Kim Davis’ indefensible position puts traditionalists on the spot (COMMENTARY)

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Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis argues with David Moore and David Ermold, after they were denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead on September 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of USA Today, via The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, photo by Tim Webb

Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis argues with David Moore and David Ermold, after they were denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead on September 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of USA Today, via The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, photo by Tim Webb

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(RNS) Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has hindered the public debate about religious liberty for traditionalist believers at a time when it needs serious arguments, not circus-tent theatrics.

  • Larry

    The “traditionalists” never had a legally defensible position here. If they did, they would have stood a better chance when arguing before the Supreme Court.

    Accommodations WERE made for Kim Davis and she still refused to abide by the duties of her position. She was given the option of permitting subordinates to issue the license. “Accommodations” does not mean providing means of denying access for the entire public, as the NC bill does. Even the governor of NC can tell the bill is pure dookie.

    To date, people who supported a ban on marriage equality still can’t cough up rational and secular purposes (as to not run afoul of the 1st Amendment) for such laws.

    So of course, they are not going to have defensible legal positions here. They are asking for a special pleading to treat Fundamentalist Christians as exalted above all others. To throw away notions of equal protection under the law.

  • Atheist Max


    “a time when it needs serious arguments, not circus-tent theatrics.”

    Your commentary is very thoughtful. But everything regarding Religion is doomed to a circus tent. As Benjamin Franklin said, religious argument is groundless and no better than “‘it is so, it isn’t so” – the definition of a circus.

    We all have the right to believe in Leprechauns. That’s fine.
    But the rules of Leprechauns do not apply to anyone other than the person who believes in them. Otherwise, The Constitution becomes the circus. And Americans won’t permit it.

    And Kim Davis and her supporters better wake up to that. They are defending Leprechauns over the Constitution. It is disgraceful.

  • Jm

    If her electricity was turned off and she was told to go to another county to get electric service because the company had different religious views that was not the same a hers. Would she praise that company for standing up for their religion?

  • One has to start with the understanding that gays have a constitutional right to marriage. Davis wants to frustrate that right. She does so, not only through individual action but by precluding the actions of civil servants who report to her.

    I have gone through the contempt hearing transcript. Reactions and what I suspect Davis is going to do on Monday at

  • Exactly.

    Hopefully these religious shenanigans will look just as ridiculous to moderate evangelicals and bring some people to their senses.

  • Greg1

    I think Kim Davis’ position will be more and more normalized as time goes forward. We all know very well that the 14th Amendment had nothing to do with gay marriage, and that this Leftist Supreme Court twisted this Amendment into a pretzel to make it more than a simple post Civil War Amendment, affording Blacks and People of all Nationalities equal rights in the USA. Even Justice William Douglas described the amendment in his autobiography: “The Fourteenth Amendment was passed to give blacks first-class citizenship.” We all know what a sham it is to take this Amendment, and apply it so erroneously to the gay marriage issue. Hopefully the Courts will correct this in due time.

  • Larry

    Shorter Greg1:

    Segregation Then!,
    Segregation Now!,
    Segregation Forever!

  • Shawnie5

    Funny, isn’t it Greg, that the 14th Amendment was not enough to give women the vote but enough to give gays marriage???

    Didn’t the SCOTUS care that women would be “cold and lonely” outside of the polls? (Sob, sniff…)

  • Ben in oakland

    We don’t know anything of the sort, Greg. As happens with you when you get information which contradicts your preconceived opinion on the subject, you just ignore it. Yesterday, I referred you to a website on the 14th amendment, which indicated, based on real historical facts, that the debate over the 14th amendment was a question of whether it should be about race alone, or about everything, specifically, privileges and immunities. Even you admit it– equal rights for NATIONALITIES.

    It is very clear from the citations on the website that dealing with Race specifically was not on the agenda.That’s why it wasn’t mentioned specifically.

    You really think that Kim Davis isgoing to be the norm in the future? OF COURSE YOU DO! That’s certainly hasn’t happened with any gay rights issue.Gradually, what will happen, is that the bigots will be marginalized. Oh yes, you’lo still be there. Because there are still racists.

