I’ve been a same-sex marriage supporter for years – long before I knew I had a gay son, also before my beloved cousin came out and announced her engagement. I raised money for HRC when I worked for a religious organization that might have fired me for my actions. The July 8 & 15, 2013 cover of The New Yorker hangs on the wall next to my desk. I’m all in. Marriage equality is one of the defining social policy issues of my time, and I say screw anybody who’d deny consenting adults the legal right to join themselves in marriage and enjoy all the legal benefits and pains-in-the-ass that entails.
So with that said, I’ve been dismayed at the predominant reaction to Kentucky’s Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, which has been to lampoon the undeniably lampoonable. Here’s the thing: would we be so quick to create vicious memes if Davis were a conventionally attractive, only-once-married citizen of irreproachable moral standing? Davis’ lawyers haven’t done her any favors, to be sure. They’ve focused on Davis’ religious rights, a losing cause for a public employee.
It was Mike Huckabee, of all people, Mike “I-wish-I-could-have-exercised-my-feminine-side-and-showered-in-the-girl’s-locker-room-as-a-teenager” Fuckabee, currently one of the frontrunners for the Republican Presidential nomination (I’d leave the US and never look back, so help me), who pointed out that county clerks issue marriage licenses according to law, and the law might not currently allow Davis to fulfill the US Supreme Court’s and the Kentucky Governor’s instruction to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I’m not a legal scholar, but this might be a problem.
To be sure: I’m not defending Davis. Progress is slow, and I don’t want to ask real people to wait 50 years for society to come around to a right way of thinking. At the same time, what does the law say? Is Huckabee correct when he asserts that Kentucky law only allows Davis to issue marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples?
Davis says it’s a violation of her conscience to sign her name to any same-sex license; yeah, fuck her, and her Second-Amendment-loving husband who all but threatened to shoot reporters who might dare knock on his door. These people are garbage, but let’s hold off on that judgment, as well as any observation that she’s an ugly troll, because we should be above such puerile constructs, right? The point is, do they have a point?
Watch out – this legal fight isn’t over.