Goddamn it, Kim
September 3, 2015 6:03 AM   Subscribe

"She's not stopping gay marriage. SHE'S JUST STOPPING ME FROM HAVING A QUIET GODDAMN LUNCH"

"I sit next to Kim Davis. This was supposed to just be a chill job. Goddamn it, Kim."

@nexttokimdavis is the fictional Twitter account of the annoyed-looking co-worker who shows up in news photos of Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis. All she wants is for Kim Davis to do her fucking job so she can drink her fucking Mountain Dew in peace, but she can't, because Davis is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the Supreme Court.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious (848 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is a 100% overlap between the camp that says the KY clerk shouldn't have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because of her religion and the camp that says we need to legislate right now against Sharia Law because Americans shouldn't have their freedoms compromised by someone else's religious principles.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [234 favorites]


DID GOD ORDER YOU NOT TO REFILL THE XEROX TRAY, TOO? GODDAMN IT SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO GO HOME TO OUR FIRST HUSBAND

/spits coffee
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on September 3, 2015 [151 favorites]


dammit rtha beat me to it
posted by numaner at 6:18 AM on September 3, 2015






if I were u I'd copy Kim's hard drive. Gotta be evidence of a secret farmers only or Christian Mingle acct in there.

DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU CATCH HER DOING. SHE JUST "REPENTS" AND THEN IT DOESN'T GODDAMN COUNT
posted by filthy light thief at 6:22 AM on September 3, 2015 [18 favorites]


There is a 100% overlap between the camp that says the KY clerk shouldn't have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because of her religion and the camp that says we need to legislate right now against Sharia Law because Americans shouldn't have their freedoms compromised by someone else's religious principles.

That's... an awfully big generality. There are an lot of people in this country who have strongly-held personal beliefs who still think that those personal beliefs end where someone else's rights begin. And marrying whomever you want is a right.

While I don't support her decision, and believe her oath of office precludes her from the choices she's making over this, I hope this thread doesn't begin to paint in such broad strokes. Whenever I see that happening, it inevitably devolves into "I wonder which wind tunnel her stylist works in", and I'd like to avoid that today. (And not just because I couldn't find my comb this morning.)
posted by parliboy at 6:22 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's flippant at all to say that the far right is cynically using "freedom of religion" as a tool to promote their idea of a Christian nation. And I don't think it's unfair at all to say they're cheerfully willing to take the opposite tack legally, when it suits them, in service of promoting the very same.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:27 AM on September 3, 2015 [71 favorites]


can we please not derail this thread to be about Kim Davis? This is about her office mate/neighbor, and her crusade for a quiet lunch. And capslock on twitter, obvs.

@FoxNews TOOK MY FUCKING PARKING SPOT. Worse,. #KimDavis keeps saying, "Aren't you glad they're here?" NO, I WOULD LIKE MY PARKING SPOT
posted by numaner at 6:27 AM on September 3, 2015 [57 favorites]


Fair point, numaner. I'm done. More of the good tweets, please.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:29 AM on September 3, 2015


#KimDavis lawyers from @libertycounsel ARE DRINKING MY DIET MOUNTAIN DEWS. I BRING THAT SHIT FROM HOME

If you brought it then you shoulda put a name on it, oh oh oh.
posted by tilde at 6:29 AM on September 3, 2015 [60 favorites]


The guy who alerted me to the twitter feed works for a county auditor's office and sits at a similar visible-to-the-public desk in the county administrative building. I think this is like his worst nightmare/ finally having people understand some of his job's frustrations all rolled into one.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:30 AM on September 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


I really really wanna see the parking lot situation there now, because I suspect she's not kidding about the fox news van.
posted by numaner at 6:31 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't sign up for "political activist." I signed up for "data entry and time for FUCKING CAT MEMES"
posted by Sophie1 at 6:32 AM on September 3, 2015 [45 favorites]


parliboy: ...And not just because I couldn't find my comb this morning

You're in good company here. We let our son's hair go "natural" (as in untamed), and when my wife tried to comb his hair recently before he went to school, he asked "why are you doing that?" Bedhead is a suitable style for most days.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:38 AM on September 3, 2015


My mother was tickled by this and reminded me that one of my ancestors led the KY State Guard unit that was sent to quell the Rowan County War in 1885-6. Unrelated to these tweets, but maybe some will find the background interesting.
posted by CincyBlues at 6:50 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


@nexttokimdavis 15h15 hours ago:
There's a rumor that @GeorgeTakei is coming down - #KimDavis said, "I love Star Wars!" TODD IS LOSING HIS SHIT.

I gotta say, this shit is amazing.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:50 AM on September 3, 2015 [23 favorites]






Yes to all of these, though I worry that the actual woman will end up being asked about it and be either confused or enraged or embarrassed.
posted by emjaybee at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes to all of these, though I worry that the actual woman will end up being asked about it and be either confused or enraged or embarrassed.

I have the faintest of hopes that it is actually her.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:00 AM on September 3, 2015 [40 favorites]


See, #KimDavis? A WEEK AGO, I WAS OKAY JUST BEING "KENTUCKY HOT." NOW I HAVE TO BE FUCKING AMERICA HOT.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM on September 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


A friend of mine pointed out that a lot of the criticism of Kim Davis is seated in a lot of the same systemic shitiness that motivates her. On Kim Davis and being better than investing in oppressive systems.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:23 AM on September 3, 2015 [20 favorites]




“Before taking office as county clerk in January 2015, Davis swore an oath to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, ‘so help me God,’ ” her lawyers wrote in an August court filing. “Davis understood (and understands) this oath to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God, natural law, or her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions.”
Okay then, best case scenario, we have the Supreme Court handing down a ruling that moral and natural laws, to be upheld, must be written in the laws of man, and henceforth, "so help me God" will be struck from all oaths of office with a bit of wording in there to allow citation of this case if needed in suit to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
posted by tilde at 7:26 AM on September 3, 2015 [32 favorites]


I HAD SOME STRING CHEESE IN THE FRIDGE AND ALL THE SUDDEN SHE'S EATING GODDAMN STRING CHEESE

all the sudden! Ahahaha!
posted by travertina at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


BuddhaInABucket: I'm fretting over similar issues myself (that is, my own and others' classism and lookism regarding Ms. Davis).

But I strongly disagree that calling out hypocrisy is in the same category. When confronting members of a movement that uses weaponized moral codes as part of their struggle for social domination, identifying the inconsistencies and outright dishonesty in their positions is not only a legitimate form of self defense, it's a vital form of public education.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2015 [36 favorites]


calling out her 4 marriages and infidelity - that is free game because it's on the same board she's playing from. the bible was far, far more explicit about that than about homosexuality. bringing up her hair and clothes? that's just a reminder some of y'all on the coasts hate all of us, even the queers in the flyovers who have been fighting this shit directly.
posted by nadawi at 7:34 AM on September 3, 2015 [75 favorites]


So I wear long denim skirts all the time. I was a college kid in the late 90's, maxi skirts are coded into my DNA, ok? Granted the tattoos and nose ring and such kinda make my style of wearing 'em different than Davis's.....but still!

Kim Davis is giving us jean skirt aficionados a bad name. I am salty.
posted by Windigo at 7:35 AM on September 3, 2015 [12 favorites]


One problem I see with calling out hypocrisy is that it's basically using an ad hominem argument against Kim Davis to show that what she is doing is wrong. What she is doing is wrong even if she was morally unimpeachable under her own standards. That she does not even meet her own standards is, then, irrelevant. By pointing out hypocrisy, we validate her beliefs.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:35 AM on September 3, 2015 [27 favorites]


When we get done talking about the hilarious tweets, I wanna talk about Kim Davis's lawyers:
When a federal judge ordered Davis to issue licenses or be held in contempt of court, the Liberty Counsel advised her to disobey the ruling. Good lawyers don’t usually tell their clients to defy lawful court orders, especially when jail time is a real possibility. Yet the Liberty Counsel didn’t mind putting their client at risk
Etc. I have had similar questions about her attorneys. I thought the objection in general was frivolous and was obviously going to be smacked down, but I was like, "Well, whatever, sometimes you have to let people exhaust all avenues for appeal before they acquiesce and in civil rights situations like this it's often better to just go through that all at once, all the way up to the Supreme Court, instead of fighting objectors for the next 10 years piecemeal." But then I read their actual filings and, holy cats, these people are nuts. These arguments are incoherent and nonsensical. And they're basically running a political campaign on the back of Kim Davis, unsophisticated legal client (based on her comments and interviews, she does not seem to totally understand her lawyers' strategy). To proactively advise an unsophisticated client to disobey a federal court order and risk jail time, when you've already appealed all the way to the Supreme Court? It's unconscionable.

I really hope the hearing today addresses the lawyers' misconduct, because I think it's pretty serious, and I think courts and the legal profession need to be more aggressive in policing this kind of behavior from lawyers. It's one thing to be an activist attorney. It's another thing to act against your client's best interest, and encourage your client to act against their own best interest, and to act in your own interest. It's just flatly unethical, and I'm really bothered by this whole situation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:38 AM on September 3, 2015 [137 favorites]


Kim Davis is giving us jean skirt aficionados a bad name. I am salty.

Hate to break it to you, but there's a whole bunch of folks who adhere to Pentecostal beliefs who love to wear denim skirts. They look just like Kim Davis, outfit and hair, and they are plentiful the further south you go.

Kudos to the person behind this twitter, tho'!
posted by Atreides at 7:39 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hate to break it to you, but there's a whole bunch of folks who adhere to Pentecostal beliefs who love to wear denim skirts. They look just like Kim Davis, outfit and hair, and they are plentiful the further south you go.

but there's also lots of people who aren't pentecostal who dress like her and look like her. maybe clothing is a bad thing to judge people on regardless. it's not like skinny jeans and swoopy hair automatically indicates a bigotry free zone or anything.


What she is doing is wrong even if she was morally unimpeachable under her own standards. That she does not even meet her own standards is, then, irrelevant. By pointing out hypocrisy, we validate her beliefs.

i can see this argument, but i still think there is always utility in pointing out the hypocrisy of family values folks. it's not an accident that so many of them are lying, cheating scoundrels. they want to police other people's relationships while not even living up to their own standards. i don't think it's wrong to make that part of the conversation.
posted by nadawi at 7:44 AM on September 3, 2015 [48 favorites]


This Twitter is pretty funny, but you guys do realize that by talking about this backwoods, hypocritical hillperson, you're giving her exactly what she wants, right? (Dammit, now I'm part of the problem, too.)
posted by entropicamericana at 7:45 AM on September 3, 2015


Hate to break it to you, but there's a whole bunch of folks who adhere to Pentecostal beliefs who love to wear denim skirts. They look just like Kim Davis, outfit and hair, and they are plentiful the further south you go.

I know! When I lived in NC for three years, I was mistaken for one all the time.

Really, it was just a joke.
posted by Windigo at 7:47 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


This Twitter is pretty funny, but you guys do realize that by talking about this backwoods, hypocritical hillperson, you're giving her exactly what she wants, right?

What she wants is to be a martyr. Ridicule can be a powerful weapon against would-be martyrs: "We don't hate you, we disdain you. You and your opinions are too silly to hate."
posted by Etrigan at 7:49 AM on September 3, 2015 [30 favorites]


“Before taking office as county clerk in January 2015, Davis swore an oath to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, ‘so help me God,’ ” her lawyers wrote in an August court filing. “Davis understood (and understands) this oath to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God, natural law, or her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions.”
This is some serious twisting of what is extremely plain language to make a bullshit legal argument. She swore an obligation to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and sealed it with an oath asking for God's help in fulfilling that obligation. If she isn't doing the things she swore to do, maybe God isn't providing her with enough help.
posted by slkinsey at 7:52 AM on September 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't want to ridicule her. I want to rescue her from really harmful indoctrination that is causing her to, in turn, hurt other people.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:52 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What she is doing is wrong even if she was morally unimpeachable under her own standards. That she does not even meet her own standards is, then, irrelevant. By pointing out hypocrisy, we validate her beliefs.

Dunno, I wonder if anyone ever asks her whether she thinks a very observant Catholic county clerk would have had the right to deny her marriage licenses 2 through 4 on the grounds that she was already married to husband #1 and that their religious beliefs did not allow them to recognize divorce? I think it would be useful mental exercise to get her and her supporters to answer that. But I am wacked out on migraine meds so I might think all kinds of things right now.
posted by dilettante at 7:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [50 favorites]


I want to rescue her from really harmful indoctrination

There is no rescue this side of the grave. Not a death threat, just that there is probably nothing that will take someone who has gone so far to do anything but keep doubling down.
posted by tilde at 7:55 AM on September 3, 2015


if a muslim clerk suddenly decided that no one got drivers licenses because he refused to give them to women, there would be no question how ridiculous this is. if a mormon took a job at a bar and then refused to serve alcohol to anyone, they would be fired. i really don't understand the argument that you can just decide to not do part of your job because you're bad at reading your holy books.

also, i'm gonna get like a broken record in here i have no doubt - but as a backwoods hillperson, that's not the mockable thing about kim davis.
posted by nadawi at 7:57 AM on September 3, 2015 [110 favorites]


The only thing clear to me about all this is that her attorneys have their eyes on something other than the welfare of their client.
posted by Flexagon at 7:59 AM on September 3, 2015 [33 favorites]


I really do hope we can stay off her looks, dress and her location and focus on the hypocrisy (and hilarity of this twitter account).
posted by Sophie1 at 8:01 AM on September 3, 2015 [17 favorites]


What she is doing is wrong even if she was morally unimpeachable under her own standards. That she does not even meet her own standards is, then, irrelevant. By pointing out hypocrisy, we validate her beliefs.
Dunno, I wonder if anyone ever asks her whether she thinks a very observant Catholic county clerk would have had the right to deny her marriage licenses 2 through 4 on the grounds that she was already married to husband #1 and that their religious beliefs did not allow them to recognize divorce? I think it would be useful mental exercise to get her and her supporters to answer that. But I am wacked out on migraine meds so I might think all kinds of things right now.
You missed the part of the timeline where she was forgiven/reborn etc. So that sets things back to okay by her lights as she reconciles with her new/old hubby. I'm not sure what branch from the main root of Christianity her group is on, but I'm tempted to point out that Bill Watterson had a very apt term called "Calvin Ball" that pretty much covers the sin/redemption cycle she and many millions of others live and profess to live, more and more loudly and with the intent to impose upon others every day.

Had to fix this twice as I kept typing "Calvinist Ball".

posted by tilde at 8:02 AM on September 3, 2015 [22 favorites]


also, i'm gonna get like a broken record in here i have no doubt - but as a backwoods hillperson, that's not the mockable thing about kim davis.

There's hillfolk and then there's backwards hillfolk. Believe me, I'm in Northern California, I know there's both kinds.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:04 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


nadawi: "if a muslim clerk suddenly decided that no one got drivers licenses because he refused to give them to women, there would be no question how ridiculous this is."

But let's be clear -- a DMV clerk is an employee of the state. A county clerk is an elected official, and elected officials are hella difficult to fire -- since you basically have to impeach them -- and unless they've been convicted of a felony, it's very difficult to keep them from running for the same office again as soon as they've been impeached. Since American law gives broad, broad deference to the will of the voters in choosing their elected officials, they are very hard to remove even when they're engaged in serious misconduct.

Which is why she can get away with this, and she'll continue to be able to get away with this for an irritatingly long period of time; if she refuses to comply with the court's order to issue marriage licenses, she will have to either resign or the state will have to go through the long, slow process of removing her. There are unfortunately few remedies available that move more quickly than that.

(Personally I am hoping the court fines her for contempt for an amount equal to or greater than her taxpayer-paid salary for ever day this goes on, but I'm not sure what other remedies the court has available beyond finding her in contempt and allowing gay couples to bypass her office until the state removes her.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:04 AM on September 3, 2015 [22 favorites]


Be kind to Kim Davis.

She is wrong - morally and legally and constitutionally and she is just plain wrong.

But she is not evil.

She really, truly believes in some things that are wrong. Wrong is not Evil.

She never understood the sophistication, strategy and goals of the people who want her in jail. They need a martyr. So, let's talk about them! Who is funding her lawyers? Why are they advising her to go to prison?

She is not evil. She's probably no worse than you are, on balance.

Kim Davis needs and deserves love and kindness.
posted by Combat Wombat at 8:05 AM on September 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


i don't care what someone is in their heart of hearts if they are doing evil.
posted by nadawi at 8:06 AM on September 3, 2015 [64 favorites]


I don't think this is about anyone deserving kindness. Do your job or quit.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM on September 3, 2015 [36 favorites]


Are there any reputable news organizations liveblogging or live tweeting about this morning's hearing?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:09 AM on September 3, 2015


Believe me, I'm in Northern California, I know there's both kinds.

nope.
posted by nadawi at 8:10 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


everyone, please, you're forgetting the plight of her neighbor

GODDAMN IT, KIM, I CAN'T DICK AROUND ON FACEBOOK WITH FUCKING ANDERSON COOPER WAVING A CAMERA IN MY FACE!!!
posted by numaner at 8:12 AM on September 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


You missed the part of the timeline where she was forgiven/reborn etc. So that sets things back to okay by her lights as she reconciles with her new/old hubby.

But by her own argument, it wouldn't matter what she thinks, it would be down to what the county clerk refusing the license believed. I would really like to know her response to that hypothetical situation.
posted by dilettante at 8:14 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's hillfolk and then there's backwards hillfolk.

There's a reason that Chris Rock doesn't do that bit anymore.
posted by Etrigan at 8:15 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even many of the "backwoods hillfolk" disagree: In Rural Kentucky, Residents Disagree About County Clerk Kim Davis
posted by zombieflanders at 8:16 AM on September 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


Kim Davis is utterly wrong in every measure.

She must resign. No matter what happens, she has clearly, undeniably failed at her job. Resign, or get fired.

She is also morally wrong. She is a wrong person on the wrong side of history, justice, truth and reality.

And she is an official in breach of her terms of employment.

Now, maybe she was involved at every level of finger-steepling planning that went on. Or perhaps there were some vague words of encouragement.

She's a nasty, vicious, bigoted lighting rod. The lightning has struck. Are you looking at the lightning rod, or at the cloud?
posted by Combat Wombat at 8:17 AM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was very surprised to learn that Kim Davis is a Democrat.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:19 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd love to know the exact timeline for Liberty Counsel's involvement in this circus. The whole thing smells like it was set-up from the get-go. Like maybe LC went looking for a person like Davis around which LC could build a media event.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was very surprised to learn that Kim Davis is a Democrat.

You are? Flyover Democrats are quite often indistinguishable from Republicans, at least when it comes to subjects like this. Especially outside the major cities.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:21 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was very surprised to learn that Kim Davis is a Democrat.