    But decent, kind people, untainted by bigotry, will laugh.

  • Richard Rush

    A billboard has been erected in Kim Davis’ hometown. It reads:

    “Dear Kim Davis,

    The fact that you can’t sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we’ve already redefined marriage.”

  • That’s great!
    Unfortunately, in some countries that old definition of marriage still stands.

  • The Great God Pan

    Oh, is Kim tarnishing the image of the “traditionalists?” Good. She is the epitome of the “traditionalist” side of the debate, not some kind of aberration.

  • Roland

    Is there ANY possible way we could Photoshop her into better clothes….????

  • Larry

    But it ensures you can do both now!

    I can’t help it if you guys have to ignore more than a century of interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Its really pathetic at this point. In fact the myriad of applications of the Equal Protection Clause takes up the entire second semester of Constitutional Law for every law school in the nation. The whole, “it was only meant for equal citizenship of the races” thing is just a sign of ignorance. Keep wallowing in it. The 14th Amendment has been applied to all sorts of rights for all sorts of people.

    Don’t worry Shawnie, you still have the Bible for comfort. 🙂
    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do.(Exodus 21:7)

  • Kittenz
  • Flo

    I also do not believe in same sex marriage based on Biblical teaching. I was a R.N. before I was disabled. I have a deep respect and love for all lives. I have made friends with many “homosexuals” who were so much more to me than that title implies. I cared deeply about my patients who suffered with AIDS. One of my Nursing Instructors was a proclaimed “homosexual”. I have seen many sides to the way dying individuals with AIDS due to homosexuality have come to terms with their deaths…some peaceful/some not at all. As a Nurse, I had the right to refuse to assist with an abortion. Soon those rights will be taken away if they aren’t already. I thiink, based on religious convictions, one should have the RIGHT to refuse what goes against their believes. I stand with this clerk in her decision to say, “NO” and take an active stand. With the illegals in America and the IRAN deal, we have more important “fish to fry” here in this country. We must turn to God and away from sin or…

  • Gary Hauptli

    I agree totally. The SCOTUS pulled ‘Marriage Equality’ out of thin air. It hasn’t existed in all of human history much less the constitution.

  • Aloe

    We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? You can turn to YOUR god…

  • Doc Anthony

    “If you have strong views about sacred marriage, perhaps a courthouse wedding clerk is not the job for you.”

    But that’s exactly what the Gay Gestapo and their judicial / media puppets are viciously saying to the Christian bakers, florists, photographers, and bed-and-breakfast owners. The argument you’re offering IS the Gay Gestapo’s main anti-religious-liberty argument.

    Kim Davis did the right thing, even though she went to jail for it. She understood that the Gay Marriage Cult does NOT want a peaceful coexistence between gay marriage and religious libert. The Obergefell decision is all about REPEALING religious freedoms for people of faith, and the Gestapo fully intends to ENFORCE that decision.

    The Cult wants gay marriage from coast to coast, period, and they want to steamroller ANY Christians in ANY job, if said Christians dare to oppose the Cult when they demand that individual Christians tacitly or overtly sign off on the evil of gay marriage.

  • Doc Anthony

    “Rational and secular purposes” have already been provided in several RNS comment sections, Larry. In fact some were specifically directed to you, from both straight sources AND gay sources, from both lay people AND legal people, including the Sixth Circuit Court.

    You had no refutation for ANY of them. You will continue to be reminded of that fact in future posts, so please get used to it as quickly as possible.

  • Shawnie5

    “In fact the myriad of applications of the Equal Protection Clause takes up the entire second semester of Constitutional Law for every law school in the nation.” And Justice Kennedy ignored ALL of it in his opinion. Even legal experts who approve the decision in effect can make neither heads nor tails of his reasoning. No suspect classifications, no levels of scrutiny, no nothing. Just that it had something to do with equal protection and pity for the “cold and lonely.”

    “But it ensures you can do both now!”

