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“State Officials Interposing Themselves Between Individuals and Their Rights is Deep in Our Heritage”

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Kim Davis, Kentucky county clerk firmly committed to the principle that marriage is between a woman and a man, and then another man, and then another man, and then another man*, continues to defy court orders on behalf of that most sacred of all rights, the right to refuse to do your job while still getting paid. Kentucky’s candidate for governor supports the ability of state officials to deny the rights of the state’s citizens based on their arbitrary whims:

A Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples is set to become an issue in the state’s gubernatorial race, as the leading Republican and Democratic candidates take opposing views of her actions.

“I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights,” said GOP Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin on a national conference call, according to The Courier-Journal. “Without any question I support her.”

I’m sure he would feel the same way if state officials started withholding their services to him on the grounds that his economic views were inconsistent with the Sermon on the Mount.

Part of me feels some sympathy for Davis, who’s clearly being used by cynical conservative litigators. Then I see the casual contempt with which she treats the citizens whose rights she is denying, and my sympathy pretty much vanishes.

*It may seem like cheap shot to bring up her serial marriages, but I don’t think it is. The tendency to be more rigorous about enforcing biblical principles when they impose burdens on others than when they impose burdens on you is one of the many reasons we don’t want state officials selectively applying the law according to their own “principles.”

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