There's still some unreconstructed pre-Southern Strategy Yellow Dog Democrats sprinkled around the South. They wind up voting for Republicans for the important jobs, but still put "fellow" Democrats in local positions.
posted by Etrigan at 8:22 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


> She's a nasty, vicious, bigoted lighting rod. The lightning has struck.

This is a weird analogy that isn't going to go very far, but from the point of view of the couples whose legal rights she continues to deny, she is the lightning itself.
posted by rtha at 8:22 AM on September 3, 2015


Calvinist ball

Ugh, they are the worst. You know all the songs before hand and all the dance steps are preplanned.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [53 favorites]


Fun fact (and somewhat relevant), a very observant Catholic clerk would know that Catholicism draws lines between invalid marriages, natural (civil) marriages, and sacramental (religious) marriages. A wedding between two atheists or two Buddhists, for example, would be considered natural but not sacramental, and would exist completely independent of Church rule and law.

An observant Catholic should have no problem with issuing a civil marriage license to anyone who walks through the door. Or, in keeping with the post, GODDAMN IT, KIM, THERE'S A BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS.
posted by math at 8:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [57 favorites]


You are? Flyover Democrats are quite often indistinguishable from Republicans, at least when it comes to subjects like this. Especially outside the major cities.
Speaking as a flyover Democrat who doesn't live in or near a big city, yeah, no. That's not true.

What I like about the Twitter account is that it mostly avoids the sexist, classist shit that I'm seeing elsewhere and instead finds humor in the annoying-grandstanding-co-worker shit that I think most of us can relate to on some level.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:28 AM on September 3, 2015 [71 favorites]


dilettante I expect she like most others who have been questioned along similar lines (Quakers refusing to issue gun licenses, Muslims refusing to issue food licenses to non-halal food establishments) would be that they don't talk in hypotheicals and that you need to bring proof that it is happening (such as a denial) not hypotheically happening.

Though as pointed out above, there are also folks (with overlap to supporting her) who are trying to prevent a hypothetical Muslim Shaira Law state in the same breath.
posted by tilde at 8:29 AM on September 3, 2015


She's not going to resign, she probably wants to go to jail (and keep getting paid) to amp up the martyr angle.

Sounds like the only legal option is impeachment. Buzzfeed historical look Kentucky's record on impeachment. One guy resigned during the process but the state completed it to make sure the impeached could never ever hold state office again.
posted by tilde at 8:31 AM on September 3, 2015


[Couple comments deleted. Please skip the metacommentary, thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:31 AM on September 3, 2015


Be kind to Kim Davis.

No.

But she is not evil.

She might be a delightful person, she might be Hitler reincarnated, I don't care. Her actions are evil.

She is not evil. She's probably no worse than you are, on balance.

Nope. She's way worse than me. I don't believe that some stupid bullshit written two thousand years ago gives me the ability to deny basic equality to a class of people.

Kim Davis needs and deserves love and kindness.

No, she needs to lose her fucking job and/or go to jail for refusing to do it. I give zero fucks what she looks like or wears or how many times she's been married. She's using horseshit religious garbage to tell people like me that we don't get to be full citizens. Fuck that shit sideways. She needs and deserves to be shunned, unemployed, and jailed for refusing to do her fucking job.

Seriously. This is not some oh haha misunderstanding, this is not a point upon which reasonable people can disagree: she is perpetuating and perpetrating bigotry and hatred and she needs to cut it the fuck out. She can go on believing whatever antiquated nonsense she wants. What she's not allowed to do is ignore the law of the land that says me, and people like me, actually get to be full citizens.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:33 AM on September 3, 2015 [121 favorites]


Speaking as a flyover Democrat who doesn't live in or near a big city, yeah, no. That's not true.

Speaking also as a flyover Democrat who doesn't live in a big city...You did see the "quite often" right? I didn't say "always". Where I live, I can introduce you to a not insignificant number of staunch Democrats who, nonetheless, thump their bibles and have a huge, huge issue with same-sex marriage. Sorry, but it's true. We used to call them Reagan Democrats. Not sure what to call them these days. Confused? Delusional?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:34 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Twitter person is awake!

Now we're listening to "I kissed a girl" on repeat!! Need more suggestions for our #KimDavis jail mix!!!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:36 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Not sure what to call them these days. Confused? Delusional?

Bigoted assholes?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:37 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Clerks and Recreation.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:39 AM on September 3, 2015


I see that Kim Davis was only narrowly elected into office last November. She won her Democratic primary by only 0.6% of the vote, and the general election by 6.4%. I tend to assume that this whole escapade began as a political stunt aimed to garner her the reputation of a defender of traditional marriage, though it's gotten completely out of hand.
posted by crazy with stars at 8:40 AM on September 3, 2015


I love that some of these facts about Kim seems so plausible, like "she has a huge crush on @Andy Cohen. I think that's behind a lot of this.", that this could actually be somebody working there.
posted by numaner at 8:41 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]




If she is found in contempt, I very much hope the court orders an ongoing fine rather than jailing her. Jail costs the state money and makes her into a martyr. A fine is more difficult to get up in arms about, and I suspect it would be more effective at causing her to resign or start issuing licenses. And if bigots start giving her money to pay the fine, then the court should just keep increasing it. This would have the dual effects of maintaining the pressure on Davis and draining the coffers of bigots.
posted by jedicus at 8:44 AM on September 3, 2015 [27 favorites]


"But no one is stating the obvious: this isn't about Kim Davis standing up for her supposed principles—proof of that in a moment—it's about Kim Davis cashing in. There's a big pile of sweet, sweet bigot money out there waiting for her. If the owners of a pizza parlor could rake in a million dollars just by threatening not to cater the gay wedding no one asked them to cater... just imagine how much of that sweet, sweet bigot money Kim Davis is going to rake in."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:44 AM on September 3, 2015 [28 favorites]


Here's a Louisville newspaper reporter at the courthouse who seems to be heading up their coverage. And here's the Courier-Journal's twitter feed.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:47 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even many of the "backwoods hillfolk" disagree: In Rural Kentucky, Residents Disagree About County Clerk Kim Davis

Thanks for sharing that. I was born in Kentucky, and much of my family still lives there. And I find the public perception of that part of the world as a monolithically conservative, awful place is tiresome and insulting.

Even in the steepest "landslide," 20-40% will come out on the other side, y'all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


Here's a Louisville newspaper reporter at the courthouse...

Did he just use the term "media scrum"? Just what country is this again?
posted by happyroach at 9:01 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh excellent, that Twitter shows pics of this Jack Chick antigay tract being passed out.
posted by emjaybee at 9:05 AM on September 3, 2015


Fining her won't be effective. She'll fund raise the fines in a milli-second and use the fund raising to organize. The only way to change her behavior will be to jail her. The downside to jailing her is that she'll be a martyr. The upside is that she'll be a forgotten martyr in a month or so.
posted by rdr at 9:06 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


A county clerk is an elected official, and elected officials are hella difficult to fire -- since you basically have to impeach them -- and unless they've been convicted of a felony, it's very difficult to keep them from running for the same office again as soon as they've been impeached.

Something I've been wondering about all along--what about the potential for a recall election? How long might something like that take (shorter/longer than impeachment)? Would it fail because her county is equally bigoted? It doesn't sound like she has a whole lot of local support, although I haven't looked too deeply into that.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:06 AM on September 3, 2015


Kentucky doesn't have a recall mechanism for county clerks. (Recall authority is quite limited across the US. A lot of states that do have recall mechanisms only allow it for the governor.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:09 AM on September 3, 2015


She is not evil. She's probably no worse than you are, on balance.

well on the one hand i did once get a speeding ticket, and looking back on it, i was pretty unkind to some people when i was in middle school

but on the other hand, you're probably right, that's definitely the same thing as ignoring the orders of a federal court so that you can mess up a bunch of people's lives carrying out an illegal one-woman mission of bigotry based on a completely inaccurate reading of a two thousand year old manual for goat herders
posted by Mayor West at 9:09 AM on September 3, 2015 [66 favorites]


You know, all this handwringing over Kim Davis, and being kind to her, that she's not evil, that she's no worse than I am on balance and thus needs and deserves love and kindness?

Yeah. If she's no worse than I am, then fuck her and the hypocritical horse she rode in on. Because if I'm as bad as she is, then I want to see her life ground to dust and then salted because I believe in fictional histories of what happened to enemies of civilization like Carthage.

Oh, and on that note, come back Josh Duggar. Apparently hypocrisy is not abig deal, so your appearance on Ashley Madison was a-ok.

Fuck that noise.
posted by qcubed at 9:10 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hi, backwoods hillfolk here, spitting distance from Rowan County. You may know of me from many of my posts talking about how fucked up the democratic party is in KY. Which is true. And I am also moving from the area in three weeks. However, I do feel a need to speek up for the backwoods here.

While I think that this area is a political cesspit in general, you should realize that while it seems like the whole area would support Kim Davis' actions, that is not remotely the case - I don't even believe that it's a majority.

The fact of the matter is that there is a very wealthy and powerful religious conservative base here - Not the majority of folk, though. The disparity between the wealthy and the poor here is VAST. This may not be the wealthiest part of the US, but the gap between the haves and the have-nots is STAGGERING. I know that both Fayette County (Lexington) and Clark County (Lexington) are near the top of the list of counties in the US with the largest gaps between the rich and the poor.

Those who hold political office here will always come from that position of wealth and power, no matter how small that office is. It's pretty safe to assume they are corrupt in one way or another - KY politics has a reputation for a reason. It's the "good ol' boys" network here, and at this point, I believe that there is an informal agreement between the majority parties that while they may have different names, their goals of holding power are the same- and outsiders are not allowed.

I've tried to make political inroads here, and outside of the few larger cities - Louisville, Lexington, possibly others - it is literally impossible, between opportunists who will happily stab you in the back and lie to your face while using you for groundwork and those who will simply tell you that you don't have a dog in this fight.

The people as a whole here are varied beyond what you would see in the media - which loves to paint that backwoods picture of KY. What you have to remember that most people here are barely scraping by, and that time to talk to the media or write letters to the editor are things that come from power and privilege. You won't see someone protesting the clerks actions if they can't get the time off of work to do so.

KY is a very very strange state. We were neutral in the civil war - which really means that we were often fighting with ourselves, playing both sides, or simply not trying to stir the pot. I think that is what has lead to the schizophrenic nature of the state, which can range from Southern, Mid-western, or Appalachian at times, depending on where you are. There are parts that are very much the bible belt, and there are small towns that are very much liberal artists enclaves. However, the one thing that is consistent - the divide between the wealthy and the poor, which always reflects those who are in power from those who are living day to day.

There is another thing that is consistent as well - which is that most of KY hates the federal government, which is seen as intervention by an outsider. This isn't always used to fight civil rights - The old stereotype of moonshiners fighting against the revenuers has some truth to it. This is one of the few places where I've seen states rights regularly invoked outside of racial/sexuality lines. Unfortunately, many people in power prey and feed on that hatred of the fed to help further their own agenda - which usually ends up being along those lines. And the reality isn't "states rights" - many would rather that their county be able to dictate everything and otherwise be left alone. Think of our counties as being like a really wealthy homeowner who really wants to tell the neighborhood authority to go fuck themselves.

I like to think of KY as the place that a few assholes fuck up for a lot of really good people.... I think of the "coal rollers" first because that's been a major gripe, but really, it's more about those who have the privilege of being able to be an asshole to everyone else without repercussions. Unfortunately, that lends itself to a power structure that is very difficult to challenge. It's incrediby corrupt - There's a reason that the FBI is looking for leads on corruption within KY. And remember that the Sheriffs office and local law enforcement in general is generally on board with this - One reason of many that this is so hard to challenge.

My point is that calling us backwoods hillfolk - even if you are saying there are two types - is really doing a disservice to the people here. Now, if you are referring strictly to our regional government leaders - I think that's totally fair, but lumping so many of the good and diverse people of KY into this is really unfair.

I'm fortunate in that I can move out of here - Most people here don't have that privilege, and are stuck with the leaders we have.
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [115 favorites]


Thanks for sharing that. I was born in Kentucky, and much of my family still lives there. And I find the public perception of that part of the world as a monolithically conservative, awful place is tiresome and insulting.

KY is my adopted home of the last twelve years, and I've heard heavy sighs and seen lowered, shaken heads about this. Even the most conservative person that I know said that, while he agrees with her 110%, she should really, and I quote, "just do her damn job."
posted by eclectist at 9:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


Kentucky doesn't have a recall mechanism for county clerks. (Recall authority is quite limited across the US. A lot of states that do have recall mechanisms only allow it for the governor.)

If you needed 5% of the vote to recall her a multi-million dollar election could be caused by 200 disgruntled people.
posted by Talez at 9:11 AM on September 3, 2015


BuddhaInABucket: A friend of mine pointed out that a lot of the criticism of Kim Davis is seated in a lot of the same systemic shitiness that motivates her. On Kim Davis and being better than investing in oppressive systems.

Great link, and here's a summary:
Kim Davis is making vile, calculated fuckery to deny legal rights to couples to marry. She’s doing so in contravention of the law and while embracing an unsupportable bigotry. She’s playing a victim while she’s marshalling a hegemonic and normative Christian privilege that is directly oppressing other people. It’s terrible. This is not up for debate.

What has bothered me, however, have been the host of troubling ways people have attempted to challenge her terrible, bigoted actions.

1. Body shaming and general misogyny.
2. The combing over her marriages, sexuality, and conjugal choices as evidence of hypocrisy that makes her not believable.
3. Finally, I’m deeply uncomfortable with people excited about the prospect of Kim Davis being jailed.

In short, Kim Davis is a flawed, messy human. She’s one that is marshaling powerful, aggrieved Christian hegemony to make terrible choices. That should be called out without attacking her body, her sexual/personal choices, her gender, or wishing imprisonment.

Let’s #bebetter.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


Actually, I have quit jobs before because I felt ethically compromised by doing them, even though nothing I was being asked to do was illegal. I did not, in the process, sabotage things or make life harder for other people, because if I want change to happen, I know there are legitimate processes by which to make it happen. Like voting and advocacy.

By that measure, I am a better person than she is.
posted by emjaybee at 9:13 AM on September 3, 2015 [31 favorites]


eclectist: " Even the most conservative person that I know said that, while he agrees with her 110%, she should really, and I quote, "just do her damn job.""

Yes, on a more positive note, it is heartening how many elected officials in Kentucky (and elsewhere) who are conservative and/or vocal opponents of gay marriage have said, "Look, it's over, you lost, do your damn job." Most conservatives I know who opposed gay marriage (locally to me, or nationally) say, "It was vigorously litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, the Court decided, I don't agree, but it's the law. We followed the process, we lost, that happens in a democracy."

Definitely some of them are like "STOP TALKING WE HAVE TO WIN ELECTIONS YOU ARE MAKING PEOPLE NOT VOTE FOR US" but a lot of them clearly feel the issue has been fully litigated and fairly decided by process of law and it's time to respect that and obey the law. (I mean, I never got un-grumpy about Bush v. Gore, but I acquiesced to the legal process of the country and accepted that the dude was president. I didn't have to like it, but I accepted it.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 AM on September 3, 2015 [17 favorites]


When we get done talking about the hilarious tweets, I wanna talk about Kim Davis's lawyers

Who is funding her lawyers?


From the editors of the Lexington Herald-Leader:
The husband and wife team who founded and run Liberty Counsel, Anita and Matthew Staver, were paid $137,758 and $153,591, respectively, in 2013. The staff of five ran up $184,479 in travel expenses that year and spent $429,584 on conferences, conventions and meetings. Liberty Counsel paid one independent contractor over $600,000 for "email alert services," and another almost $500,000 for printing and mail services. "Case costs," were reported at $105,487.

Liberty's attorneys know they can't win the case in Rowan County. Same-sex marriage is legal since the Supreme Court's June 26 decision and it's Davis' job to issue marriage licenses.

So, why is Liberty Counsel marching alongside Davis in this losing cause? It takes a lot to keep that marketing machine humming and those executives paid, and the only way to keep those donations coming is to stay in the news. For that purpose a losing cause is just as good as, perhaps better than, a winning one.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 9:19 AM on September 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


My wish is that her attorneys are ordered to go to jail for this nonsense. Now bear with me for this scenario. This is a US Courthouse, right? The attorneys then decide to not report. Federal judge doesn't call on the sheriff, calls out the US Marshall. This is Kentucky. Marshall's office sends out Raylan Givens. Chaos ensues. Justice will prevail. Oh yes it will.
posted by Ber at 9:20 AM on September 3, 2015 [20 favorites]


Goddammit, why did they have to stop at six seasons.
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Isn't "dixiecrat" the usual term for southern democrats who are shitty in bigoted ways? or did bloom county lead me astray.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:24 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


if a muslim clerk suddenly decided that no one got drivers licenses because he refused to give them to women, there would be no question how ridiculous this is. if a mormon took a job at a bar and then refused to serve alcohol to anyone, they would be fired.

Recent Onion Headline: Christian Science Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Any Prescription
posted by saul wright at 9:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [12 favorites]


Be kind to Kim Davis.

no
posted by Greg Nog at 9:27 AM on September 3, 2015 [28 favorites]


Kim Davis needs and deserves love and kindness.

If Kim Davis deserves love and kindness, then the couples that she's refusing to marry deserve love and kindness as well. I don't see them getting any of that in all of this clown circus bullshit. I see them getting yelled at, spit on, and taunted by bigots.

Oh, and by the way, they also deserve her following the law and doing her goddamn job.

They need a martyr.

And she very willingly and very gladly became one.
posted by blucevalo at 9:28 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


if being kind to oppressors resulted in expanded rights, we'd be there already.
posted by nadawi at 9:30 AM on September 3, 2015 [81 favorites]


the wiki page on conservative democrats covers a lot of ground, including the dixiecrats, reagan dems, and blue dogs.
posted by nadawi at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


if being kind to oppressors resulted in expanded rights, we'd be there already.

Quoted for eternal truth.
posted by XtinaS at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


One of the nice things about same-sex marriage being the law of the land now is that the writing isn't just on the wall, it's not something that everyone with a brain knows is inevitable, that was last year, now it's hear so there is no debate. You either embrace the new normal or you get to stand on the same hate spectrum as the KKK and the Nazis. Maybe Kim Davis and those like her are just as bad as those other two groups, maybe they're not but any scale that ends at "Nazi" is a scale I don't want to be anywhere on.