    The 19th Amendment gave me the right to vote, not the 14th. Only a year or so after the 14th’s passage the SCOTUS held that it was not intended to apply to women.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    A public official in performing her duties, is not acting religiously. She is free to believe what she wants, but if her actions vary with the law, as they have, she should be removed from office. We have all sorts of freedoms but if you hold a position of public trust you must follow the law.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Those bkers, florists, etc. violated the law. There is no excuse for that. By your reasoning that such is moral, therefore to you segregationists are moral.

  • Ted

    County Clerks are State officials sworn to uphold the law. Cake makers are not.

    Your inability to grasp the significance of this distinction gives proof to the “most unsophisticated subset” remark in this article.

  • Shawnie5

    “Those bkers, florists, etc. violated the law. There is no excuse for that. By your reasoning that such is moral, therefore to you segregationists are moral.”

    Segregationists were following law. Those who opposed it “violated the law”. I don’t think you really want to take this stance.

  • Greg1

    Give me a break, Ben. We all know what the 14th Amendment was all about. It wasn’t until the 21st Century that the Amendment began its great morphing into a gay rights Amendment. Read the legal stuff below.

  • Out of curiosity, why are you using the word homosexual, in contrast to “gay,” and why is it in quotes? I might use the word homosexual or homosexuality in a clinical or scientific context as in:

    Sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends.

    Moreover, putting the word in quotes is pernicious religious shorthand to express the preposterous notion that sexual orientation doesn’t really exist. You are not expressing either the respect or love of gay people that you maintain you have — not by a long shot.

    In other words your brief polemic is a self-serving load of intestinal exhaust.

  • Richard Rush

    “I have seen many sides to the way dying individuals with AIDS due to homosexuality . . .” AIDS is not “due to” homosexuality any more than age-old venereal diseases are due to heterosexuality. As a nurse you should acknowledge they are due to contracting a virus or bacteria, often because of not taking safety precautions. And if you really “cared deeply” about your “patients who suffered with AIDS,” you would be eagerly promoting same-sex marriage along with monogamy in order to reduce the likelihood of others suffering the same fate . . . although, conveniently for you, medical science has dramatically reduced that fate.

    Your comment illustrates what I see so often from Christians: Demanding the freedom to put their Bible-backed bigotry into action against other people while trying to hide it behind a thin veneer of so-called Christian love and caring.

  • Richard Rush

    Hey Doc,

    “. . . the evil of gay marriage.” ?

    Actually, the full social acceptance of gay people, including marriage, represents major human enlightenment and progress. It is eliminating an evil perpetrated by Christianity and other religions that forced gays to hide their orientation by typically pretending to be straight in order to survive in a hostile world. And the forced-pretending caused multitudes of dysfunctional marriages. One of the biggest surprises of my life has been personally witnessing a large number of guys who finally acknowledged their homosexuality after being married to women for years, and fathering multiple children. And, as an aside, it’s delightfully ironic that the relentless efforts to stamp out homosexuality is likely to have caused more homosexuality by facilitating the spread of the heritable trait throughout society.

  • Greg1

    Hmmm, then the same should go for President Andrew Johnson:
    “I therefore recommend that Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, be set apart, and observed by all the people of the United states, as a day of public praise, thanksgiving, and prayer to the Almighty Creator and Divine Ruler of the Universe, by whose ever-watchful, merciful, and gracious providence alone, states and nations, no less than families and individual men, do live and move and have their being” (President Andrew Johnson, 1868).
    Sounds like he was mixing religion with the exercise of his office.

  • @Flo,

    “As a Nurse, I had the right to refuse to assist with an abortion.”

    And what is your problem, exactly? You want constitutional rights for yourself – but you’ll deny constitutional rights for a woman who needs to decide what happens to her body?

    What’s next? Muslim female nurses refusing to help male patients? Muslim clerks validating marriages to 13 year olds as they do in Sharia Law?
    Christian doctors refusing to help Muslim patients?

    If we do not agree to provide Constitutional Rights to each other, we do not have any obligations to each other. And that would replace our law with a nest of religious decrees.

    Religion is just a nuisance. You have your right to it – but It would a better world if more people abandoned it – fast!

