A Mess In Kentucky

Back in February I wrote an article titled It’s Going to Get Messy. The article was about how the Christian community will respond to the growing reality of the cultural acceptance of same-sex marriage. Well, we had a mess in Kentucky.

Kim Davis, clerk of the court for Rowan County in Kentucky, refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples because of her Christian convictions. U. S. District Judge David Bunning sent her to jail for contempt. In her absence her deputy clerks issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples and Judge Bunning released Davis believing their actions satisfied the contempt order.

The Kentucky state legislature, like a number of others, has been slow to adopt statutory language on same-sex marriages that would comport with the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Statutes that only recognized marriage between a man and a woman were ruled unconstitutional. Until the state legislature adopts new marriage statutes, it seems the clerks of the various counties of Kentucky have no legal basis to issue a marriage license to anyone, heterosexual or homosexual.

Judge Bunning jailed Kim Davis for not doing something it appeared she had no legal standing to do, issue marriage licenses. Judges have the authority of judicial review, they can rule whether a law is constitutional or not, but they cannot make laws. Only a legislative body can do that.

LGBT activists claim recent polls show a majority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage. But if that is true, why is it there is not a single state that has adopted same-sex marriage by ballot initiative or popular vote? A couple of state legislatures were bullied into adopting same-sex statutes, but in a majority of the states the courts imposed “marriage equality.”

Kentucky state legislators, who are elected by popular vote, have been slow to move on the decision of the Court. They lack political fortitude to do the unpopular. But by failing to act the Kentucky state legislature and others have left the issue of same-sex marriage in legal limbo.

It is probably only a matter of time until the Kentucky and other state legislatures kowtow to the Court’s definition of marriage, a matter that has historically been the sole purview of the states and is not even mentioned in the Constitution.

Like our Founding Fathers I hold liberty to be an “unalienable” gift from God, and thought Kim would have been wiser to resign her office rather than surrender her freedom. But as I contemplated Solomon’s words, “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked,” Proverbs 25:26, I realized we and our communities become defiled when we fail to take a stand for what is right and oppose what is evil.

Judge Bunning released Kim Davis with the warning she should not interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kim Davis claims she has not changed her mind or resolve. We will see.

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