (as well as that of 4 Court Justices). But, it doesn't matter; the majority opinion of SCOTUS counts where mine does not. And, until such time as a new case overturns the opinion, the current opinion is law - period.

As it turns out the "free exercise" clause is exactly where the woman went wrong. I truly believe, no matter what any court dictates, she has the Constitutional right to follow her conscience. However, she does NOT have the right to force the conduct of her beliefs on others. And, that is what she did.

Had she felt strongly enough she could have resigned. But, she did not. Had she allowed people subordinate to her in the clerk's office to issue the license, all would have fine. But, she directed that the people who worked for her deny the license as well. That was forcing the implementation of her beliefs on her employees. THAT is exactly contrary to the 1st Amendment.

Those on the conservative side cry that she was sent to jail for standing up for her beliefs. Perhaps indirectly. But, she was sent to jail for refusing to follow the law - pure and simple.