  • Larry

    No, they have never been given. Hence your response rather than repeating the allegedly rational and secular reasons. Your failure to address the point directly already proves I am correct here. You have linked to truly ridiculous nonsense (that you didn’t read).

    In fact they came up empty in the SCOTUS case as well. Relying on special pleading, unfounded assertions, irrational nonsensical arguments and “tradition” (the worst argument for anything under the law).

    The sixth circuit court’s “reasoning” was skewered mercilessly by the Supreme Court as irrational and without merit.

    Are you done fibbing or are you going to keep dancing around the fact that you have nothing.

  • The general right to vote is not determined at the state level. Hence your comment was truly facepalmworthy. The 14th Amendment applies to state laws.

    I am not going to bother getting mired in a discussion about your willful denial of how our judicial system deals with civil liberties.

    Greg1 is left with the silly “it was never meant to do that” and “I am annoyed that ideas about equal protection changed over time”. Grasping at straws. All to avoid that simple fact that “equal protection under the law” is typically a method to shoot down discriminatory laws when brought before Federal Court.

    I will leave you with a civics lesson

  • Well everyone but you knows what the 14th Amendment was all about.
    The Supreme Court has been using equal protection for more than just race, pretty much right out of the gate.

    Feel free to peruse the cases listed there.

    You will notice it covers a wide breadth of situations, besides racial discrimination. but you probably won’t read them anyway. Why learn facts when you can make crap up?

  • Which means absolutely nothing. It was so non-existent that state legislatures went through the effort to ban it. Hence they brought the subject into existence to be reviewed by the court system.

    Lets face it, the secret shame of the anti-gay bigots are that had they not been so malicious and flexed their political muscles in such a fashion, there would be no nationwide marriage equality. Voter apathy alone would have limited its acceptance by legislative means for at least a decade or so. But the bigots had no trust in the voters. They felt they had to foreclose such things before it got too popular. That is where they messed up.

    To clarify, had they not tried to ban marriage equality, it would not exist for the courts to find such bans unconstitutional.

    So you can take your, “never existed before” and the “courts created it” and shove it. The anti-gay bigots made it happen through their own misguided efforts.

  • That was a perfect example of how one does NOT use their religious belief to interfere with official duties. How to balance church and state,

    What you didn’t notice is Johnson did not mention God or Jesus there. That little speech is pretty non-sectarian and inclusive for its time. No matter what faith, or even none at all, there is nothing showing endorsement of religion or giving offense by exclusion.

    A great example showing you are completely wrong here Greg1. Thank you

  • They weren’t following the law after 1954. In fact resistance to Brown v. Board of Ed was so pervasive SCOTUS had to issue a second ruling essentially saying, “we really mean it”.

    George Wallace certainly wasn’t when he as standing in front of the auditorium at U of Alabama. Kim Davis is very much like a brain damaged version of Wallace.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    The “gays breed new gays” malarkey is just made up bovine excrement. If all the gays were killed today, a generation later there’d be just as many.

  • Shawnie5

    What an idiotic response. States determine who is and isn’t qualified to vote, and most state constitutions expressly denied women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was drafted in response to a unanimous SCOTUS decision that the 14th did not invalidate the states’ disqualification of women.

    And while I’m sure that, at your level, blogposts from bozos comparable to the trolls around here constitute “civics lessons,” the idea is rather laughable to the rest of us. Don’t bother.

  • Shawnie5

    What an absurd response. The states determine voting qualifications, and most expressly denied the vote to women in their constitutions. The 19th Amendment was proposed as a direct response to a unanimous SCOTUS decision that the 14th Amendment did not invalidate such discrimination against women.

    And while I’m sure that, at your level, blogposts from bozos comparable to the trolls around here constitute “civics lessons,” they are a waste of time to the rest of us. Don’t bother.

  • Shawnie5

    Duh. Yet they were before that. And Brown only invalidated school segregation. Many other forms of mandated segregation were initially left untouched by it– such as the municipal ordinance that Rosa Parks violated and has been all but canonized for it.

    I leave you with a civics lesson that does not come from the musings of ignoramuses on anti-Christian blogs: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — MLK.