So when Kim Davis stands up and says, "That's right everyone, I'm a bigot and proud of it" I can safely write her off as a person and not feel the least bit bad, maybe a little pity, but that's it. If she changes her mind I'll be happy to welcome her back to civilization but until then, she is just an obstacle to be overcome.
posted by VTX at 9:38 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


If we're gonna call for the love/kindness/compassion route, then here is a loving/kind/compassionate argument for removing Davis from her position:

She is clearly more competent in areas not covered by her job description. She would be better in a position which optimizes her passions, such as evangelism/ministry or working at a Christian organization. Davis' willingness to violate the policies associated with her position to affirm and assert her religious views - plus the fact that she has successfully leveraged her dissent to gain public attention and discussion - indicates that the position of County Clerk is not ideal for her, and the office has other needs (such as granting citizens marriage licenses regardless of orientation) that need to be met. She simply cannot help the office meet them, and that's okay.
posted by Ashen at 9:41 AM on September 3, 2015 [15 favorites]


Thanks for the insight, MysticMCJ.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:45 AM on September 3, 2015


There. The nicest thing I could possibly say about this person before I curse her and her queer-antagonistic, ignorant bullshit.
posted by Ashen at 9:45 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Douglas Wilson: In Which I Paint With Some Bright Yellows
So I want to begin by making an observation about that hill-to-die-on thing, but then move on to discuss the foundational principle that is at stake here. After that, I want to point out what it would look like if more government officials had the same understanding that Kim Davis is currently displaying — despite being opposed by all the intoleristas and also despite being abandoned by numerous Christians who admire her moxie but who don’t understand her moxie.

First, whenever we get to that elusive and ever-receding “hill to die on,” we will discover, upon our arrival there, that it only looked like a hill to die on from a distance. Up close, when the possible dying is also up close, it kind of looks like every other hill. All of a sudden it looks like a hill to stay alive on, covered over with topsoil that looks suspiciously like common ground.

So it turns out that surrendering hills is not the best way to train for defending the most important ones. Retreat is habit-forming.
via Rod Dreher: The Complicated Kim Davis Case
So Christians have to protect the democratic state against itself? Besides, if the Christian official is a strictly traditionalist Roman Catholic who believes in Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, which, if he followed Doug Wilson’s advice, would put Calvinists like Doug Wilson in a very bad position vis-à-vis the state. I suppose Wilson might deny that the traditionalist Catholic is actually a Christian, but that being the case, good luck trying to convince the rest of the country that it ought to be ruled only by the standards of Calvinists.

Wilson says that he wants massive disobedience of the law by Christian state officials regarding enforcing same-sex marriage laws, and in turn for the state to have to fire those officials:
Damon Linker: Where religious freedom ends: Why a Kentucky clerk has no right to deny gay marriage licenses

Mollie Hemingway: Kentucky Clerk Didn’t Follow Christianity Before Converting To It

The Rude Pundit: If You Support the County Clerk in Kentucky, You Support Shariah Law

Hey, @oreillyfactor - see you at work in the morning. PARK IN THE HANDICAPPED SPOT AGAIN AND I'LL KEY YOUR VAN.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:03 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


No, #KimDavis if I bring you a casserole in prison, I will FUCKING NOT make it according to Leviticus. Just appreciate the gesture.

ugh, biblically inerrant foodies are the worst.
posted by sapere aude at 10:06 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sounds like she was found in contempt and is heading to jail until she complies with order to issue licenses, according to the Courier-Journal guy. Wonder if she'll resign instead.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:08 AM on September 3, 2015




That is one ticked-off judge.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:10 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yaaay!
posted by agregoli at 10:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


She is wrong - morally and legally and constitutionally and she is just plain wrong.

But she is not evil.


We Are Not Evil.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2015


"She has asked the judge to delay his ruling until the Kentucky state legislature, which won’t be in session again until January, can pass legislation that would exempt her and other clerks who don’t wish to follow the law." Uh, even if this happened, it would just go straight back to SCOTUS and they would rule the exemptions unconstitutional again, right?
posted by rustcrumb at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


#kimdavis got what she wanted, to go to jail for her lawyers' bill-payer's show, so @sitsnexttokim can minsweeper her ass off allll next week.

cheese sticks and diet mountain dew for everyone
posted by tilde at 10:15 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


any scale that ends at "Nazi" is a scale I don't want to be anywhere on.

All scales have "Nazi" at the end. Praise be to Godwin.
posted by OnSecondThought at 10:17 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Her attorney from the conservative Liberty Counsel argued Wednesday that Bunning should not punish her for disobeying his order because issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple would “irreparably and irreversibly violate her conscience.”

“It is not as if Kim Davis the individual stops existing while Kim Davis is performing her duties as Rowan County clerk,” argued attorney Jonathan Christman.
CHRISTMAN
posted by prefpara at 10:20 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


COME ON DOWN TO THE ROWAN COUNTY CLERKS OFFICE AND ILL MARRY A FUCKING CHAIR TO A TIGER. #KimDavis
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:23 AM on September 3, 2015 [24 favorites]


Christman, what an asshole.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:23 AM on September 3, 2015 [29 favorites]


“It is not as if Kim Davis the individual stops existing while Kim Davis is performing her duties as Rowan County clerk,” argued attorney Jonathan Christman.

Then, if Kim Davis the person had any integrity she would resign. Because it remains the duty of the office holder to obey and uphold the law to ALL people. That she won't do so is why she's a bully and a wanna-be martyr.

Get off the cross, lady. We need the wood.

Also shouldn't her attorneys be disbarred for advising her to deliberately disobey the law?
posted by dnash at 10:26 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Kim Davis' deputy clerks get half-hour to decide if they will obey court order or possibly join boss in jail. Meeting w/ lawyers. ^JC

So the clerks get half an hour to decide whether they'll comply with the law or join her.
posted by Talez at 10:27 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What court order are the lawyers not obeying? It's not like they can issue the marriage licenses.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:29 AM on September 3, 2015


So if they all go to jail does Rowan County just start hiring new staff today?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:29 AM on September 3, 2015


Talez: "So the clerks get half an hour to decide whether they'll comply with the law or join her."

Let us point out that the poor deputy clerks are meeting with a public defender because Liberty Counsel, who got them all into this fucking mess, is only defending their boss. Unbelievable.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:31 AM on September 3, 2015 [75 favorites]


What court order are the lawyers not obeying? It's not like they can issue the marriage licenses.

Duh. It was the deputy clerks, not the lawyers. I not read so good.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:32 AM on September 3, 2015


What an unremittingly ugly human being, through and through. Good riddance, Kim.

Let's hope the next clerk has a bit more humanity in them. If not, pack them off to prison. Enough of this bullshit.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:32 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


So if they all go to jail does Rowan County just start hiring new staff today?

"Fuck it, everybody's just married now. Next person you see? That's your new spouse. We'll sort it out after Thanksgiving."
posted by Etrigan at 10:34 AM on September 3, 2015 [21 favorites]




Let us point out that the poor deputy clerks are meeting with a public defender because Liberty Counsel, who got them all into this fucking mess, is only defending their boss. Unbelievable.

Not to mention that while the judge is only going to be on their case while this shitstorm is going on, the deputy clerks are going to have to possibly deal with Kim Davis and possibly petty retribution that accompanies small town drama over this.
posted by Talez at 10:35 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Think how much crap we could have avoided if someone has just explained to Kim Davis when she took the job that signing her name to a marriage license indicates "I, Kim Davis, acknowledge that this couple has completed the required paperwork to qualify for a marriage in the state of Kentucky," and not "I, Kim Davis, agree that this particular marriage is a good idea, and it goes forth with my personal blessing."

(not that it would have helped, I know)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 10:36 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]






TODD IS CALLING @Salon OFFERING TO SELL THEM THE "INSIDE SCOOP."
Goddamn it Oh myyyyyyyyy, Todd.

FTFY
posted by tilde at 10:46 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm glad that she's not in local jail, but rather held by the US Marshals
posted by mikelieman at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is a 100% overlap between the camp that says the KY clerk shouldn't have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because of her religion and the camp that says we need to legislate right now against Sharia Law because Americans shouldn't have their freedoms compromised by someone else's religious principles.

There may be some overlap, but I'm guessing there are far more people who reject Sharia and who would also have no use for Ms Davis' actions. Think Christopher Hitchens and that ilk.

Ms Davis' main error is not recognizing that JC was able to differentiate between what is God's and what is Caesar's. As long as she's drawing Caesar's paycheck, she plays his tune. If conscience forbids it, or, say, working at Planned Parenthood, get another job. I did just try to find what her pastor had to say on the matter, but apparently the phone is off the hook. That said, there is apparently some disagreement within her sect concerning how this should be dealt with. Big financial burden, granted, for her to resign, but trouble on earth is part of the Christian deal. (Coincidentally, on being elected clerk, she instituted Prison Bible Study classes in local jails. God works in mysterious ways.)

Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county, have a blow-up post-celebration party, bring hundreds if not thousands to the local economy, and getting on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

(I have to say, I disapprove of the medium. Blond co-worker has nothing to do with this and dragging her image into the whole thing, putting words into her mouth, is just rude.)
posted by IndigoJones at 10:49 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The 5 deputy clerks have to decide right now if they are going to issue licences, or join Davis in jail.
posted by tizzie at 10:52 AM on September 3, 2015


Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county, have a blow-up post-celebration party, bring hundreds if not thousands to the local economy, and getting on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

Negros just had to go to the next town before sundown and get on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.
posted by Talez at 10:52 AM on September 3, 2015 [75 favorites]




Also, people without cars can't just go to the next county to get married.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county

What a weird statement.

Why should anyone have to go somewhere else to get their legal rights recognized, on the whims of whoever runs the local office?

That's like telling drivers they need to go to a DMV one county over to get new car tags, because the clerk doesn't happen to like the paint job.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [34 favorites]


Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county, have a blow-up post-celebration party, bring hundreds if not thousands to the local economy, and getting on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

So you're saying that having separate regimes for marriage county by county is still basically equal.
posted by Etrigan at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [40 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "So if they all go to jail does Rowan County just start hiring new staff today?"

No, because the county clerk is an elected official and the state can't just "route around" her. I'm sure there's a Kentucky MeFite down with the specifics of the law in Kentucky, but in general only the elected county clerk is empowered to hire people for her office. If all deputy clerks chose to go to jail and not issue licenses, there is no one with the authority to hire or appoint "temporary" clerks until the existing clerk dies or resigns. Now, I believe the local court can perform the functions of the clerk's office (or at least some of them) in the absence of anyone in the clerk's office able to do those functions (but that is expensive, tedious, and backs up the real work of the court when it happens more often than "once in a while," and the courts don't want to do that). Part of the reason this case was chosen by Liberty is that if they can get Davis to simply keep refusing, they can essentially stop up that office until a) she is impeached; b) she is convicted of official misconduct; or c) the next election.

When an elected official in an sole executive position (governor, county clerk, secretary of state, etc.) refuses to execute their office as required by law, to the point that they're willing to go to jail for contempt, there are frustratingly few things that can be done about it, and they all take forever. This is why when state governors do stupid things outside the law, there is a concerted PR effort to shame them into compliance with the law -- because if you have to go through the process of actually removing them, it takes time and it costs a lot. I mean, after Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI for a felony and literally everyone in the country was calling for him to step down, it still took over a month to impeach him, and that just required the votes of a state legislature who all hated him with the fire of a thousand suns. It's obviously much more difficult when there's not a felony combined with universal agreement that you need to leave.

IndigoJones: "Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county"

Are you kidding? They're citizens of this country entitled to their Constitutional rights no matter where they live. I do not have to go to the next county over to exercise my fundamental rights or prevent them from being trampled on by the state! That is literally the point of the Constitution. "Equal justice under law" doesn't just mean that all individuals must be treated the same -- it means that all governmental units must execute the law in the same fashion.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:55 AM on September 3, 2015 [62 favorites]


> Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

I'm more than a little bleh'd out here that you see fit to call "enjoying rights as a citizen, like everyone else" with some drama-loving emotional thrill. Can you re-think that equivalency?
posted by rtha at 10:56 AM on September 3, 2015 [47 favorites]


Just let every elected functionary decide which laws they're going to follow/enforce, maybe even let them make up new ones! Let municipalities compete in the marketplace of ideas! Get government out of government
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:57 AM on September 3, 2015 [30 favorites]


IndigoJones: "Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county, have a blow-up post-celebration party, bring hundreds if not thousands to the local economy, and getting on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask."

The proper response to the couples who have wasted hours upon hours of their own time to get rejected for a marriage license over and over again, while a local official tramples all over their Constitutional rights, is not, "Well I guess they get an emotional thrill from the drama."

It is, "THANK YOU, PATRIOTS!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:59 AM on September 3, 2015 [115 favorites]


Before Kim Davis was elected Country Clerk she had worked as a deputy clerk for 27 years. Her boss was her mother. She doesn't really have much of a work history if you eliminate the nepotism. I don't see that she's got many places to go if she resigns.
posted by rdr at 11:00 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


Also, it's quite possible that the only thing keeping "the next town over" in line is the fear of the consequences of open defiance of SCOTUS. If you let this instance slide, you have to expect defiance to start popping up all over.
posted by rustcrumb at 11:01 AM on September 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


She doesn't really have much of a work history if you eliminate the nepotism. I don't see that she's got many places to go if she resigns.

To me, it sounds like impeaching her would be killing 2 birds with 1 stone -- equal protection under the law, and also let's reduce the amount of nepotism in local government.
posted by tocts at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Her attorney from the conservative Liberty Counsel argued Wednesday that Bunning should not punish her for disobeying his order because issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple would "irreparably and irreversibly violate her conscience."
"It is not as if Kim Davis the individual stops existing while Kim Davis is performing her duties as Rowan County clerk," argued attorney Jonathan Christman.


well my sacred religious text, which i just scrawled on the back of a cocktail napkin with a misshapen piece of red crayon, specifically requires that court clerks obey the federal judiciary. failing to follow that dogma would irreparably and irreversibly violate my conscience. your move, jonathan christman
posted by Mayor West at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


my sacred religious text also has rules about wearing brown shoes and blue socks but that is a topic for another day
posted by Mayor West at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


if she's anything like the colorado bigot bakers, she'll have a fine job taking money from other bigots to come and speak in their towns. we had the colorado bigot bakers in our town just a couple weeks ago drumming up fear to try to keep an anti discrimination ordinance from passing.
posted by nadawi at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't see that she's got many places to go if she resigns.

She'll go on to an illustrious career giving speeches on the importance of religious freeeeeedom.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 11:04 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Before Kim Davis was elected Country Clerk she had worked as a deputy clerk for 27 years. Her boss was her mother. She doesn't really have much of a work history if you eliminate the nepotism. I don't see that she's got many places to go if she resigns.

There's a perfectly good Hobby Lobby one county to the west and the east.
posted by Talez at 11:04 AM on September 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


There's a perfectly good Hobby Lobby one county to the west and the east.

She won't clear 80 large plus that sweet government pension at Hater Lobby, though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:06 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


She'll go on to an illustrious career giving speeches on the importance of religious freeeeeedom.

Not so much because she's going to have to back down to get out of jail. I don't think Hobby Lobby pays 80,000 a year for cashiers.

Her attornies really did a job on her.
posted by rdr at 11:06 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


She'll be touring the "Christians are Persecuted Grifter Circuit" in no time.
posted by drezdn at 11:08 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is the updating Courier-Journal story -- there is an autoplaying video at the top of shouting protestors -- they have summarized a bit of what Bunning said in court:
U.S. District Judge David Bunning said fines were not enough to force her to comply with a previous order to provide the paperwork to all couples. Bunning said allowing her to defy the order would create a "ripple effect."
"Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense," he said. "Oaths mean things."
Bunning said society relies virtually every day on people complying with court orders and that to allow otherwise would create a slippery slope. The court "cannot condone willful disobedience," he said. "If you give people opportunity to choose what orders they follow, that is what potentially causes problems."
[...]
He also raised concerns that supporters would pay any fine he levied against Davis, hampering its force.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:08 AM on September 3, 2015 [16 favorites]


Of course, the petitioners could just go to the next county, have a blow-up post-celebration party, bring hundreds if not thousands to the local economy, and getting on with their lives. Not a lot of headlines in that, and you give up the emotional thrill, but then I'm not one for drama, so the wrong person to ask.

Because being forced to do all of that in a county that is not the one where you live, work, vote, or pay taxes is totally equal under the Constitution. Right? Is that the point you were trying to make? Or are you maybe missing some key information there about the Constitutionality of "separate but equal"? I mean, I know empathy is really hard for some people, but try. Try really hard to imagine what it would feel like to try to get married in the county where you live your entire life, where your tax dollars pay for the salary of the woman denying you access to something you are legally entitled to, because it makes her feel icky to have to treat you decently. Would you still categorize your own desire to be recognized as a goddamn human being with rights as "drama"? Or would you recognize that categorization as the bullshit it is?
posted by palomar at 11:09 AM on September 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


forgive me - it was the oregon bigot bakers. i get them mixed up.
posted by nadawi at 11:09 AM on September 3, 2015




I just wanted to share this marvelous comment I saw on Gawker:
Chapter 13: Letter From a Rowan County Jail

“Hey, could someone DVR Mike & Molly for me while I’m in here? Thanks, Kim”

Questions for Classroom Discussion:
1. Think about a time when you were punished and couldn’t do something you wanted to do in the meantime. How did that make you feel? How did you let people know?

2. Do you think people would have treated Ms. Davis a little differently if she had worn a non-denim dress?

3. Look around the classroom for a black classmate. Make sincere eye contact and mouth, "I get it." Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself by playing a game on your smartphone for the rest of this exercise.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:11 AM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


I understand where the judge is coming from, but I really did not want her to go to jail. Ugh. There's no need to give her more fuel for her martyr fire and all those other "persecuted" christians.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:12 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull, link?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:14 AM on September 3, 2015


Her attorney from the conservative Liberty Counsel argued Wednesday that Bunning should not punish her for disobeying his order because issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple would "irreparably and irreversibly violate her conscience."

I had thought that Christians were all about The Forgiveness. Shouldn't a few Hail Mary's make this all better?
posted by mikelieman at 11:15 AM on September 3, 2015


I understand where the judge is coming from, but I really did not want her to go to jail. Ugh. There's no need to give her more fuel for her martyr fire and all those other "persecuted" christians.

Related: Freerep PJSalt thread.
posted by Talez at 11:17 AM on September 3, 2015


One more point and then I'll try to simmer down for a bit -- the judge recognizes that she had an actual good-faith belief that her oath of "so help me God" meant that she was taking an oath to God to only execute those laws that God would agree with. But her attorneys absolutely knew that this was an argument that was never going to fly, and absolutely knew that that was not what the oath meant and that there was plenty of precedent opposing them. This is fucking predatory behavior by her lawyers, taking a good-faith belief by an unsophisticated client that they knew was wrong and had no chance of prevailing, encouraging it, writing briefs in support of it, and getting their client sent to jail for contempt. It is utterly unbelievable.

