Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Opinion: Kim Davis discrimination proves America has a long way to go

On Friday, June 26 the Supreme Court of the United States made the historical ruling of legalizing same-sex marriage by stating that all states cannot ban same-sex marriage. The Obergefell v. Hodges case ruling had the public talking.
Either if that was sharing posts and snapchats celebrating with the LGBTQ+ community or not agreeing with the ruling at all. Nonetheless, it had a heavy impact on society and most importantly on the gay rights movement.
Earlier this month, a Rowan County Clerk named Kim Davis decided to challenge the recent law that every state, no matter how liberal or conservative, must follow.
According to the New York Times, Davis denied marriage licenses to gay couples because it conflicted with her Apostolic Christian beliefs.
Davis was then jailed for defying a federal court. After 5 days in jail, Davis was released from jail.
Although Davis will not issue marriage licenses that do not correlate with her religious beliefs, she will not stand in the way of her deputies to give them out since her name and title will not be affiliated with the licenses.
In the end, the same sex couples did receive their marriage licenses and Davis did not forcefully have to go against her own faith.
The situation might portray an outcome that has both sides of the argument coming to a consensus, but there is a lack of enforcement between church and state.
I can understand that Davis was obeying her faith, but the law is also something to obey and follow. There are many freedoms granted to us, religion being one of them, but not granting a couple a marriage license based on their sexual orientation is an act of discrimination.
I am sure there were many other county clerks who did not agree with the Supreme Court and did not agree with the joining of two individuals of the same sex, but they still had to issue licenses because it is the law and their job.
Davis going to jail does not sit well with me because it can give reason to anti-gay groups to glorify Davis and perceive her as someone who stood proud and tall with her beliefs.
This would therefore add onto and perpetuate the ‘sinful’ perception that same sex couples have in the eyes of some religious and conservative individuals.
A more reasonable form of action for Davis would have been for her to step down from her position or resign because if you cannot follow through with the law that navigates your job then you should not continue with it.
This would have perceived Davis as someone who is still committed to their faith and less of an enemy to the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s great that the same sex couples were given their marriage licenses as well as Davis finding an alternative, but why should there be an alternative when the law has already been set?
Davis had stated that if she is affiliated with the marriage license then it would not be legitimate since she truly does not believe in the idea of same sex couples.
That is a valid point that Davis makes, but I do not think the gay couples need her personal blessing to continue living on their lives nor do I think they really care. All she really needs to do is issue it and sign off, but apparently thats an inner battle we all had to witness.
The religious argument against same sex marriage is one often heard of through some politicians, anti-gay activists, and the general public who do not agree with seeing two normal people live happy lives.
The scenario itself shows that the stigma of same sex couples being recognized as a married couple is still alive and well in society even after the Supreme Court ruling.
I do not think that any couple, gay or straight, should be denied the right to a marriage license when it is evident that all couples can legally tie the knot.
The gay rights movement in America has had a progressive direction in reaching equality for the LGBTQ+ community, but with this sort of backlash there is still a long road to go.

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Opinion: Kim Davis discrimination proves America has a long way to go