  • Billysees

    ” We must turn to God and away from sin… ”

    We must try hard every day to love each other more and more, would be a better thing to say.

    Sin is far far less important compared to love.

    ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

    Love trumps sin any day.

  • Shawnie5

    LOL! Care to weigh in, Max?

    But don’t say anything till I go get my popcorn…

  • “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — MLK.

    Which is why MLK didn’t mind lifting Moses stories (‘mountaintop speeches’) from Exodus as inspirational in his sermons – while he gladly ignored all of those despicable laws of Moses which Jesus so loved.

    “My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out.” – Yahweh (Exodus 23:23)

    Following God will get you arrested.
    No wonder there are no Atheists in prison.

  • Billyseess,


    Love is about feeling safe with someone you trust who likes you very much, who would never hurt you even if they disagreed with you. Someone who has compassion for you, who seeks to understand you.
    Love would never put you in harm’s way.

    “Fear Him who, after the killing of your body, has power to throw you into hell.” – JESUS (Luke 16:15)

    Jesus is talking about himself.

    “Believe or be condemned” – JESUS (Mark 16:16)

    This is not love – it destroys love.
    Love is the one thing which what makes life worth living. Jesus destroys love.

  • Greg1

    Wrong, Larry. He does not allow for atheists to NOT give thanks to the creator of the universe. Notice he says, “all the people of the” US. That WAS the original text. I like how the more recent versions of this text have been changed to be less forceful.

  • larry

    Ultimately it comes down to this:

    Absurd is the idea that one can deny a century of 14th Amendment application away.

    Absurd are the arguments that SCOTUS did not have the power to rule as it did in Obergfell.

    Absurd is people commenting on the legal reasoning of court decisions they did not read.

    Anything else you are in the mood to bring up here is just going off topic for its own sake.

    Feel free to join Greg1 in his willful ignorance of how the judicial system works and his outright lies as to how the 14th Amendment is applied. You know better but it just doesn’t mesh with the latest canned arguments in trying to justify Christian discriminatory behavior.

  • “Creator” is not saying God. Its not saying Jesus or referring directly to the Bible or Christianity. It does not offend the sensibilities of any faith. What that creator is, remains unspecified. Which means if one does not choose to consider God that creator, so be it.

    Its pretty damn inclusive for the late 19th Century. Such a speech would pass muster as ecumenical and non-sectarian even today. There is no hint of individual Christian belief there (Assuming Johnson was christian).

    Face it Greg1 you stepped into perfect example of how personal religious belief is AVOIDED in political speech.

    Face it Kim Davis was not exercising 1st Amendment rights by bullying her office into complying with her religious beliefs. She was both forcing government to endorse her religion and she was not engaging in free exercise to use her belief as a pretext to harm the rights of others.

  • Way to miss the point (deliberately), Invoking MLK is not a catch-all excuse to acting badly and attacking the liberties of others.

    So now you are claiming marriage equality was an unjust law?
    In what ways which have to be taken seriously by our laws would it be?

    You have no rational and secular purpose behind banning it. The inconvenience that Christian bigots have lost the ability to legally discriminate against gays, is not a purpose worth considering.

    Nobody has to give a crap about what you think the Bible says on the subject nor have to abide by “traditions” where it attacks the civil liberties of others. “New rights” would not be created had they not been under attack by legislative means. Neither would “definition” be an issue had they not done so in those state laws.

    As I said above, the secret shame of the anti-gay bigots is that their efforts to ban gay marriage were the means in which it gained nationwide legality.

  • Larry

    Well, cake makers are also duty bound to follow the laws concerning how they conduct business. As are all businesses are.

  • Juan Santiago

    Your opinion article smacks of a legal smugness, but the fact is, homosexuality has never been proved to be genetic or irreversible, in fact, quite the opposite, as there are many who used to be, who are now heterosexual and vocal about their choices (google “formerly gay”). Apart from proof of inherent immutability, gays should not have special rights or be able to re-define an ages-old human institution to fit their desire for respectability and benefits. Nothing personal against them, but this lady got her job before a small group of lawyers in black robes decreed (incorrectly) that gays are a minority like blacks and women, although gays can choose to be or not to be homosexual just as you and I choose to curb sexual appetites when they are inappropriate. Further, the Supreme Court does not make law, so I doubt she can be fired legally when the state or county laws have not yet been changed to reflect the SCOTUS opinion.