Otoh, it is good to see the system otherwise working as it is mostly supposed to. Davis was asked in the hearing if the county insurance would cover any fines levied against her and she said the county's insurer had told her they would "drop me like a hot potato."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:17 AM on September 3, 2015 [35 favorites]


absolutely anything done besides allowing her to continue denying people their rights for the next 4 years would have cemented her martyr status. we can't win that game. her type of christian is going to see themselves as persecuted no matter what we do short of undoing every advancement of civil rights.
posted by nadawi at 11:17 AM on September 3, 2015 [26 favorites]


To LizBoBiz, I understand where you're coming from, but I really did want her to go to jail. Playing the persecuted Christian card doesn't entitle anyone to avoid the legal consequences of their actions.
posted by math at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not so much because she's going to have to back down to get out of jail.

True, but that's where the "if she resigns" caveat comes in. An unlikely prospect, I know. I'm sure Liberty's still whispering in her ear about how great jail is for their cause.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2015


roomthreeseventeen,

Somewhere in this thread. Kinja makes it quite difficult to link to actual comments.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:19 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]




They should put Kim Davis in the next Republican primary poll to see if she qualifies for the debate. I think she'll be top ten, no problem. CNN can set up a livefeed to her jail cell.
posted by andoatnp at 11:24 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Thanks, Eyebrows McGee, for your comment about the predatory nature of what Liberty Counsel is doing. Appalling.
posted by tizzie at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


I understand where the judge is coming from, but I really did not want her to go to jail. Ugh. There's no need to give her more fuel for her martyr fire and all those other "persecuted" christians.

I get that, and sorta felt the same way, but I feel like this was going to happen eventually. Fine her, and either she'd refuse to pay the fines, thus dragging out another round of court proceedings until jail - or GoFundMe would pay for her, and she wouldn't change her actions, thus dragging out another round of court proceedings until jail. So for me this just short circuits several more rounds of bullshit.
posted by dnash at 11:26 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm enjoying this comment from the Gawker article:
Jumped out at me too. She COULD have gotten off with a fine, but the judge is savvy enough to know about crowdfunding, and realized no reasonable amount of fine would actually punish her, so he opted to go the jail route.
http://gawker.com/jumped-out-at-me-too-she-could-have-gotten-off-with-a-1728516548
posted by XtinaS at 11:29 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think people generally get this, but I just want to reiterate something that's kinda important:

Kim Davis has done this to herself. Full stop. She has always had a way out of this that does not require her to act counter to her beliefs: resign. Even in her ridiculous parsing of her oath of office, there's nothing you can point to that would preclude her from doing that (other than wanting to keep getting paid, but the courts have made it very clear that her beliefs make her incompatible with the job).

So, her going to jail has nothing to do with her personal beliefs. It has everything to do with the fact that she doesn't just think she cannot personally act counter to her beliefs, but in fact doesn't want anyone to be allowed to act in a way that is counter to her beliefs. If she resigns, someone else might get elected who doesn't share her beliefs, and that's why she's going to jail to try to prevent this.

Kim Davis is going to jail because she wants her religion's laws to supercede the nation's civil law at the local, state, and federal level, up to and including the United States Constitution.
posted by tocts at 11:29 AM on September 3, 2015 [89 favorites]


Didn't the bakers or pizza people or one of those manage to raise something like a million dollars on GoFundMe, supposedly to pay their legal bills, but actually to give them a monetary reward for being hateful?

Really, some days I just want to give up.
posted by holborne at 11:29 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still think the judge should have fined her for the amount of her salary + benefits for the duration of her disobedience. If the bigots want to pay her salary, fine, but the taxpayers should not have to.
posted by rustcrumb at 11:30 AM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


the judge recognizes that she had an actual good-faith belief that her oath of "so help me God" meant that she was taking an oath to God to only execute those laws that God would agree with.

IANAL, and I understand that courts give great deference to claims of sincere religious belief, but can that really be so? Did she not assume public office until after her becoming "born again," or would she have taken oaths before with a different understanding?

But her attorneys absolutely knew that this was an argument that was never going to fly, and absolutely knew that that was not what the oath meant and that there was plenty of precedent opposing them. This is fucking predatory behavior by her lawyers, taking a good-faith belief by an unsophisticated client that they knew was wrong and had no chance of prevailing, encouraging it, writing briefs in support of it, and getting their client sent to jail for contempt.

And getting paid in the process, and using her "martyr" status as a fat fundraising cash cow into the bargain. Contemptible. These people need to be officially and harshly reprimanded if not disbarred.
posted by Gelatin at 11:32 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still think the judge should have fined her for the amount of her salary + benefits for the duration of her disobedience. If the bigots want to pay her salary, fine, but the taxpayers should not have to.

but that would not result in her office issuing marriage certificates, which is what this about, not her financial situation
posted by skewed at 11:34 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


an hour ago the deputies were given 30 minutes - any word?
posted by nadawi at 11:36 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh sorry, I forgot to say, she should have been fined in addition to jailed.
posted by rustcrumb at 11:39 AM on September 3, 2015


Read the comments on the tweet Nadawi re-linked. Hard not to snicker at the totally sincere #godwins hashtag....
posted by telepanda at 11:39 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe we can come at this from a different angle. Of course she has the right to refuse to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple on religious grounds. But, since issuing those licenses in accordance with the law is part of the responsibilities of her office, she cannot no long execute the duties of her office and must resign.

Problem solved and everyone is happy, right?...RIGHT!? Is thing even on?
posted by VTX at 11:41 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Problem solved and everyone is happy, right?

She had the option to resign for months, up until this morning when her choice was to resign, issue licenses or go to jail. She chose jail.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:43 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Talez that was so mean why would you do that? I had no idea what free republic was. :(
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:43 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah I would also have appreciated a warning to crazily bigoted and hateful sites.
posted by numaner at 11:48 AM on September 3, 2015


I just learned that the judge in this case, David Bunning, is the son of Senator Jim Bunning, a Hall-of-Fame baseball player.

Judge Bunning was nominated for a lifetime judgeship by George W. Bush at the age of 35. However, he has not turned out to be altogether good for conservative causes, ruling against abortion bans and for the rights of gay students to hold organized meetings on school campuses.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:51 AM on September 3, 2015 [21 favorites]


He takes after his mother, Mary Bunning, a dear and gracious lady. Jim Bunning turned into an old crank.
posted by tizzie at 11:53 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Never actually visited Free Republic before. Thought I could handle it. Now I really really need a shower.
posted by telepanda at 11:54 AM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile in Tennessee, a couple has had their divorce denied because a judge is upset over gay marriage.

They can refile, but have to come up with new justification.
posted by rewil at 11:56 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just saw on fb about judge's ruling. I'm trying to get thru all the comments here.

Can't get crowdfunded out of jail.
posted by sio42 at 11:56 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know what I've never heard discussed more thoroughly is the taxation on the crowdfunding.

He also raised concerns that supporters would pay any fine he levied against Davis, hampering its force.

She'd still have to pay taxes on that money as income ... would they pay the taxes? Or just set up a foundation to pay the fines to avoid her paying taxes on it the income raised by crowdfunding (or "crowdfunding" if you prefer) ...
posted by tilde at 11:57 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kim Davis, inadvertently, makes a very strong argument about why we should take God out of our oaths for public office.

What the oath of office means to clerk Kim Davis
What's in an oath?

That fascinating question arose as part of a crusade by Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis to seek a religious exemption from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Before the U.S. Supreme Court put the kibosh on her claim, Davis in her legal brief argued that she understood her oath of office "to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God."

posted by andoatnp at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


So far, 3 of 6 deputy clerks have agreed to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County.

The final 3 are awaiting their hearings.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2015 [12 favorites]


from rewil's link: "The Bumgardners"

* snickers *
posted by numaner at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sure she could find a nice tax-exempt church to launder it...
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2015


So far, 3 of 6 deputy clerks have agreed to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County.

The final 3 are awaiting their hearings.


Todd, presumably.
posted by stevis23 at 12:00 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


[summarized]What about taxes on crowdfund-paid fines?[/summarized]

I'm sure she could find a nice tax-exempt church to launder it...

MOAR FODDER to strip tax-exempt status from churches ....
posted by tilde at 12:00 PM on September 3, 2015


And now, predictably, Mike Huckabee is tweeting about how Kim Davis's imprisonment "removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country." #UnclearOnTheConcept
posted by holborne at 12:03 PM on September 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


The final 3 are awaiting their hearings.

"We can all share the same cell! We'll do each other's hair, wrap each other's wrists with TP... it'll be like a Christian Orange is the New Black!"
posted by happyroach at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


And now, predictably, Mike Huckabee is tweeting

You mean, Friend of Many Pedophiles Mike Huckabee....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile in Tennessee, a couple has had their divorce denied because a judge is upset over gay marriage.

So at least one straight marriage saved by gay marriage? I'm confused. Wasn't the latter supposed to destroy the former?
posted by effbot at 12:09 PM on September 3, 2015 [13 favorites]




The final 3 are awaiting their hearings.

Does this just mean the hearings are one-by-one or are three clerks refusing to grant the licenses?
posted by edeezy at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2015


Does this just mean the hearings are one-by-one or are three clerks refusing to grant the licenses?

I think the former. The twitter I linked has an update saying that 5 of the 6 deputies have agreed to issue licenses.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


You mean, Friend of Many Pedophiles Mike Huckabee....

Is that a Gamera reference? 'Cause I think it's got meme-legs:
"Huckabee is Friend To All Child Predators!"

posted by Atom Eyes at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Judge is just Not Having It with this woman. Nice.

According to a later tweet, the judge says if the deputies start issuing licenses by Friday, it might end her contempt.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:16 PM on September 3, 2015


oregon bigot bakers

Hello, this year's fantasy football team name.
posted by Mayor West at 12:16 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]






So, legally, if she does get out of jail, does she get to go back to work? I'm so confused.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:17 PM on September 3, 2015


If the deputies are now issuing licenses, and Kim is still holding her job, but the judge ends her contempt, the first thing she's gonna do when she gets out of jail is fire all the deputies.
posted by rustcrumb at 12:18 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


nadawi: if a muslim clerk suddenly decided that no one got drivers licenses because he refused to give them to women, there would be no question how ridiculous this is.

With respect to our Prophet Muhammed (Praise be His name), we will no longer be issuing driver's licenses to women, thank you for respecting our religious beliefs (California DMV logo) [/that's the joke]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, couldn't she do that now, if she's still legally holding on to her job and powers?
posted by rustcrumb at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2015


If the deputies are now issuing licenses, and Kim is still holding her job, but the judge ends her contempt, the first thing she's gonna do when she gets out of jail is fire all the deputies.

Now if they were unionized ...
posted by tilde at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2015


If the deputies are now issuing licenses, and Kim is still holding her job, but the judge ends her contempt, the first thing she's gonna do when she gets out of jail is fire all the deputies.

That would be my worry.
posted by Talez at 12:20 PM on September 3, 2015


Maybe she should get community service instead of or as an adjunct to prison. Be forced to work in an LGBT youth center and have to face the people she and her supporters hate so much.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


They are government employees. I doubt it would be easy to fire them without cause.
posted by rdr at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only deputy who has not agreed with judge is her own son, who works under her in the office.
And who presumably would also get financial support from Liberty Counsel, right?
posted by tizzie at 12:22 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Even assuming she had the power to fire all of the deputies who issue licenses, doing so for (1) religious reasons, and (2) for following the law would result in impossible-to-fail lawsuits so large that there is probably no amount of GoFundMe campaigns that could make up the difference.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:23 PM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


I would think and hope that the deputies facing the judge would ask for a specific (enforceable) assurance from him that KimDevil couldn't punish them when/if she returns to her job.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2015


Windigo: Really, it was just a joke.

I find the rephrasing, "Really, I didn't mean to offend with my joke" to be a lot more effective.

(Cuz otherwise you end up on the same bench with Hulk Hogan, and who wants that much Old Spice hairspray permeating their clothing for days?)
posted by IAmBroom at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe she should get community service instead of or as an adjunct to prison. Be forced to work in an LGBT youth center and have to face the people she and her supporters hate so much.

what did the LGBT youth do to deserve that?

the state doesn't need to make this a Teaching Moment for her, they just need to get her the hell out of the job she refuses to do
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2015 [46 favorites]


They are government employees. I doubt it would be easy to fire them without cause.

Constitutional officers that are elected can generally hire and fire whoever they please.
posted by Talez at 12:28 PM on September 3, 2015


Apparently, she's being brought back to court to be asked if she'll interfere if her deputies start issuing licences.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:30 PM on September 3, 2015


Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court? They weren't in contempt, she was. I don geddit.
posted by eclectist at 12:30 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


> According to a later tweet, the judge says if the deputies start issuing licenses by Friday, it might end her contempt.

Upon release, she should immediately be fined for all pay incurred while refusing to carry out her appointed duties, and should she hinder her appointed duties going forward, all pay should be forfeit as fines as well.

It may not come out of her pocket if she has financial backing, but at least the taxpayers get their money back into the system for other use.
posted by davelog at 12:30 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments deleted. Not sure why denim skirts are so remarkable, lots of people wear them, and see above in the thread about why it's not great to be like "hurf durf hill people" as part of this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:30 PM on September 3, 2015 [13 favorites]


Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court?

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that these deputy clerks will be issuing licenses with her name on it now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:31 PM on September 3, 2015


Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court? They weren't in contempt, she was. I don geddit.

And as I understand it, she was preventing the other clerks from issuing licenses as well.
posted by tilde at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2015


Yeah, she had argued that letting someone else in her office issue them was also a violation of her rights.

So, I guess from a legal perspective, she doesn't have to issue them so much as not prevent others from doing it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2015


Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court? They weren't in contempt, she was. I don geddit.

It's an equitable thing. It's at the judge's discretion how long her contempt should last and how (within the existing structures) she should be punished for that contempt. He could decide that, if the office is issuing marriage licenses, and she promises not to interfere, nothing else is gained by keeping her in jail.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:34 PM on September 3, 2015


I realize that this thread has devolved into a serious discussion, but I just had to take a moment to praise this work of art.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:35 PM on September 3, 2015 [21 favorites]


Oh. Ok.

Well, that's just dickish. Goddamn it, Kim, indeed.
posted by eclectist at 12:36 PM on September 3, 2015


Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court? They weren't in contempt, she was. I don geddit.

Speculation: The judge is drawing a distinction between her and her office. If her office -- which includes herself and the people that report to her as an elected official -- issues licenses, then business is moving forward, regardless of one person's beliefs.

But if she's somehow removed their ability to do that (e.g. directing them not to, per her "authority" as their elected leader), and she's not doing it, then she's in contempt.

But if she let's it happen (e.g. by directing her office to follow the law), then people get their licenses whether or not she's personally happy or whether she personally stamps the paper.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:36 PM on September 3, 2015




I mean, the judge himself said, I have beliefs, but I took an oath. You need to compartmentalize the two things...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:38 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speculation: The judge is drawing a distinction between her and her office.

I'm hoping the judge doesn't let her off that easily. I am not at all OK with the notion that, for example, a government official could pointedly refuse to engage in the duties of their job for black people, so long as one of their subordinates will.
posted by tocts at 12:39 PM on September 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


I'm just happy that this thread exists in the context of the @nexttokimdavis twitter. All 'hot button' discussions should be framed by well-made satire. (Do we still have an informal ban on primary links to The Onion?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:42 PM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Constitutional officers that are elected can generally hire and fire whoever they please.

Not familiar with the laws of Kentucky, but I would think that this could result is some pretty slam-dunk wrongful termination lawsuits. I mean, it would imply that she fired the deputies for doing their goddamn jobs.

Come to think of it, I bet it would open up some civil rights lawsuits too.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:42 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "let me go see if one of the gay-marrying clerks is around" is not an acceptable outcome.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:43 PM on September 3, 2015 [31 favorites]


Aw crap, she's not gonna end up going to jail now, is she?
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:44 PM on September 3, 2015


I'm not a lawyer, but I watch them on TV, so my two cents is that jailing for contempt isn't a punishment, but a compliance mechanism. That's why it can be (theoretically) perpetual despite Habeas Corpus: the person is said to be "holding the keys to their own cell" and can stop the imprisonment at any time by obeying the judge's order.

That has implications like -- a person can't be held for contempt for refusing to do something impossible, or like in this case, they can't be held if some other action renders the order moot. If a journalist is told "give up your source or rot in jail" and the source comes forward voluntarily instead, they get out of jail. I don't know if they can later be actually punished for their intransigence, but the contempt-jailing is done once someone else takes away their keys to their cell and unlocks it for them, willy-nilly.
posted by traveler_ at 12:45 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


But let's all take a step back and consider something.

Let's say she gives in. "OK, OK, the office will issue licenses starting immediately. Back to work, everyone."

Tomorrow, Friday, is a blizzard of press and activity and happy people with marriage licenses. Monday is Labor Day.

Now, what the FUCK does the Tuesday morning meeting in that office look like?

How much money would you pay to watch that?

"All right, everyone, hope you had a relaxing Labor Day holiday. This week..."
"Hey, Kim, wait a sec. Before we get started ... are you not going to say anything about the whole jail thing?"
"Nope, why?"
"Because you went to jail and we all got hauled into court, too."
* uncomfortable silence, broken only by loud sips of coffee.*
"OK, this week, lotta work to do this week..."
"Kim, you were in jail."
"I said there's a lot of work to do this week..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:45 PM on September 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


I am not at all OK with the notion that, for example, a government official could pointedly refuse to engage in the duties of their job for black people, so long as one of their subordinates will.

Exactly, that's what I thought about the contempt charge. It happens this time to be about issuing marriage certs, but the underlying 'crime' for which she would be jailed is that, after being told to do X, she said nope. But, as Ben Trismegistus says above, if the judge is arbiter of what constitutes that 'crime', then he can decided this way (which is fine, if puzzling, to me).

Thank you, MeFi, I have been educated!
posted by eclectist at 12:46 PM on September 3, 2015


I'm hoping the judge doesn't let her off that easily.

Me, too. If only to address the people who were illegally delayed in receiving licenses. They have an actionable grievance.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:46 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Constitutional officers that are elected can generally hire and fire whoever they please.

This is true, except, of course, if the officer fires an employee for an unlawful reason. Like, for example, refusing to adhere to your boss's religious beliefs in the execution of your official duties.
posted by holborne at 12:48 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


This one's a parody account too, right? Please?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:50 PM on September 3, 2015


The husband and wife team who founded and run Liberty Counsel, Anita and Matthew Staver

Anita's Twitter bio pic is classy af
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:54 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm hoping the judge doesn't let her off that easily.

Me, too. If only to address the people who were illegally delayed in receiving licenses. They have an actionable grievance.


At least one couple has filed a a separate lawsuit and is asking for damages.
posted by dilettante at 12:55 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm hoping the judge doesn't let her off that easily. I am not at all OK with the notion that, for example, a government official could pointedly refuse to engage in the duties of their job for black people, so long as one of their subordinates will.

