Five Strange Arguments Being Used to Defend Kim Davis
Right Wing Watch has compiled five justifications supporters of Kim Davis have been using to defend her blatantly illegal actions. Many of them are crank theories, such as this one cited by Mike Huckabee:
Mike Huckabee has been making the case that Davis is the only clerk upholding the law and that it is actually the vast majority of clerks who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples are the ones breaking the law.
As Huckabee said on MSNBC yesterday, marriage equality can only be legal in Kentucky if the legislature passes a same-sex marriage bill that the governor signs into law, adding that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision is invalid because the court “cannot overrule the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God.”
When host Joe Scarborough said that Southern states still had to desegregate their schools after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown, despite the fact that the states still had segregationist laws on the books, Huckabee insisted that “you have to have enabling legislation.”
“The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law,” he said in a statement. “They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.”
The most troubling one, however, is this one:
God’s law trumps U.S. law
Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty Counsel attorney, offered insights into the group’s legal thinking when she delivered a lecture to the Liberty University School of Law, which named Lindevaldsen its interim dean after Staver decided to dedicate more time to his work at Liberty Counsel.
Lindevaldsen told students in a speech entitled, “Do Government Officials Have Authority to Impose Their Morals on Others?,” that any law that is not “consistent with Scripture” — or, more accurately, their interpretation of scripture — is no law at all, and therefore, officials are obligated to break such laws since “civil government only has the authority that God has established.”
With this reasoning, Liberty Counsel thinks that officials can impose their morals on others as long as they are acting according to their understanding of the Bible, and therefore don’t need to respect the legalization of same-sex marriage because its unbiblical. “Whether it’s zoning or taxes or marriage or abortion, in those issues, government doesn’t have authority to say that these things are appropriate because they’re contrary to Scripture,” she said.
In a case involving a child custody dispute between a self-identified “ex-gay” and her former lesbian partner, Liberty Counsel similarly advised their client to break a court-approved custody agreement because, after all, God’s law is superior.
Staver said that Davis should not follow the Obergefell decision as it would violate her oath of office, and that oath requires her to “not act in contradiction to the moral law of God.” He also told other officials not to respect the ruling because it “directly conflicts with higher law.” As the judge in Davis’ case noted, such arguments would allow Roman Catholic clerks to deny a marriage license to a previously divorced person because the Catholic Church proscribes divorce.
I don’t know about you, but any time I see someone claiming that “God’s law is superior,” I remember how anti-abortion terrorists like Eric Robert Rudolph or Scott Roeder, and groups like the Army of God have said the exact same thing, and I get really nervous.