  • Richard Rush

    BB, I can understand why you think that gays must recruit children . . . because, as a super religious person, that is all you know. Religion could not survive if they didn’t recruit children. But, as impossible as it is for you to accept, sexual orientation does not work that way.

  • Shawnie5

    Is marriage equality an unjust law? Before you can decide that question yoiu have to have a proper “law” in the first place, desired and enacted by a majority of a state’s citizens. But the quote was mainly intended to throw into relief (in the event that anyone is too dense to notice it themselves) the hypocrisy of lefties who pontificate about “rule of law” they like and cheer violation of laws they don’t like, all the while knowing precious little about the entire idea of “rule of law.” For instance, by your nonsense remark that “New rights would not be created had they not been under attack by legislative means.” Creating rights is not the job of the SCOTUS but of the people via legislation or constitutional amendment.

    “You have no rational and secular purpose behind banning it.” Even if that were true, then only the ban should have been overturned, leaving up to the state the question of whether or not it wanted to recognize it in the future.

  • Greg1

    I have no problem with President Johnson’s declaration, but if our President made the same proclamation today, you’d be proclaiming he has crossed the line. So tell me Larry, who do you praise as the “Almighty Creator and Divine Ruler of the Universe” on Thanksgiving?

  • Shawnie5

    LOL! IOW, “Never mind my ignorant and erroneous statements…”

    Except I DO mind, because it is exactly such ignorance that prevents people from understanding the wrongness of the direction this court has taken.

    The very idea that the 14th Amendment could confer a right to SSM, but could not strike down state law denying women the vote, is not only absurd but offensive to all women.

    The last half-century or so of equal protection jurisprudence wandered far afield from what the amendment was intended to address, and Obergefell even wandered away from the wanderings by abandoning the key equal protection concepts of the 20th century (suspect classifications and standards of review) altogether. The SCOTUS ought to simply be honest and admit that they have abandoned the rules of constitutional interpretation and are making it up as they go along.

  • Shawnie5

    Oh come on now, Greg. Clearly, if David Barton could fabricate the language of the Declaration of Independence 200 years before he was born, it would be a minor feat for him to fabricate Andrew Johnson’s words as well. Any “sane” person can see that… 😀

  • @BB,

    “…you are just an animal. If that sounds a bit harsh to you….”

    Being an animal sounds perfectly fine with me. You are the one who is scared to death of it.
    Besides, I have no choice and neither do you. You are an ape species and you will die like other animals and vanish from existence – this life right now was all the life you had.

    Why should you think you are better than other apes? You are no better than any other primate…. of any kind.

    You are very arrogant to think you will get another life after this one – that is just a ridiculous, selfish lie you are telling yourself. And to think non-believers would be left out? Laughable child’s play.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Various opinions about what causes homosexuality are irrelevant to civil rights. Such attempts to change the subject indicate the writer’s intent to express support of bigotry. It does not matter what causes any particular sexual orientation. We cannot say what causes heterosexuality either. The entire argument is an attempt to bamboozle racial and ethnic minorities, women, and the disabled. All those groups as well as LGBTs face the same struggle against bigotry. They only have different differences.

  • Larry

    Yep, you can’t come up with a reason why marriage equality is unjust. Nor rational and secular purposes behind the bans which made the SCOTUS decision possible. Hence your MLK reference is garbage.

    The “new rights” that you claim SCOTUS made, originated in the legislatures when various states decided gay marriage was something worth banning. They specifically defined marriage and opened themselves up to scrutiny on the subject. Had they not done so, the judiciary would not have been able to rule as it did. Without such restrictive laws in place, SCOTUS would have no power over the situation. It is all the fault of impatient anti-gay politicians.

    So you are left with sour grapes whining and trying to defend people whose position cannot be defended sanely.