This is definitely kicking the can down the road. It's likely that nothing stops her from giving her deputies indefinite leaves of absence. She's not directly interfering with them giving out licenses, strictly speaking. Problem solved for Jesus. It's a bad day for justice, if she and her ilk get off the hook.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:57 PM on September 3, 2015


She'll stay in jail.
Officially, she'll spend the night in jail. She refuses to grant authority for deputy clerks. Judge will not lift contempt order
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:58 PM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


Anita's Twitter bio pic is classy af

Also classy is the stuff she re-tweets. Did you know Kim Davis is just like MLK Jr?
posted by tocts at 12:58 PM on September 3, 2015


She'll stay in jail.

Praise Jesus.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:00 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Constitutional officers that are elected can generally hire and fire whoever they please.

But not for unconstitutional reasons such as discrimination towards a protected class, that is, religious reasons. She could not fire them because they won't follow the rules of her religion.
posted by JackFlash at 1:01 PM on September 3, 2015


In the meantime while they figure this out, they should offer couples a limo service to the nearest county clerk's office. And cake.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wait, so does this mean that the deputies can't issue licenses tomorrow? Davis retains her authority in jail, so without her approval, the deputies' hands are tied?

You can tell that IANAL.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Officially, she'll spend the night in jail. She refuses to grant authority for deputy clerks. Judge will not lift contempt order

I expected this would happen. I assume this is a situation where EVERY document issued by her office has her name on it, whether she personally signs it or not, as the official elected office holder. She's already said that having her name appear on the document is a big part of her refusal. So if she's to stay consistent with herself - and whatever else you can say about her, she's stuck to her position here - then she can't let the deputies issue licenses as long as her name is still on them.
posted by dnash at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2015


"at least she's consistent" is a "bless your heart" level "compliment."
posted by nadawi at 1:07 PM on September 3, 2015 [32 favorites]


Wait, so does this mean that the deputies can't issue licenses tomorrow?

I imagine this depends on state law. If she does not authorize the license, then that could mean the license is invalid absent her approval, whether or not it was given out according to procedure.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, here's a Rowan County marriage certificate for some random person. Assuming this form hasn't changed since 2009, it can be issued by the Deputy Clerk.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ben Trismegistus, that's one of the ones issued to Ms Davis, not some rando.
posted by tilde at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2015


For that purpose a losing cause is just as good as, perhaps better than, a winning one.

The Producers as lawyers: You could make more money with a flop than with a hit!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ben Trismegistus, that's one of the ones issued to Ms Davis, not some rando.

ThatsTheJoke.jpg
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:25 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


But not for unconstitutional reasons such as discrimination towards a protected class, that is, religious reasons. She could not fire them because they won't follow the rules of her religion.

True but it's very difficult to pin down something like that. The wonderful thing about right-to-work is that there is always the flimsiest pretexts where the court turns to the plaintiff and says "ok, she says it's because you wore garish outfits and she thought it was unprofessional, you got anything to the contrary?"
posted by Talez at 1:38 PM on September 3, 2015


True but it's very difficult to pin down something like that. The wonderful thing about right-to-work is that there is always the flimsiest pretexts where the court turns to the plaintiff and says "ok, she says it's because you wore garish outfits and she thought it was unprofessional, you got anything to the contrary?"

Well, in this case, there's a very public trail of evidence showing that Ms. Davis believes that her office should not be issuing marriage certificates to same sex couples. If the deputies begin issuing these certificates and in short order she fires one or all of them, it would be, I think, easy to prove wrongful termination. IANAL.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:43 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gelatin: "IANAL, and I understand that courts give great deference to claims of sincere religious belief, but can that really be so? "

The judge just said that he recognized that SHE sincerely believes that is what the oath means, but said her belief about what it means doesn't actually matter, since oaths have actual, settled meanings. So he didn't go into what she believed at the moment she made the oath, etc. I don't think it needs any lawyering, he was just saying he understood she was sincere in her beliefs but that sincerity wasn't enough to change the meaning of the law or allow her to evade her responsibility to follow it.

tilde: "She'd still have to pay taxes on that money as income ... would they pay the taxes? "

Although this is an easy problem to solve mathematically, the IRS does not allow you to pay someone else's taxes directly. There are lots of cases where an employer wanted to pay an employee a salary of X and then ALSO pay all their taxes, and then pay taxes on the taxes they paid them as income, and then taxes on the taxes on the taxes ... which is a trivial mathematical problem, but the IRS said, "Nope, if you want to pay them X plus their taxes, you just have to pay them X+Y and let them pay their own taxes." /trivia from tax law class

rustcrumb: "If the deputies are now issuing licenses, and Kim is still holding her job, but the judge ends her contempt, the first thing she's gonna do when she gets out of jail is fire all the deputies."

Firing employees for following a federal court order is (typically) illegal. Although the citizens of Rowan County can always pay more taxes for more litigation if she tries!

eclectist: "Hope me, legal mefites: how does someone else issuing marriage certs clear her contempt of court? They weren't in contempt, she was. I don geddit."

a lungful of dragon: "This is definitely kicking the can down the road. It's likely that nothing stops her from giving her deputies indefinite leaves of absence. She's not directly interfering with them giving out licenses, strictly speaking."

Generally if you have an employee in a government office who objects to performing a particular duty for religious reasons, the courts will allow that employee to avoid that duty if there is someone else in the office who can immediately undertake that duty at all times. If her deputies agreed to do it, and she then just put them all on leave, she would go back to jail for contempt. Also, and this is crucial, if the court allows you to operate your office this way, and it so happens that a gay couple comes in when everyone is on lunch except Kim Davis, Kim Davis must issue the license and cannot ask them to come back in 20 minutes. Some courts don't even allow you to switch which guy is manning the window -- they just allow for the possibility that maybe you can transfer your employee to doing "nothing but truck registrations" and never have them handling any gay marriage stuff, or whatever.

There are a number of court cases that address this for different types of state employees in different types of state institutions (doctors at public hospitals have more latitude than clerks at the DMV, for example), so it's a pretty well-litigated area of law. I don't know about Kentucky specifically, but that's the general outline in which the court is operating there. You could conceivably hire a DMV employee whose religious beliefs prevent him from being alone with a woman, and have him only ever work the desk doing registration renewals, not as a practical driving test examiner, and it would just never come up as a problem.

roomthreeseventeen: "In the meantime while they figure this out, they should offer couples a limo service to the nearest county clerk's office. And cake."

But if you remove the grievance, the case dissolves. Courts only get involved when there is a genuine dispute. If the couples dropped their demands for licenses by going to other counties, we'd have to start more or less at the beginning. (This is why it took so dang long to bring a Roe v. Wade type case to the Supreme Court -- pregnancies only last nine months, so women who tried to get an abortion, went to court, lost, and appealed had already had the baby and had no cause of action by the time the appeal started. The court had to recognize that pregnancy's brief nature represents a special due process problem, as virtually all cases were rendered moot before the appellate court could examine them, and specifically allow a specific moot case to move forward so they could examine the larger issue.) So again: "THANK YOU, PATRIOTS!" If they weren't continuing to put themselves through this, it would become moot and get dropped.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:43 PM on September 3, 2015 [26 favorites]


True but it's very difficult to pin down something like that. The wonderful thing about right-to-work is that there is always the flimsiest pretexts where the court turns to the plaintiff and says "ok, she says it's because you wore garish outfits and she thought it was unprofessional, you got anything to the contrary?"

I'm pretty sure that if the woman who just went to jail for violating a federal order because of her religious beliefs comes back next week and fires everyone who doesn't conform with her religious beliefs, a judge isn't going to have any trouble discerning the real reason for the firings.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


But if you remove the grievance, the case dissolves

That's true. Well, they should do something once this is resolved that involves limos and cake.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:45 PM on September 3, 2015


And now @sitnexttokimdavis is taking on Mike Huckabee...

Gov. Mike Huckabee ‏@GovMikeHuckabee
What a world, where Hillary Clinton isn't in jail but #KimDavis is. #ImWithKim

Sitnexto Kim Davis ‏@nexttokimdavis:
.@GovMikeHuckabee ONE WEEK OF #KimDavis EATING YOUR PB&J OUT OF THE FRIDGE AND YOU'D SEND HER TO SIBERIA. TRUST ME.
posted by telepanda at 1:52 PM on September 3, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also, and this is crucial, if the court allows you to operate your office this way, and it so happens that a gay couple comes in when everyone is on lunch except Kim Davis, Kim Davis must issue the license and cannot ask them to come back in 20 minutes.

There's no evidence that she would comply with anything like that, so it sounds like that approach would just drag out another cycle of courtroom hearings where Kim gets to play the martyr while trampling on everyone's legal rights — gay and straight. It seems sensible for the judge to throw her in jail now and bypass more of her games.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:53 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


"at least she's consistent" is a "bless your heart" level "compliment."

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." - Emerson

Also, of course Mike Huckabee. Anything to grab attention away from Trump.
posted by axiom at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


The man himself on the lawyers raising the Nazi claim...
posted by Runes at 2:01 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although this is an easy problem to solve mathematically, the IRS does not allow you to pay someone else's taxes directly. There are lots of cases where an employer wanted to pay an employee a salary of X and then ALSO pay all their taxes, and then pay taxes on the taxes they paid them as income, and then taxes on the taxes on the taxes ... which is a trivial mathematical problem, but the IRS said, "Nope, if you want to pay them X plus their taxes, you just have to pay them X+Y and let them pay their own taxes." /trivia from tax law class

It's because it's literally the same amount if you follow the asymptote out to infinity in the series. This way some idiot in the tax office can't mess up the exponential function.
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on September 3, 2015




Honestly, if the choices are "allow licenses to go through your office," "resign" and "sit there and rot," she will be very likely to pick "sit there and rot" for a long time.

She had considered the resignation option -- one which would have enabled her to leave on a very moral high horse, declaring that it was no longer the job she'd been sworn to do, and to hit the talk show circuit as The Woman Who Defied The Sodomite Supremes* -- but rejected it out of hand.

The clerk, whose mother served in the position for 40 years, said she would not step down from her elected position — which pays $80,000 a year in taxpayer-funded salary — because she would lose a platform to preach the gospel. “I would have to either make a decision to stand or I would have to buckle down and leave,” Davis said. “If I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word."

Which is preposterous on its face -- she would be unable to stand in a church, on a street corner, in a park, in Sean Hannity's studio or anywhere else and speak The Word Of Truth to all who would listen? -- but there you have it. Davis has declared her county clerk position to be a ministry, despite what it says on the sign out front, and those who come there for licenses her congregation whom she may judge, because God's will gives her more credence than any mortal authority. One doesn't relinquish that lightly. (Also, an eighty-grand-a-year family sinecure isn't easy to find, especially one with power attached to it, so you hang onto that shit like a barnacle.)

*Band name claimed.
posted by delfin at 2:17 PM on September 3, 2015 [18 favorites]


Is this a great day, or the greatest day, of Mike Huckabee's life? Finally, someone in America was put in jail for "being Christian". THE WAR ON CHRISTIANS IS REAL
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:19 PM on September 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, she should be done right there. An elected post is not a platform to preach the gospel.
posted by stevis23 at 2:20 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


She'd still have to pay taxes on that money as income.

Nope, not if the money was given by individuals as personal gifts. Any individual can gift up to $14,000 per year to any other individual tax free. It doesn't have to be a family member. It can be any stranger on the street. Davis could receive a million dollars in gifts and she wouldn't have to pay a penny in taxes. However, the donors could not take a tax deduction for their gift.
posted by JackFlash at 2:40 PM on September 3, 2015


$80,000??? Damn I am in the wrong profession, and I work with computers.

I'll marry a tree and an orangutan for even just $65,000.
posted by numaner at 2:49 PM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


DRAFT KIM DAVIS: CHRISTIAN AMERICA NEEDS YOU!

Felons may not be able to vote, but they can run for President! At least according to my lawyer, who I trust and is giving me great advice!

Others talk the talk about stopping the gays, but I walk the walk. Right into federal custody! #jailbird #davis2016 #kimforpresident #yolo

Someone tell @Reince I need to sign one of those Republican loyalty oaths. I used my one phone call to set up my gofundme account. Ca-ching!

posted by andoatnp at 2:54 PM on September 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'll marry a tree and an orangutan for even just $65,000.

Sounds like a Kickstarter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:00 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I predict someday a beautiful Broadway musical will be written about her and her office mates.
posted by newdaddy at 3:11 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Probably off-Broadway.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:12 PM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


“If I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word."

Isn't that what 'Fawlty Towers'-type Bed & Breakfasts are for?
posted by mazola at 3:17 PM on September 3, 2015


The clerk, whose mother served in the position for 40 years, said she would not step down from her elected position — which pays $80,000 a year in taxpayer-funded salary

My eyeball is twitching. $80,000 goes a long fucking way in Kentucky. How much do you want to bet that this person has a) never worked 40 hours a week, and b) plays a lot of goddamn Candy Crush at the office?

In 1993, Miller Beer ran a commercial called "Lawyers Roundup," which was actually directed by then-unknown Michael Bay.

The commercial featured two good 'ol boys watching a rodeo-style roundup of high-paid divorce attorneys, one of whom "took Billy Bob's bass boat, trailer and all."

And I'm thinking, where do these fucking hayseeds get the money for a bass boat? Because for a national commercial to mention it specifically -- how losing your bass boat would really piss you off -- there must be a lot of goddamn swamp people out there with bass boats. Enough for it to be A Thing Lots of People Recognize As Being True.

Spoiler: There's a lot of goddamn swamp people out there with bass boats.

Where do they get the money? For bass boats? For giant fucking trucks? Deer-hunting vacations? Ammunition? Kegs and kegs of Coors Light? It's not caviar and champagne, but if you put all this shit together, it ends up being real money.

Now I know. Because the county clerk in Ashland, Kentucky (population 21,684) can rig the game to pull down an $80,000 salary and keep the job in the same family for decades and decades and no one will ever say boo.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:18 PM on September 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


I predict someday a beautiful Broadway musical will be written about her and her office mates.

Oklahomophobia!
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:20 PM on September 3, 2015 [64 favorites]


I predict someday a beautiful Broadway musical will be written about her and her office mates.

"Hobby Lobby Horse"
Music and Lyrics by Frank Zappa and Mike Huckabee

Truck driver divorce!
It's very sad
(Steel guitars Usually weepall over it)
The bold & intelligent MASTERS OF THE ROAD,
With their Secret Language,
And their GIANT OVER-SIZED MECHANICAL TRANS-CONTINENTAL HOBBY-LOBBY-HORSE!

Truck driver divorce!
It's very sad!
Oh the wife!
Oh the kids!
Oh the waitress!
Oh the drive all night!


Apologies to Zappa
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:22 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oklahomophobia!

Where the queers come sweep bigots off to jail?
posted by Talez at 3:25 PM on September 3, 2015 [17 favorites]


Oklahomophobia!

Oh, what a beautiful morning!
Oh, what a beautiful gay!
Wait, what the fuck did I just sing?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:33 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


And I'm thinking, where do these fucking hayseeds get the money for a bass boat?

The same way everyone else in this country buys anything. Credit. Loans. Savings. Jobs.

Just because they're "fucking hayseeds" in your eyes doesn't mean they don't work to get what they want or need in life. FFS.

And no, not all of them have government jobs that pay $80K a year.
posted by zarq at 3:34 PM on September 3, 2015 [30 favorites]


Going off in a flurry
With a cringe on top...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:35 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


ROOOOO-wan County, where the law comes sweepin' down the plain,
posted by Short Attention Sp at 3:40 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The judges and the gay guy should be friends
Oh, the judges and the gay guy should be friends
One man wants the marriage perks
The other likes to sentence clerks
But that's no reason why they cain't be friends

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:40 PM on September 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


Now I know.

no you don't.

the hatred some of y'all are proud of is really gross.
posted by nadawi at 3:41 PM on September 3, 2015 [30 favorites]


That lawyer's twitter account!
Did you know there is a hashtag #allchristianlivesmatter ?
Bleh!
posted by Omnomnom at 3:48 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Folks, people who live in non-urban areas are actual people with real jobs and concerns and lives. Please keep that in mind and moderate yourselves accordingly. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:54 PM on September 3, 2015 [56 favorites]


#allchristianlivesmatterunlesstheyaregaystryingtogetmarriedthentheydontcountaseitherchristiansorpeople
posted by rtha at 3:54 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


She'll refuse you
If she wants to
'Cuz some things don't fit her worldview
She's atrocious
And she thinks the ruling
From the Court is bogus
We all watch her stand-off and sigh
She's got Kimmy Davis eyes
posted by DrAmerica at 4:00 PM on September 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


[Folks, people who live in non-urban areas are actual people with real jobs and concerns and lives. Please keep that in mind and moderate yourselves accordingly. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:54 PM on September 3


Kind of sad that this has to be reiterated on a site as (by and large) enlightened to diversity as MeFi, but thank you for doing so, r_n.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:04 PM on September 3, 2015 [22 favorites]


How many residents of Rowan County are complaining about The Government wasting their money while making 1/4 of what their County Clerk does, supporting decades of nepotism in the Clerk's office by electing her to her mother's job, and sending some of their hard-earned money to Davis' Defense Fund?

Well, I'm living in a 'semi-rural' county in Left Coast California... wanna know how many residents here are doing the exact same thing? Too many. It's not that they are 'rubes'... they are the willing victims and tools of some basically evil politicians, preachers and business owners (locally and nationally).
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:25 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sitnexto Kim Davis ‏@nexttokimdavis

Nathan wants us to go "support #KimDavis with a prison prayer circle." LOLOLOLOL @ProjectRunway #ONMYDVR
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:26 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember. Fundamentally, the judge is executing a Writ of Mandamus here. This is basically the writ that says "Do your required job" to an elected official.

The reason he chose to jail, rather than fine, Kim Davis is that he decided that he could not issue a fine large enough to make her comply with the writ in the crowdfunding era and she had just stood in front of him and flat out stated that she would not comply.

Impoverishing her is not his goal. The moment he decided that imprisoment would be needed, fines became irrelevant, so he did not fine her as well.