  • I still don’t see Jesus or God in that statement. No matter what sect of Christianity Johnson belonged to, there is nothing there to show any specific references to it. Even the Christianity of Johnson is an assumption not borne by the text of the speech itself.

    It is a terrible example of how one’s religious belief affects their behavior as government officials. Especially since you can’t even tell what the speaker’s beliefs actually are.

    It still doesn’t support your ridiculous premise that government officials are allowed to hijack their position in service of their faith.

  • Larry

    Your willful and intentional display of misunderstanding as to how the judiciary works is duly noted.

    The 14th Amendment’s application is in the negative. To strike down laws which attack a perceived civil liberty. Rights are “created” though it by striking down restrictions which are deemed unconstitutional. Marriage equality would not exist under its application if not for legislative bans on gay marriage. As I have noted repeatedly and remains unacknowledged because it is far too inconvenient for you.

    As far as I know, nobody wrote a law forbidding women to vote, or if one did, it was not challenged in the court. Therefore the 14th Amendment never got brought into the picture.

    Lets face it, your whining about SCOTUS’s power here is a pointless argument. It will not change what has already been ruled, nor negate its effects on the nation. An amendment to ban gay marriage will never fly. All it does is demonstrate the ignorance of the anti-gay crowd.

  • Larry

    “And Justice Kennedy ignored ALL of it in his opinion.”

    You make the claim but like most who do, it lacks any kind of support other than being whiny about the outcome.

    “Even legal experts who approve the decision in effect can make neither heads nor tails of his reasoning.”

    Absolutely wrong. Please cite to a source with such a claim.

    “No suspect classifications”

    Gays are not a suspect class? Really? You have a veracity problem.

    Romer v. Evans in 1995 stated that much.

    As for level of scrutiny, you can look to that case as well. Laws based entirely on animus for a given group don’t even make it to “rational basis”. In general laws affecting gays seem to be greater than “rational basis” and less than “strict scrutiny”. Opinions differ. Some weigh in towards “strict scrutiny”.

    Obergfell falls in well with the decisions Kennedy made before with Romer and US v. Windsor and Lawrence v. Texas recognizing rights for gays.

  • Shawnie5

    You need to re-read Romer vs. Evans. It does not say what you think it does. It held that the legislature could not forestall judicial review that does not yet exist by making a law precluding gays from being made a suspect class. It did not itself make gays a suspect class.

    “As far as I know, nobody wrote a law forbidding women to vote, or if one did, it was not challenged in the court.”

    “As for as you know” says little or nothing. Your own state’s constitution limited the vote to “male inhabitants.” Other states limited it to “male persons” (MA), “white male inhabitants” (GA), “free white men” (SC) and “freemen” (PA, DE, MD and NC). And it most certainly was challenged in court in Minor vs. Happersett, where a unanimous court said the 14th does not invalidate voting discrimination against women.

    “You make the claim but like most who do, it lacks any kind of support other than being whiny about the outcome.” IOW, “I didn’t read the case.” That…

  • Larry

    You are only selectively reading Romer and missing the point of the decision. (What else is new?) The recognition that animus against gays was the motive for the law was a declaration that gays were a group which are subject to discrimination. A suspect class. Kennedy didn’t even find that rational basis could cover this.

    It takes a certain class of veracity impairment to ignore the rationale running through Kennedy’s decisions on the subject of gay rights for the last 20 years. Recognizing gays as a suspect class and examining how laws attacking them lacked rational and secular purposes. Obergfell is not an aberration, it is a culmination.

    OMG! SCOTUS got something wrong concerning civil liberties in the 19th Century! Of course had they ruled the other way, it would have granted voting rights to women. The fact that it was eventually done through Congress does not invalidate how judicial methods work when it comes to the 14th Amendment.

  • Shawnie5

    Roner did not make gays a suspect class. No SCOTUS decision has done that, including Obergefell — which is even its proponents’ biggest objection to it. Kennedy went out of his way to NOT make such a pronouncement, by merely mentioning equal protection but neglecting to conduct the proper equal protection analysis.

    “Animus” alone will not create a suspect class. It’sa much more complex matter than that.

  • Larry

    Now you are just splitting hairs for its own sake.

    Romer recognized gays as a group subject to discrimination under color of the law. Although the term “quasi-suspect class” has been used to describe gays in relation to the 14th Amendment, in application they are a suspect class in all senses of the word.

    I will leave this link for your edification (its a little out of date, but helpful to your misapprehension here. .

    You are making semantical distinctions without substance. Since you are wedded to the ridiculous narrative of SCOTUS somehow making up stuff to get to its decision in Obergfell, you have to harp on this sort of hair splitting.

    You can’t justify gay marriage bans in a socially and legally acceptable fashion. So you have to make these nonsense collateral attacks on the decision.


  • Shawnie5

    Larry, you’re out of your league here. Quit displaying your ignorance.

    Your link was to a discussion of the 2nd Circuit Windsor decision which purported to apply “intermediate scrutiny.” When reviewing Windsor the SCOTUS did not apply any such scrutiny but relied on rational basis instead–the bare-bones catch-all of review.

  • Greg1

    Larry, who’s talking Christianity? I am saying this is a “religious” mandate. There is no doubt about it.

  • Bob

    Shawnie5/Jack, as usual you attack Larry with insults, but it is your own ignorance and venom that shows through.

  • Larry

    You are. You are claiming a government official’s personal beliefs should be imposed on their actions in their position. That was the purpose of your quote in the first place. Andrew Johnson was at least some form of Christian at the time. You can’t find anything in the statement reflecting a clear sectarian appeal that you were claiming.

    A “religious mandate” that mentions no specific religion does not run afoul of the separation of church and state. It is religiously neutral by being inclusive of all.

  • Larry

    Intermediate scrutiny when it comes to dealing with gay rights is not “no levels of scrutiny” as you claimed above.

    You are doing as you always do. Pretend you meant something different and shift the goalposts.

    You also miss the point of your own statement. Attacks on the rights of gays, based on nothing but animus against them are so beyond the pale of acceptable, they don’t even pass the very very low bar of “rational basis”. The same standard applied in Obergfell.

    Your entire argument is based on clearly conceding that no rational and secular purpose was met by gay marriage bans. Hence the avoidance of the issue to focus on alleged collateral attacks on SCOTUS authority and decision making process.

    “Larry, you’re out of your league here.”

    Because I still have this expectation rational and honest discussions. My bad. I have trouble dealing with fanatical and veracity impaired. I am way out of my league there. 🙂

  • “Intermediate scrutiny when it comes to dealing with gay rights is not “no levels of scrutiny” as you claimed above. Intermediate scrutiny has never been adopted by the SCOTUS as the proper standard of review in these matters. The SCOTUS has declined to use them. Your link is to an appellate case. What part of that do you not understand?

    “Attacks on the rights of gays, based on nothing but animus against them are so beyond the pale of acceptable, they don’t even pass the very very low bar of “rational basis”. The same standard applied in Obergfell.”

    “Animus” did not factor into Obergefell at all, Larry, and “rational basis” was never invoked.

    “I have trouble dealing with fanatical and veracity impaired.” No, you just need some education.

  • Larry

    You are never going to cough up a substantive argument as to why gay marriage bans have any kind of rational and secular purpose and why they are somehow “just laws”. This means you will never address the substance of Obergfell or come up with a valid criticism for the decision. So you are left with sour grapes whining.

    You can keep pretending that it was somehow improper or incorrect. But it is obvious you are just playing dishonest semantically games. You don’t like the decision but can’t actually address the points made within it.

    Feel free to keep pretending that prejudice against gays did not factor into the laws banning their marriage or that such laws have any kind of rational basis which could have been articulated. Your position requires omitting relevant information, and making spurious arguments. What else is new?

  • Chris

    Even Scalia has said “of course the 14th Amendment applies to gender”. I doubt that was the intention of the mid 19th century men who voted on it, but they did not write it in a narrow way implicating race only, they wrote it broadly and that broad language was approved. If you want to live in 19th century America, go find some civil war re-enactors and indulge your fantasy. The great majority of Americans have moved on from 1868.

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