His only goal is to gain compliance with the law. As a county clerk, it is her duty to issue licenses in accordance with the law. She refuses to do so. Why do not matter to the court, only the fact that she does not. They issued a writ demanding she do so, and they are now using their power to enforce that writ.
posted by eriko at 4:42 PM on September 3, 2015 [18 favorites]


Margaret Cho ‏@margaretcho
Since #KimDavis won't, I'll marry you and let the Thundercat next to her be your ringbearer. #marrymemargaret

Sitnexto Kim Davis @nexttokimdavis
.@margaretcho No problem. But she's going to want her son to be ring bearer BECAUSE HE FUCKING WORKS HERE, TOO
posted by numaner at 4:51 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The judge was likely hoping that seeing all her deputies except her son willing to issue licenses and physically going to jail might have changed her mind. He knew the chances were slim that it would work, but thought it was worth it since it would help stop this circus and save tons of resources; a Federal Court has other things to deal with than some low-level official refusing to do their job, and sending people to jail is something to avoid, if you can help it: Jail sucks, and it's expensive.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:02 PM on September 3, 2015


"@CarlyFiorina I want to go to jail and get a million dollars, too. AND I DO MY FUCKING JOB. WANNA GET MARRIED? COME ON DOWN!"
posted by Gygesringtone at 5:08 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Conservative Heads Explode Over Kentucky's Bigoted County Clerk
"The United States didn't create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America," Bobby Jindal said in a lofty statement. "This is an essential freedom and an essential right and I don't think you give up this right by simply taking a job."
Hmm...
"What I've said before is for someone who works in the government has a bit of a different obligation than someone who's in the private sector or obviously working for educational institutions that's religiously based or others," Chris Christie said on talk radio, "but my point is we have to protect religious liberty and people's ability to be able to practice their religion freely and openly, and of course we have to enforce the law too."
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:23 PM on September 3, 2015


Carly Fiorina opined about Davis going to jail, but she actually wanted her to resign. So far Lindsey Graham is the only Republican candidate to seem to fully back the court.
posted by numaner at 5:37 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wtf kind of world do we live in where Lindsay Graham is suddenly the voice of reason in a field of Republican candidates?
posted by zarq at 6:16 PM on September 3, 2015 [36 favorites]


A scary one.
posted by rtha at 6:31 PM on September 3, 2015 [16 favorites]


One of these days, a case like this is going to crack the USA like a fumbled egg. A huge number of people understand the importance of an absolute wall between government law/function and religion, and an equally large number reject that idea, believing that the US is a fundamentally Christian Nation with, naturally, respect for Christian Law.

They're at loggerheads. One can only hope the religious extremists are an exceedingly small minority. We've got scary examples 'round the world showing what happens when countries get ruled by "God."

The Feds need to shut her insurrection down like yesterday.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:37 PM on September 3, 2015 [25 favorites]


A scary one.

Damn right.
posted by zarq at 7:03 PM on September 3, 2015


The Feds need to shut her insurrection down like yesterday.


Just like the quick and forceful way they took care of Cliven Bundy!

oh...wait...
posted by Thorzdad at 7:12 PM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Kim Davis and George Wallace sittin' in a tree
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dale Carpenter @ Volokh
posted by rhizome at 10:26 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish: One of these days, a case like this is going to crack the USA like a fumbled egg.

It doesn't help that I'm currently reading The Handmaid's Tale. But I have to agree; I grew up in one of those rural areas you've all been talking about and there's just a ton of people with a "religious liberty for me and not for thee" attitude, often expressed with phrases like "it's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion". I'm not sure it's getting worse, but it's certainly not getting better—it seems like there's just this constant, constant fight over prayer in public school, religious statues in a courthouse, manger scenes in public parks, just on and on and on.

Heck this morning on the news there was a story about a football coach holding a mass-baptism on the practice fields between classes and football practice. It got uploaded to YouTube with a title like "Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!" The coach said he was surprised that anyone objected, which seems implausible but having grown up around such people I can believe it. They just don't see what's wrong or unusual about what they're doing.

It's important not to exaggerate the threat or try to crackdown in unwise ways, but these people really are a threat against our democracy itself, and they're not a small population.
posted by traveler_ at 2:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's important not to exaggerate the threat or try to crackdown in unwise ways, but these people really are a threat against our democracy itself, and they're not a small population.

Garbage people like Kim are emboldened in no small part by the actions and words of unapologetic traitors like Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Greg Abbott, Joe Arpaio, Ted Cruz and other Tea Party dominionist and secessionists who would happily destroy our democracy and replace it with a Christian corporatist theocracy.

This is getting beyond words, beyond any kind of free speech issue, and into real actions that destabilize our government and interfere with fair and equitable treatment and protection of rights of all citizens.

We seem to have an increasingly pressing need to have a national discussion about keeping these people from doing more damage. We need to start taking their words, actions and threats seriously and start administering jail time or more severe punishments, whatever the response needs to be to keep the right-wing from destroying the United States.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:51 AM on September 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Part of democracy though is the freedom of speech thing. There's nothing illegal about attending a church, or speaking and listening in the public square. I think people who respect the separation between church and state have to be careful not to play into the persecution narrative that "they're arresting people for being Christians! The war on Christianity has begun!"
posted by newdaddy at 3:11 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


We are still talking about one clerk, in one county, in Kentucky, right? And a judge put her in jail. It's not like Governors have called out the National Guard to prevent same sex couples from entering courthouses across the south.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:57 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah that's specifically why I wanted to caution against exaggeration and unwise crackdowns: even seditious speech is protected speech. I think an important part of taking it seriously is recognizing that these sort of theocratic beliefs are seditious, though, and finding ways to address them at the level of insularity and closed-mindedness that leads them to think that's even ok. That's why I really enjoyed when Keith Ellison took his oath of office on Thomas Jefferson's Koran: it might have been a tiny wedge leading the sort of people to get all mad about a Muslim being elected to realize "hey wait, Jefferson had a Koran?" And maybe start to change some preconceptions they have about this country's approach to religion.
posted by traveler_ at 4:02 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm still of the opinion that we put them all in Texas and let them seceed, like most of them have been clamoring for anyway.

We can always make another southern city the new Austin.
posted by numaner at 4:30 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not like Governors have called out the National Guard to prevent same sex couples from entering courthouses across the south.

It's not Governors that are the issue. It's what's going on in churches across the country. "War on Christianity" makes for reflexive eye-rolling when you hear Fox News trot it out, but it's a very real and growing idea/fear across the country. I agree with fff and traveler_...this is a serious conflict coming. One that will get ugly very quickly.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:58 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes but what about those of us living in the CURRENT Austin

It's awesome you think I either can move on a moment's notice/can disrupt my social and support networks on a dime or that I'd be fine living in the Republic of Jesustania here but actually I'd rather not

Christ almighty, if you're joking about exiling huge swathes of Americans from federal protections the least you could do is not envision my goddamn home as Ark B
posted by sciatrix at 5:05 AM on September 4, 2015 [29 favorites]


Seriously how many times do those of us living in red states have to say that the citizens of those states are not a fucking monolith

Here, let me say it again:

NOT A GODDAMN MONOLITH
posted by sciatrix at 5:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [30 favorites]


I'm sure these kinds of entirely implausible comments come mostly out of a kind of exasperation. The truth is, between the mega churches and the biased news networks, the people we're talking about have an entirely different perception of what is real. To them, Hillary Clinton belongs in jail, global warming is a politically-motivated ruse, #blacklivesmatter is a terrorist organization, etc. How do we begin to re-establish some common understanding and ground rules if we can't agree on basic facts? Nobody is really thinking we should send all the believers to Texas and let them secede (parts of Texas are really beautiful) but at some point, imagining a way back to a coherent, civil society becomes hard.
posted by newdaddy at 5:23 AM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Heck this morning on the news there was a story about a football coach holding a mass-baptism on the practice fields between classes and football practice. It got uploaded to YouTube with a title like "Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!" The coach said he was surprised that anyone objected, which seems implausible but having grown up around such people I can believe it. They just don't see what's wrong or unusual about what they're doing.

What the FUCK?!? Absolutely fucking gobsmacking the gall of it all.
posted by Talez at 5:24 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dude. I know it was a joke/not a serious suggestion. I'm saying that the jokes are pissing me off because they construct this political divide as more set in stone and more easily definable than it actually is. And whether or not you mean to, you are not confining your barbs to the targets you think you are. You are reinforcing the basic dynamics which lead to recruiting people to these conservative social politics.

After all, it's easier to hate the gays when they're urban sneering sophisticates in your mind rather than, you know, your brother or your cousin or Jim down the road you've known forever. It's easier to think the liberals don't have your best interest in mind when you conceptualize them as not from your community. And sneering jokes that talk about wanting to throw your entire state--a huge geographical chunk of land that contains a massive amount of people--out of your country are not exactly, shall we say, welcoming.
posted by sciatrix at 5:29 AM on September 4, 2015 [30 favorites]


It's not Governors that are the issue. It's what's going on in churches across the country.

Right, and I'm sure white churches across the south in the 60s were preaching tolerance and togetherness, and not at all suggesting that certain people have to know their place.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:31 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not governors or churches - in this great nation of ours, you don't have to choose! Huckabee for Pastor-President of the United States!
posted by rtha at 5:41 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the United Christian States of America, God chooses you!
posted by tilde at 6:02 AM on September 4, 2015




I signed it, "Love, #KimDavis." LOFUCKINGL

Congratulations, gentlemen.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:35 AM on September 4, 2015 [7 favorites]




Fuck, beat to the punch. Oh well. It bears repeating.
LOFUCKINGL.
posted by telepanda at 6:40 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


P.S. Thanks, Brian Mason.
posted by telepanda at 6:49 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


That same Twitter reports that a petition is underway to "stand up for the religious liberties of our public servants".

I don't... like.... what.... these words make no sense together.

I keep going back to, surely people who are holding or running for political office are not seriously saying that our elected government representatives should get to decide what laws they personally feel like obeying???

But they are.
posted by nakedmolerats at 7:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


UPDATE: A second couple, Tim Long and Michael Long, obtained a marriage license from Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' office Friday morning.

As they got their license, demonstrators inside the office called them "perverts." Joe Davis, Kim Davis' husband, muttered "disgrace" and walked out.


Why on EARTH was Joe Davis even there? Does he work there, too?
posted by anastasiav at 7:09 AM on September 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Joe Davis' wife is in jail for being a bigot. These nice men have a marriage license. Whatever.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:11 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Joe Davis is just a class act:
After the ruling, Ms. Davis’s husband, Joe Davis, was among those unhappy with the proceedings inside.

“Tell Judge Bunning,” Mr. Davis said, “he’s a butt.”
A butt?! Notify the nearest burn center, folks!
posted by zombieflanders at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2015 [29 favorites]


My favorite part about Joe Davis was seeing a quote from him about his wife being jailed illegally -- as if being jailed for defying a court order, the legality of which was confirmed all the way up to literally the highest legal authority in the nation, is somehow an injustice.

These people literally have zero fucking clue what constitutes legality, other than "my religion says so".
posted by tocts at 7:21 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


These people literally have zero fucking clue what constitutes legality, other than "my religion says so".

Have you seen Deviant Art "artists" on the Internet talking about copyright of their work?
posted by Talez at 7:26 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mary @mariaeleanora2
@nexttokimdavis @ThaKiddJopp Is this what you do at work all day? using the Lords name in vain on social media? You should be fired.

Sitnexto Kim Davis ‏@nexttokimdavis
IF WE FUCKING FIRED PEOPLE HERE, #KimDavis WOULD JUST BE UNEMPLOYED AND HOME
posted by numaner at 7:36 AM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


The scary thing is, I think they do "sincerely" think it's "illegal" because to them, religious authority is higher than legal authority. Even in your actions as a government representative. They really think they are the inheritors of Martin Luther King Jr's letter from Birmingham jail.

And yet I can't even imagine the screaming if any other government official dared to disobey any other federal law and claim it was because any non-Christian religion told them to.
posted by nakedmolerats at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


“She has done her job,” Davis added. “Just because five Supreme Court judges make a ruling, it’s not a law.” (link)

IANAL but, uh, can somebody who is fact-check that for me right quick?
posted by telepanda at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2015 [23 favorites]


That same Twitter reports that a petition is underway to "stand up for the religious liberties of our public servants".

Notice the only people screaming about "religious liberty" are the ones who want to impose the most oppressive, narrow-minded version of a so-called Christianity. There are religions and denominations all over the country that are just fine with marriage equality - such that denying licenses is actually an infringement on their religious liberty - but these loudmouth wingnuts don't give a damn about supporting that.

Here's how religious liberty works: Is your church still open? Are you still going to it? Then you have religious liberty.
posted by dnash at 7:38 AM on September 4, 2015 [20 favorites]


I'm sure this comment will be deleted for derailing, but holy hell her daughter Allison Mae stole a dog in 2013, admitted to it, and the local police didn't do anything because Kim was running for County Clerk and had influence.
posted by numaner at 7:42 AM on September 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


How do we begin to re-establish some common understanding and ground rules if we can't agree on basic facts?

This would literally keep me up at night, if I let it.

(Thankfully, there's bourbon.)
posted by dnash at 7:44 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


DID THEY GET THE DOG BACK? The link doesn't say :(
posted by Windigo at 7:56 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


> And yet I can't even imagine the screaming if any other government official dared to disobey any other federal law and claim it was because any non-Christian religion told them to.

I was thinking about that this morning as I was brushing my teeth and yeah, the way they hold this together is because they believe America is a Christian nation, was founded as a Christian nation, and so of course Christianity gets special rights.
posted by rtha at 8:06 AM on September 4, 2015


(Their version of Christianity, that is.)
posted by rtha at 8:07 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Windigo: According to the Facebook page set up for finding the dog, it seems not. I suppose the Davises' understanding of the Bible doesn't include "Thou shalt not steal."
posted by dhens at 8:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I suppose the Davises' understanding of the Bible doesn't include "Thou shalt not steal."

Why would it? The Ten Commandments don't include anything about stealing, but they do include things about how it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
posted by qcubed at 8:12 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Judge David Bunning has come to impress his former critics during his time on the bench.
posted by tizzie at 8:13 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gesturing to marriage-equality demonstrators nearby, [Joe Davis] said, "We just want the same rights they have."

Uh, thanks to the Supreme Court, you do have the same rights, Joe.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:52 AM on September 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Judge David Bunning has come to impress his former critics during his time on the bench.

One thing that I think this article (probably fairly) glosses over:
“Bunning decided to stay with it, partly — and this is speculation — because he was influenced by the fact that his father was a United States senator,” Weiner said. “He was a big deal guy … Hall of Famer … no-hitter.”

The elder Bunning actually pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies on Father’s Day 1964, years before he began his career in politics — and two years before David Bunning’s birth.
Senator Jim Bunning was a fucking whackadoo (probably still is, but he's not a Senator anymore, at least). He race- and gay-baited against his first-generation Italian-American opponent in 2004 and was almost certainly at Strom Thurmond levels of awareness during his subsequent term, and it has frankly amazed me that his kid is a reasonable human being.
posted by Etrigan at 8:55 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Why would it? The Ten Commandments don't include anything about stealing, but they do include things about how it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

One of my favorite no's ever when canvassing for marriage was some stoned skateboard kid telling me, "It's Jesus and Adam, not Steve."
posted by klangklangston at 9:00 AM on September 4, 2015 [17 favorites]


"Joe Davis' wife is in jail for being a bigot."

No, no she's not. It's not against the law to be a bigot. Expressions of bigotry are protected by the first amendment.

Hell, she's not even in jail for refusing to issue a marriage license. She spent many months (in defiance of the supreme court) refusing to issue a license.

She's in jail because she refused to follow a judge's order. An order that she appealed up to the supreme court and lost.

I think this is an important distinction because there are many bigoted Americans who fear they will be punished by the government for their bigotry, and will be looking at Kim to prove this fear of theirs.

But they won't.

Unless they deny housing (in some states, hopefully all states), or otherwise run afoul with the law via the *actions* that come from their bigotry, their bigotry will remain protected. No one is going to jail for being a bigot.

And actually that's a good thing, because while most american's aren't anti-LGBT bigots, I'd say a significant majority of american's are bigots. Be it against LGBT, against Muslims (which probably is a majority of america) against Christians (which I've been guilty of in the past), against Atheists, against folks of various ethnicities. There are few of us in America that haven't been bigots or expressed bigoted viewpoints at some point in our lives.
posted by el io at 9:00 AM on September 4, 2015 [17 favorites]


She's in jail because she refused to follow a judge's order. An order that she appealed up to the supreme court and lost.

OK, sure. I was just distilling it down a bit.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM on September 4, 2015


Part of me would have liked to see how long she would have stayed in office had the court essentially said "you know what, fine, if your constituents would rather inconvenience themselves by having to go to another county to get married, in order to appease your religious views, then fine. Nobody can get married in your county until you elect someone who will marry people according to federal law".

I wonder how long even her supporters would have been willing to go without a public service she should provide, in order to accommodate her religion.

Something tells me this would also have been spun as "discrimination" because ... reasons?
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:09 AM on September 4, 2015




It already is being spun as "discrimination".
posted by tilde at 9:13 AM on September 4, 2015


OK, sure. I was just distilling it down a bit.

Fair enough. I was being pedantic because I know her supporters will frame it similarly (swap 'bigotry' for 'sincerely held beliefs').
posted by el io at 9:21 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm not surprised Huckabee is equating it to discrimination. That guy doesn't know what discrimination is--case in point, his claim that the LGBT community hasn't suffered it.
posted by qcubed at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else want to start swapping out the tired, "Thanks, Obama." with "Goddamn it, Kim!" because I've already started doing it every time something pisses me off.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:36 AM on September 4, 2015 [22 favorites]


Thankfully, I don't work with anyone named Kim.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:37 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I, for one, am pretty bigoted against people that WON'T LET ME EAT LUNCH IN PEACE. Goddamn it, Kim!
posted by numaner at 9:59 AM on September 4, 2015


For instance: I'm going to have to get on the 405 freeway at 2 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day to get to the Valley. Goddamn it, Kim!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:06 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kickstarter changed its policies, and Davis isn't eligible to benefit from their website.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:10 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


^^ you mean GoFundMe?
posted by numaner at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although, as el io said, her technical crime isn't discriminatory in nature, it's contempt of court.
posted by numaner at 10:22 AM on September 4, 2015


Sorry. Still laughing over her dummy husband calling the judge a butt in the NYT.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:52 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Still laughing over her dummy husband...

Oi! Language!
posted by Etrigan at 10:57 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Dummy" or "husband"? Because you could argue that the latter isn't supported as factual under some religions' interpretations...

Damn it, Kim. Wolf Blitzer's boom mic guy just took the last can of Diet Dew.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2015


Toni Konz @tkonz
Flowers given to the deputy clerk who was sitting @nexttokimdavis (before #KimDavis went to jail) #RowanCounty

Sitnexto Kim Davis @nexttokimdavis
THANK YOU, BUT THERE WAS NO DIET DEW ATTACHED.
posted by numaner at 11:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


"You can't fix stupid," as a wise man once said.
posted by rhizome at 11:17 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is still so brilliant ....

Protesters just called someone a pervert and cried about Sodom and Gomorrah BUT HE'S JUST GETTING A FUCKING FISHING LICENSE GUYS #KimDavis
posted by tilde at 11:18 AM on September 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Do we have anybody in the area who can take that poor beleaguered woman a case of Diet Mountain Dew?
posted by telepanda at 11:50 AM on September 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Do we have anybody in the area who can take that poor beleaguered woman a case of Diet Mountain Dew?

I kinda really want that to happen. Even though the woman in the picture may have absolutely no idea this Twitter account exists. You wouldn't even have to tell her about it. Just show up with a case of Dew and be like "we saw on the news you liked this and thought you could use a kind gesture this week." Then take a quick selfie and post it.
posted by dnash at 12:08 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


She knows it exists. I have no idea if she's read much of it, or if she thinks it's funny or not. She issued a 'no comment' about it yesterday.

I bet she'd still appreciate a case of Diet Mt. Dew.
posted by telepanda at 12:22 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Part of me would have liked to see how long she would have stayed in office had the court essentially said "you know what, fine, if your constituents would rather inconvenience themselves by having to go to another county to get married, in order to appease your religious views, then fine. Nobody can get married in your county until you elect someone who will marry people according to federal law".

Uhhhh... That's what she did. She stopped issuing ALL marriage licenses in June after the decision to try and get around the 14th amendment.
posted by Talez at 1:16 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


GLAAD on Davis' lawyer, Mat Staver.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:48 PM on September 4, 2015


From the Mat Staver (for fucks sake man, add another 'T' to your name):
-- Says President Obama has a "sexual anarchist agenda"

Sexual Anarchist Agenda is totally my next band name.*

I don't have a band, and won't, anyone here is free to take it.
posted by el io at 2:14 PM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


If I was a right-wing culture warrior named Matt I'd spell it with 3 t's, "Mattt," because then it would look like Calvary
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:25 PM on September 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


If I was a right-wing culture warrior named Matt I'd spell it with 3 t's, "Mattt," because then it would look like Calvary

Surely that should be: Mat ͭ t
(<small> because I couldn't use <big> to make the center "t" larger)
posted by MikeKD at 2:37 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd spell Mattttt with five t's since I can't include two chapter fives in it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:42 PM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Add one more t Mat. You can steal it from tolerance, understanding, or respect. I figure these are words on the bench in your vocabulary.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:56 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


From Mat Staver: "if you ultimately have this accepted by society...that a man can be identified as a woman and a woman can be identified as a man and you ou[gh]t(?) to have civil rights that follow your subjective, inner thoughts."

This is a weird quote That then states this brings on not just anarchy but sexual anarchy but my bold emphasis is to point out that isn't this what #kimdavis and others are saying? That they deserve to have the civil right to follow their subjective inner thoughts that say it's right to deny other people civil rights. And to allow that would be religious anarchy?
posted by tilde at 5:06 PM on September 4, 2015






I'm sure this comment will be deleted for derailing, but holy hell her daughter Allison Mae stole a dog in 2013, admitted to it, and the local police didn't do anything because Kim was running for County Clerk and had influence.
posted by numaner at 1:12 AM on September 5 [8 favorites +] [!]


It's obviously not on the same level of priority as the rest of this situation but christ, I hope all this scrutiny on that family means something happens about this..!
posted by pseudonymph at 10:42 PM on September 4, 2015


#FreeKimDavis worst Chik-Fil-A promotion yet
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


omg someone please tell me this is not real

Rosa Parks does not capture the historical importance of Kim Davis.
posted by andoatnp at 10:59 PM on September 4, 2015


There's a rule about "Never read the comments". With Kimberly Bailey Davis sitting in jail, there's nothing BUT commentary at this point, and since everything that can be said HAS been said, we're at the time of asymptotic assholes.

When Google Currents or whatever it's called suggested the Free Republic comments, we had already started the downhill slide...
posted by mikelieman at 11:46 PM on September 4, 2015


Still laughing over her dummy husband calling the judge a butt in the NYT.

The husband sure has a way with words: "We don't hate these people... We just wanna have the same rights that they have." --guy who married the same woman twice on why others shouldn't be allowed to marry.
posted by effbot at 5:35 AM on September 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


We just wanna have the same rights that they have.

It's just mind-blowing that people like these truly believe their rights are being impinged when they are not allowed to impose their religion on others.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:56 AM on September 5, 2015 [8 favorites]




Well. Can't close Pandoras Box or un-jail #kimdavis so maybe some data nerd more capable than I needs to set up a map of every county seat it the nation with go/no-go on having an actual license issued and get them all jailed at once. Grassroots freedom to marry week where couples go see if their county is go/no-go.
from a civil rights blocking official: Alabama Probate Judge Nick Williams said he called Davis the night before she was jailed, telling her he admires her resolve, and that he too would rather go to prison than resign or relent. His resolve has yet to be tested: no same-sex couples have sought a license from his office in rural Washington County, home to about 17,000 people.
posted by tilde at 9:25 AM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


We just wanna have the same rights that they have.

And for that to be reflexive: We want them to have (only) the rights we have, not more or different rights. Also, we choose what rights those are, not them.

So:
Same-sex marriage is not a right WE have (because of our religion)
Therefore for things to be "fair," nobody else should have that right either.

Or, maybe Joe's just coming clean, you guys. He just wants to be able to marry a man like "they" can. Sounds like he's complaining to the wrong people.
posted by ctmf at 11:02 AM on September 5, 2015


Balkinization weighs in:

Mark Tushnet
Mark Graber
Marty Lederman
posted by rhizome at 11:22 AM on September 5, 2015


And for that to be reflexive: We want them to have (only) the rights we have, not more or different rights. Also, we choose what rights those are, not them.

So:
Same-sex marriage is not a right WE have (because of our religion)
Therefore for things to be "fair," nobody else should have that right either.


I wish it were that nuanced.

They want the right to discriminate just like we don't tolerate their disgraceful hatred and "discriminate" against them by shaming them for it.
posted by Talez at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or, maybe Joe's just coming clean, you guys. He just wants to be able to marry a man like "they" can. Sounds like he's complaining to the wrong people.

Can people not do the "maybe ____ really is gay" thing? It always seems to play into the whole thing where being called gay is an insult or funny, which I think most of us agree is a bad thing.
posted by Gygesringtone at 3:57 PM on September 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


Perhaps it's more about the irony about how right-wing jerk ____ who is obsessed with gays almost invariably turns out to be gay, himself.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:42 PM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gah, it just makes me want to scream! I will pay solid GoFundMe or Kickstarter money to any Christian Scientist or Jewish or Muslim or Catholic who sues the government for a religious exemption or "carve-out" in the manner of these fundamentalist Christians. We're going to get to the point where their religion trumps any federal law unless and until someone really pushes a robust counter-example. A Catholic in Kim Davis' position, and with her muddled conception of religious and civil marriages, would have refused to sign her second, her third, or her fourth marriage licenses.
posted by newdaddy at 5:44 PM on September 5, 2015


Letters from a Kentucky Jail (Page 1, Page 2).

In case you thought Kim was relenting any time soon.
posted by delfin at 8:15 PM on September 5, 2015


I thank the courageous men Ted Cruz and Mr Huckabee for their unwielding support through these trying days.
Why yes, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee are hindering progress. Thank you for noticing lady from Kentucky in jail because she won't let queers get married.
posted by Talez at 8:20 PM on September 5, 2015


I love the cluster of underlines where she's focusing on how many people are paying attention to her.

Nice kicker comparing herself to Jesus. I bet that one just flowed out of her pen with a smile.
posted by rhizome at 8:49 PM on September 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Can people not do the "maybe ____ really is gay" thing?

That wasn't actually my intention, sorry. I'm picking on his unfortunate choice of persecution victim language timing. "We just wanna have the same rights they have" when the right in question is same-sex marriage. So, you're saying you want to marry a dude?

Reminds me of the Adam Sandler "you eat pieces of shit for breakfast?" scene, that's all. No, I don't think he's really gay and don't intend to imply that he is.
posted by ctmf at 9:00 PM on September 5, 2015


So, how long do we think she's going to choose to sit in jail?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:53 PM on September 5, 2015


frankly I hope she rots there forever
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:00 PM on September 5, 2015


Less than a week after people stop talking about her, unless she decides to go on a hunger strike.
posted by rhizome at 10:00 PM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


In 75 years, the remnants of the human race crawling through the dried up, climate change hellscape that was earth are going to be really embarrassed that people used to discriminate like this.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:40 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


One more news cycle, and she's on the back page. Her 15 minutes of fame are over.

She fought the law. And the Law won.
posted by mikelieman at 3:20 AM on September 6, 2015


One more news cycle, and she's on the back page. Her 15 minutes of fame are over.

I dunno. I'm beginning to think this is going to have reverberations in other communities over the next few weeks. Last night I was flipping through my local news casts, and they all ran pieces that were highly sympathetic to Davis. The pieces featured images of her supporters (peacefully) protesting, and a few sound bites from the same. There was no clarification from anyone as to what the actual reason (contempt) was for which she was in jail.

I thinking now there's a lot more shit coming to hit the fan.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:20 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


She hasn't even been in there a week, so it's still a thing, but we're at really at the point where the news director thinks about the story about the fire in the barn instead of more footage of more of the same protesters saying more of the same things about something that's really over. Every court up to and included the USSC is on the same page at this point, and "Official Misconduct" by elected officials isn't really groundbreaking jurisprudence at this point.
posted by mikelieman at 6:42 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fairly convincing argument that that letter linked above is fake.
posted by YAMWAK at 6:49 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


One more news cycle, and she's on the back page. Her 15 minutes of fame are over.

I doubt it. Remember Samuel Wurzelbacher, d.b.a Joe the Plumber? That guy should have been a flash in the pan, but was able to climb on board the wingnut welfare bandwagon and extend his 15 minutes far beyond the conclusion of the 2008 election. Why should this be any different? I could totally see one of the Bible-thumping candidates that needs a boost in the polls seeking and getting her endorsement, adding her to their campaign staff, having her speak at events... Fox News would love to have her on as a regular contributor, I'm sure... Add in the various online outlets that would love the clicks that her posts would bring from fans and foes alike, and I think she could be around for quite a while.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:33 AM on September 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have the same concerns as tonyspsu. I've been uneasily referring to her as Kim the Plumber, and I'm concerned that as soon as Sarah Palin is finished explaining why Obama did Alaska wrong she will rally the troops. Not that Palin has the same influence or reach as she did in the past, but it's enough to keep this chugging along.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:14 AM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, look: she'll be good for rallying the loons. But I genuinely believe that most Americans understand that this is a country governed by the rule of law, and individual government officials can't defy the Supreme Court because they believe they have a right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. I think the stuff with private businesses being required to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples is actually a lot harder for people to wrap their heads around, but this one is not complicated. What if she were a conservative Catholic and refused to issue marriage licenses for people who were divorced? Would people think that was reasonable and should be allowed? I realize that a lot of people on Metafilter think that flyover state voters are bigoted morons, but I actually do a lot of political door-knocking and phone-calling in a flyover state, and I'm not worried about Kim Davis. I feel really confident about my ability to articulate to the average voter why she is in the wrong and why it's appropriate that she's in jail, although it's sad that she and her lawyers have let it get to that point.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:30 AM on September 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember Samuel Wurzelbacher, d.b.a Joe the Plumber? That guy should have been a flash in the pan, but was able to climb on board the wingnut welfare bandwagon and extend his 15 minutes far beyond the conclusion of the 2008 election.

Joe the Plumber is working at an auto plant (and had to join the UAW) after a wildly unsuccessful Congressional run. He publicly quit the Republican Party and is at best a punchline everywhere he's ever been. If he's the model for Kim the Clerk, good.
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 AM on September 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


But I genuinely believe that most Americans understand that this is a country governed by the rule of law, and individual government officials can't defy the Supreme Court because they believe they have a right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.

Two words: Terry Schiavo. And Jeb Bush probably doesn't even make the 50th percentile of religious wackiness in the GOP field.

Joe the Plumber is working at an auto plant (and had to join the UAW) after a wildly unsuccessful Congressional run.

Yes, many years later. The point is he stuck around several years past his expiration date because he was propped up by Fox News and the rest of the conservative infotainment industrial complex. I see the same thing happening with Ms. Davis.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on September 6, 2015


Stuck around as a talking head on Fox News and at carefully selected campaign events. He wasn't influential by any sense of the word. Who cares if he made a few bucks? It wasn't money out of our pockets. Let her echo around the chamber for a few years. Hell, it's preferable to having her making it harder for people to get married in Rowan County.
posted by Etrigan at 8:53 AM on September 6, 2015


You're arguing against a claim I'm not making. I was merely responding to "One more news cycle, and she's on the back page. Her 15 minutes of fame are over" with the fact that there's a template for keeping these assholes in front of cameras and microphones for much longer than the usual news cycle.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2015


She has the potential to pull a Joe the Plumber act, but she has to release herself from jail first. What is the rationale she is going to use to do that? In this context, the means by which she delivers herself from bondage ought to greatly affect her value on the open market.

Consider also that she may instead be in the process of pulling a Roy Moore act.
posted by rhizome at 9:19 AM on September 6, 2015


She has the potential to pull a Joe the Plumber act, but she has to release herself from jail first. What is the rationale she is going to use to do that?
I don't know. I actually can't see a good exit strategy for her, other I guess than just waiting out the rest of her term in jail and then not running again. My hunch is that at some point she'll say that she prayed about it and realized that God's plan for her was that she should resign as county clerk and continue the struggle in other venues, such as highly-paid speaking engagements and television appearances.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:14 AM on September 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


She's going to get a state court to grant a change in process under the state's RFRA and suddenly her name won't be on the certs any more. No legislative runaround required, as the solution is on the books already.
posted by introp at 10:29 AM on September 6, 2015


She's going to get a state court to grant a change in process under the state's RFRA and suddenly her name won't be on the certs any more.

Wouldn't she still have to allow her staff to sign the licenses, though? Or might she fire her staff outright? Once she's out, she'll be free to muck-up the process again, barring any sort of restraining order prohibiting her from intimidating her staff.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:54 AM on September 6, 2015


Kim Davis is the patsie here. The anti gay marriage machinery has lost and they have no reason to continue to exist. They're going to milk her fight for as much money and organizing intelligence as they can get. I doubt that Ms. Davis is going to get much of that money. If she resigns or isn't re-elected, she's out a 80K job. I haven't seen any evidence that's she is charismatic or a good speaker so it isn't likely that she's going to be able to make very much money of the christian grift circuit.

The McCain people had an interest in pumping up Joe the Plumber throughout the presidential campaign. Davis's lawyers only profit when she is jail. That's why they steered her along a path that could only end up with her in jail. Once she's out she's useful for a little while and then she's forgotten.

Patsie or not she is still a vile person.
posted by rdr at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


As mentioned elsewhere and upthread, firing the deputies for not hewing to her religious preferences would result in a volcanic shitshow for the state and pennies from heaven for the fired deputies.
posted by rhizome at 11:19 AM on September 6, 2015


I want her lawyers to face an ethics inquiry for counseling her to defy a court order.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:58 AM on September 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


You mean, like, from the Bar?
posted by rhizome at 12:26 PM on September 6, 2015


Why are these officials elected anyway?
I've never understood the benefits of this quirk of American life.
posted by fullerine at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2015


You mean, like, from the Bar?

Yes. Attorneys generally fear the Bar above all else.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:52 PM on September 6, 2015


To me that implies they are well-aware of any boundaries they'd have to worry about.
posted by rhizome at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2015




The Esteemed Leonard Pitts, Jr.: ‘Religious liberty’ cloaks intolerance

...as effectively as a Groucho nose and glasses.
posted by jon1270 at 6:39 PM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Westboro Baptist Church comes out against Kim Davis .

There must be some sort of "Trolls Troll Troll" headline that could be created here.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:47 PM on September 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I suspect Davis will be in jail for a while, she's that kind of stubborn.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:36 AM on September 7, 2015


To me that implies they are well-aware of any boundaries they'd have to worry about.

That may make it the worse for them, and either way an inquiry by the Bar is nothing to treat lightly.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:01 AM on September 7, 2015


Can someone explain how the Davies family has managed to permanently lock-up that job? How have they "owned" an elected position for decades? Her mother, herself, her son — it's now a grossly-overpaid inherited job. WTF? How did they manage that?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:45 AM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that in some communities, nepotism isn't necessarily seen as a negative thing. It's what people do: they take care of their families by doing things like hiring them for jobs for which they are qualified and competent. The family is the core institution of society, and commitment to family is good. Plus, you know your kid really well and know that she'd be good at it, and she'll do the job well because there will be hell to pay at home if she doesn't. So of course Davis's mother was going to hire her daughter, and of course Davis was going to hire her son. And then, because she had been working there for a long time, Davis was highly qualified for the job when her mother retired. If you, the voter, thought her mother did a fine job, which she probably did, then why not elect her daughter and protege to continue her legacy? It sounds like Davis's election actually was fairly controversial in part because of claims of nepotism, and she didn't win by a whole lot, but I think there's a reasoning that would make people think it was a good idea to vote for her.

Political dynasties are a thing in a lot of places, for what it's worth. Chicago is full of them. Where I currently live, there's a sense that the children of popular elected officials have a leg up in electoral politics, certainly in terms of name recognition, but also in terms of voters thinking that the offspring of a good guy/ woman will probably also be a good guy/ woman.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:09 AM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


small elections, you vote the name you recognize - if you don't know anything about the job and you haven't heard of anyone fucking it up, you vote for the incumbent. they also likely have some sort of social power in the town - probably by way of fear - easier to just keep the office running. and then they hire their kids, so when it comes time to pass the torch you have a) recognizable name and b) someone who has been doing the job for 20+ years. no reason to change, might as well vote them in again.
posted by nadawi at 8:12 AM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


There must be some sort of "Trolls Troll Troll" headline that could be created here.

trollolololol
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:15 AM on September 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think that in some communities, nepotism isn't necessarily seen as a negative thing.

Nepotism in private -- sometimes even public -- companies is a different thing, and I don't object to it. If part of why you are building a company is to make jobs for your family members and friends, go for it.

Nepotism in the government is something different and something wrong. Name recognition will always be a thing, but voters can choose, even for bad reasons. Government officials, elected or otherwise, have a different set of rules. I am sure everyone in the family is qualified to be hired; I do not believe that there was no one else better qualified.
posted by jeather at 10:13 AM on September 7, 2015


I do not believe that there was no one else better qualified.

A ton of people are qualified for this job:
As county clerk I am responsible for providing many services to the people of Rowan county. These duties include general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, and conducting election duties and tax duties.
When the requirements for the job are so mundane, name recognition is the only differentiator. What is a challenger going to campaign on, that their signature is clearer? Add nepotism to this, and you have a chain of bureaucrats who interact with the public for menial requirements of existence in that county on a daily basis, pretty much the best campaign setup you can get: paid to sit on your ass and be nice enough to the everybodys you interact with to establish that "County Clerk = Someone Davis."
posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on September 7, 2015


I'm not talking about the election, I'm talking about Kim Davis being hired by her mother (for a government job) and in turn hiring her son (for a government job). This is where nepotism is the issue, and where although no doubt all three of them are fine, lots of people with different families would be just as fine. (Voters could vote on anti-nepotism, but they as a rule don't have that as their first priority.)
posted by jeather at 10:44 AM on September 7, 2015


I'm not talking about the election, I'm talking about Kim Davis being hired by her mother (for a government job) and in turn hiring her son (for a government job). This is where nepotism is the issue, and where although no doubt all three of them are fine, lots of people with different families would be just as fine. (Voters could vote on anti-nepotism, but they as a rule don't have that as their first priority.)

Rowan County doesn't have anything in its state mandated code of ethics about nepotism. It's supposed to but nobody really cares so long as we pay lip service to corruption.
posted by Talez at 10:53 AM on September 7, 2015


Just FWIW, my understanding is that Kim Davis barely squeaked by in the primary, and her main opponent did use the nepotism as a major point.
posted by dilettante at 10:55 AM on September 7, 2015


it's now a grossly-overpaid inherited job.

So, she's acting like an asshole and the nepotism is icky.

But $80K doesn't seem like gross overpayment to me. County clerks (usually) have a lot of responsibilities across a fairly wide array of areas, and in smaller counties also act as their own administrators/HR/etc.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:01 AM on September 7, 2015


This is where nepotism is the issue, and where although no doubt all three of them are fine, lots of people with different families would be just as fine.

Exactly, but how strong of an anti-nepotism law would be necessary to counteract this? Would it even be constitutional? If the duties can be done by nearly anybody, why should the law care who is hired? This is a rhetorical question, we don't need to explore the origins of the EEOC.

her main opponent did use the nepotism as a major point.

Reading a story about the campaigns is an object lesson in Sayre's Law.

To be sure, I don't think nepotism caused Kim Davis not to issue the licenses, any whackadoo could have done that, but I do think it factors into a sense of entitlement that prevents her from thinking her job is at risk, and of pride that prevents her from just resigning.
posted by rhizome at 11:26 AM on September 7, 2015


But $80K doesn't seem like gross overpayment to me.

Yeah, in federal service terms I would guess it would probably be graded around GS-13 to GS-14, department head level. Which makes 80k sound a bit low after a few years of step increases. But, cost of living in the region.
posted by ctmf at 11:32 AM on September 7, 2015


But $80K doesn't seem like gross overpayment to me.

It's just barely under five times the per capita personal income in Rowan County, and two and a half times the median household income.
posted by Etrigan at 2:27 PM on September 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Where I live, there's a small handful of family names that seem to always populate elected offices of some sort. It's just the way small cities and towns are. Some families are politicians the way some families are firefighters or steelworkers. It definitely makes it hard to inject new blood, though, for sure.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:26 PM on September 7, 2015


Louisville Courier-Journal: Not Amused - She Sits Next To Kim Davis
posted by magstheaxe at 3:59 PM on September 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huckabee: Kim Davis only has to uphold the law if it's right .

Can you imagine living in a world where government employees were no longer required to uphold the law at work if they didn't believe it was right?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:13 PM on September 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's just barely under five times the per capita personal income in Rowan County, and two and a half times the median household income.

...and? So?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:02 PM on September 7, 2015


...and? So?

I think a bunch of folks (myself anyways) might think that a public servant should make a living wage, should get paid the prevailing wages for the area, but shouldn't make several times what everyone around them are making.

Politicians should not grow wealthy from their public service. And 80k a year isn't wealthy by urban standards, but it would seem her compensation makes her far better off than the people around her. The people that are literally paying her salary with their taxes.

Don't get me wrong, I think public servants should get paid a decent amount for the work they do, but (nearly) 5 times ther per capita personal income seems a bit wrong.
posted by el io at 6:13 PM on September 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's just barely under five times the per capita personal income in Rowan County, and two and a half times the median household income.

...and? So?


And so there's no dictionary definition for "gross overpayment" for a county clerk, but one should look at what the people around her make before simply deciding that she's not grossly overpaid.
posted by Etrigan at 6:19 PM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not Amused - She Sits Next To Kim Davis
"not with that language."
Aww Melissa just wants us to be a little bit more PG since she's a civil servant. Understandable.
posted by numaner at 7:30 PM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


So teachers in Owsley County should be paid a lot less than teachers in Louisville because Owsley County is dirt poor? I mean, they probably are. But this is a good thing?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:45 PM on September 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh come on. are you being fighty or daft?
posted by nadawi at 9:34 PM on September 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Politicians should not grow wealthy from their public service.

THIS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 PM on September 7, 2015


So teachers in Owsley County should be paid a lot less than teachers in Louisville because Owsley County is dirt poor?

come the fuck on

teachers, who are literally tasked with continuing our civilization, are ever so slightly different form county fucking clerks, how's that disingenuousness working out for you
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:03 PM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Depending on the county, the clerk can be responsible for all sorts of stuff beyond licenses, including managing elections (and certifying results), to managing all authoritative documents for a county, to being responsible for civil enforcement of the county code (and sometimes city, depending on the seat). In many cases, it's comparable responsibility to the superintendent of schools, whom you would expect to be paid more than a teacher. Eighty grand seems pretty large to me for the gig, but it's not absurd on its face.
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 PM on September 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wherever you go now, people are willing to, in the face of everything else that's happening in the world, make it their first priority to argue that this group or that group is being paid too much for their work. The rage among my very-far-upstate Facebook friends and family, that fast food workers will someday make $15 an hour in New York is seemingly unlimited. I can't believe this is what we've been reduced to.

It's sad that every argument seems to reduce to this, and it's hard not to imagine a Koch brother laughing in the background. It's petty and pathetic, and it's not even the premise of this FPP. I'm not arguing that Ms. Davis is compensated fairly. Don't you get it? The whole thing about the market and compensation is a con, and always has been. Do you really believe Donald Trump is working a million times harder than you are every day, or is a million times smarter?
posted by newdaddy at 10:40 PM on September 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


CNN: Kim Davis has appealed the contempt of court ruling that landed her in jail last week. Or rather her charlatan lawyer Mat Staver has.

"Staver said Davis has no plans to resign and would remain in jail until a compromise is reached. He said his client would be willing to issue licenses if her name and title were not on them. "

The best refutation I've seen was in a comment to a NYT article, which I can no longer find, so no link:

"The marriage license was legally valid because the County Clerk issued it, not because Kim Davis issued it. She could resign and issue licenses all day long from her home, but that wouldn't make them legal. Kim Davis has no legal authority other than when acting as Clerk, and, when she is acting as County Clerk she is not acting on her own behalf.

"As this is the case, her personal religious views are utterly immaterial. The County itself does not hold religious views. State and religion are separate entities. If Ms. Davis is under the impression the County Clerk should have religious beliefs, she is mistaken. The County Clerk is an office, not a person."
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:10 AM on September 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


Kim Davis has appealed the contempt of court ruling

It is utterly baffling to me that she is seeking legal relief when her entire position seems to be predicated on the belief that laws in general only apply to her if she personally deems them worthy of doing so.
posted by solotoro at 4:24 AM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


So if her NAME were not on the licenses -- if just the title and a deputy's signature appeared -- she'd be okay with it? Would her title also have to be off it?
posted by jeather at 5:06 AM on September 8, 2015


So if her NAME were not on the licenses -- if just the title and a deputy's signature appeared -- she'd be okay with it?

No, of course not. But that's the thin end of the wedge she's grabbed on to.
posted by Etrigan at 6:01 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


A few days ago, Eugene Volokh addressed this question and it seems like he's giving her better advice than her idiot lawyer on this. Of course, he has neither a political nor a financial interest in her remaining in jail.
posted by rtha at 6:12 AM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of the local news papers does an excellent summary every year of every single item on the ballot (looks up my ballot info by address) with some information on every single candidate. I make a point of using that to figure out who to vote for for dumb little elected office that there is.

It's dumb that I vote for the county water inspector and county clerk but people like Kim Davis make me glad that I actually pay some attention to those elections.
posted by VTX at 6:28 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can she prove she's not a witch?
posted by newdaddy at 9:38 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looks like Kim's soon to be let out.
This better be because she's agreed to play nice. If this is something won by her lawyers, and the judge is being over-ridden...
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on September 8, 2015


looks like she agreed to what she wouldn't agree to last week - to not interfere with her deputies who are following the law.
posted by nadawi at 10:02 AM on September 8, 2015


Any word on whether her name will be on the licenses or not?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on September 8, 2015


A few days ago, Eugene Volokh addressed this question

Yup, that answered my question. Thanks.
posted by jeather at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2015


I wish someone would explain this new development to me. It looks from my perspective as if she's still refusing to do today what she refused to do Friday. Is this the judge backing down, or did something elsewhere change?
posted by newdaddy at 10:26 AM on September 8, 2015


the release order is explicit that she can't interfere with her deputies. last week she refused to agree to that stipulation. her lawyers are saber rattling saying she will interfere - so i guess we find out tomorrow what all that means. i don't think the judge backed down - i think the judge is giving her enough rope to hang herself with.
posted by nadawi at 10:31 AM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is semantic games. The judge's order says "you can go, since there are deputies in that office that can issue those licenses, as long as you do not interfere with their doing so." As long as her name is on those licenses, she refuses to let them go out. So why would she even pretend to agree to this?

CNN: Davis' legal team on Monday asked the appeals court for an injunction that would prompt Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to remove her name from the licenses -- something Davis' lawyers say Beshear has the power and obligation to do through an executive order.

Davis should not have to resign or be jailed, Gannam said, because "accommodation of religious conscience is the law in Kentucky, including for elected officials." "It's the duty of the Kentucky government to accommodate that, and they very easily could do so," Gannam said. "Gov. Beshear is the one who should do his job or resign."


Flipping blame onto the Governor, that's why. Beshear really has no choice but to stonewall this, which will send Davis back to jail but now it'll be painted as the Governor being a big anti-Christian meanie. If he caves, he's opening the door for every fundie in the nation to say "I don't like X, so the government must exempt me from it" on every issue imaginable.
posted by delfin at 10:35 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, what if all the deputies were of the same persuasion as Kim Davis?

Also, it seems as though this puts the deputies in an ethical quandary (if they all quit their jobs or even all take the same afternoon off, they could expose Kim to more jail time) solely as a result of Kim's refusal to do the work of her office.
posted by newdaddy at 10:50 AM on September 8, 2015


the deputies were brought in front of the judge where they agreed to issue the licenses (well, except for her son). the judge knows the office is 5 out of 7 who will issue the licenses. that's part of why she was allowed to be out.
posted by nadawi at 10:56 AM on September 8, 2015


I also have the impression that part of the reason is that the plantiffs in the case have gotten their licenses, which means the suit is really no longer needed?

Deputies have to file reports every 14 days on compliance, it looks like.
posted by nubs at 11:00 AM on September 8, 2015


the deputies were brought in front of the judge where they agreed to issue the licenses (well, except for her son). the judge knows the office is 5 out of 7 who will issue the licenses. that's part of why she was allowed to be out.

5 out of 7?

I wonder what would happen if only 5 out of 7 people served Muslims or black people.

Hell, I wonder what would happen if only 5 out of 7 people decided to serve Christians and the other two refused.
posted by Talez at 11:05 AM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


So the deputies have to file reports every two weeks, showing they're in compliance with the law. I wonder how long that'll last. As long as Davis is in office? There four years until elections for the position.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:06 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The plaintiffs have gotten their licenses, albeit licenses that Davis's lawyer claims are void "because they were issued under her authority but without her authorization." Is there any legal reason or justification for a third party to challenge the marriages' validity down the road? No, not really, but you know that someone will at some point just to be a dick.

So, as noted, if the Compliant Five are hit by flying mutant cream puffs on the way to their cars tonight and hospitalized for three weeks, do licenses just stop being issued during that time? If the next county down has all of their clerks now declare "Screw this, we want the same exemption Kim gets," what then?

Kicking this legal can is like pushing wallpaper bubbles -- it'll only make three more somewhere else.
posted by delfin at 11:09 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


If he caves, he's opening the door for every fundie in the nation to say "I don't like X, so the government must exempt me from it" on every issue imaginable.

On a national level, that's not a door that can be either opened or closed by a mere governor. That's something the federal courts will eventually have to decide, god help us.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:11 AM on September 8, 2015


in case it's unclear, i'm not condoning kim davis or her exception - i was explaining where things stand because there seemed to be confusion. i am hopeful that this will eventually end in no exceptions for government employees, but we'll have to wait and see.
posted by nadawi at 11:17 AM on September 8, 2015


I'd like to see what happens if the 5 stay home sick from work.
posted by rhizome at 11:25 AM on September 8, 2015


Well that's the thing, innit? I walk in there to get my marriage licence, and the non-assbags aren't there. I'm supposed to wait until next week?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:29 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's a terrible solution but with 5 out of 7 there's a far greater chance of that not happening than there was last week. and if they staged some sort of walk out i would hope the judge would call them all before him to figure out what happens next.
posted by nadawi at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2015


It's not a solution of any kind, terrible or otherwise. The solution is: do your fucking job. That is the solution. Anything else is pandering to bigots.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:38 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have to wonder how soon those five clerks get targeted by fundies, and end up with protesters camped-out in front of their homes the same way the fundies sit in front of Planned Parenthood offices. I sure wouldn't want to be them right now.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:42 AM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


releasing her is not pandering to bigots - it's letting her prove that she will interfere and letting the justice system go through its mechanisms. the more she defies court orders the worse it will be for her and others like her. her cases looking for an exception or to be removed from the licenses is still going through the appeal process. i wish it were quicker too, but it's not like everyone has just thrown their hands up and said "welp! what can we do! the bigots have outsmarted us!" the process is still ongoing.
posted by nadawi at 11:53 AM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey, I just checked in with my local Church of the SubGenius epopt. He says that thanks to all this, now we get religious exemptions from tax law and prostitution busts and 35% off at KFC on Fridays. Thanks Kim!
posted by delfin at 11:54 AM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have to wonder how soon those five clerks get targeted by fundies, and end up with protesters camped-out in front of their homes the same way the fundies sit in front of Planned Parenthood offices. I sure wouldn't want to be them right now.

Probably any minute now (emphasis mine):
The rally outside U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, was organized by the anti-abortion group Operation Save America, and protesters carried signs distributed by the conservative American View group founded by the neo-Confederate creationist Michael Peroutka.

“You, sir, are the one that’s in contempt of the law,” said the Rev. Philip “Flip” Benham, head of Operation Save America and father of would-be reality TV stars David and Jason Benham. “You, sir, are the one in contempt of God’s court, you’re in contempt of the Constitution of the United States of America, of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and sir, you need to repent.”

“If you don’t repent, we’re going to ask that the sheriff in Grayson County arrest you for putting this precious little girl into jail,” Benham added. “It’s wrong.”

Benham and his group have called on the Rowan County sheriff to arrest the federal judge when he arrives at work Thursday.

“Judge Bunning is in contempt of the Court of Almighty God and the constitutions of both Kentucky and the United States,” said Benham, who has been convicted of stalking an abortion provider, in a statement that included the name of the judge’s street.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:55 AM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


for putting this precious little girl

are you fucking kidding me? the infantilism of women is so fucking creepy.
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2015 [22 favorites]


releasing her is not pandering to bigots - it's letting her prove that she will interfere and letting the justice system go through its mechanisms.

Allowing her to not do her damn job is pandering to bigots.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


so - what's your solution? jail her for 4 years until her term is up?
posted by nadawi at 12:07 PM on September 8, 2015


"Well that's the thing, innit? I walk in there to get my marriage licence, and the non-assbags aren't there. I'm supposed to wait until next week?"

Bro, ain't you already legally required to get gay married for your socialist healthcare? But I'd imagine that part of the court order would be adequate staffing of the non-assbags to ensure that people do have the access they need. If there are no non-assbags and someone comes to get married, if they're delayed that'd likely be a violation of the court order and put Davis back in contempt. Until then, letting her be kingshit moron of some county clerk office isn't actually harming the constitutional right of people to get married, and absent a harm, she shouldn't be in jail no matter how much of an idiot she is.

"Benham and his group have called on the Rowan County sheriff to arrest the federal judge when he arrives at work Thursday."

And I'll bet that the sheriff tells them the polite version of "Go fuck your hat." Were it not for the realization of the harm that these assholes do by perpetuating a feeling of persecution for LGBT people (along with whatever other ChristCo-designated liberalism they're protesting this week), I'd see these grifts as part of the great American fabric — demanding shit that won't happen to prove how persecuted and in need of donations your theocratic PO box cause is? An excellent way to separate fools and money. But I just can't get behind fleecing hatebucks from the flock when it comes with the collateral damage that these morons inflict. Maybe I should start stumping for a "super-marriage" that's available only to straight American citizens, conferring no extra rights or recognition except that God has totally blessed y'all's hetero pairing for $49.95. If any LGBT people get upset about being intentionally excluded, I'll send 'em a note explaining the scam along with a cut of the profits. ("It's a rip-off! Here's five bucks and try not to giggle when someone tells you they got a 'super-marriage.'")
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


so - what's your solution? jail her for 4 years until her term is up?

until she complies with the court order and does her damn job, yes. For me this is really simple: you are required to do your job. You are an elected official, meaning your religion doesn't enter into your job functions. You either do your job, or quit, or go to jail. Pick one. This whole "well as long as the deputies do it" is utter BS. What if she fires them? What if they all come down with the flu? Quit in disgust?

It's simply not tenable. She made her bed, she can lie in it. If that means she stays in jail until her term is up then so be it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


It confuses me that you can say

"Until then, letting her be kingshit moron of some county clerk office isn't actually harming the constitutional right of people to get married, and absent a harm, she shouldn't be in jail no matter how much of an idiot she is. "

and then immediately follow it with

"Were it not for the realization of the harm that these assholes do by perpetuating a feeling of persecution for LGBT people"

and not make the connection. She is causing harm by refusing to do her job, by refusing to obey the law, by refusing to treat people like me the same as everyone else.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:14 PM on September 8, 2015


until she complies with the court order and does her damn job, yes. For me this is really simple: you are required to do your job.

Well, according to the Volokh link above, American's aren't required to do some aspects of their job if they have suitable religious objection. We could argue about where that's right or another example of fucked up nuttery, but it's important to realize that current American law does provide some religious exemptions at work.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:18 PM on September 8, 2015


she's been given a new court order, if she defies it, the mechanisms of justice will once again push against her. she has a few different outstanding appeals. those are also going through the process. i understand being angry and wishing things happened faster, but things are happening. she's not just being allowed to ignore the law, she's continuing to make her bed.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


for putting this precious little girl

are you fucking kidding me? the infantilism of women is so fucking creepy.


No shit! I'm trying to imagine a scenario wherein the offending county clerk was a 45 year-old man named Kyle Davis. Would this Benham person ever feel it appropriate to say something like “If you don’t repent, we’re going to ask that the sheriff in Grayson County arrest you for putting this precious little boy into jail." No. Because it's absurd on its face. Yet switch the gender, and it's pretty much par for the course. Infuriating.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


so - what's your solution? jail her for 4 years until her term is up?

The decision to go to jail or remain out of jail is ENTIRELY KIM'S. No one is holding a gun to her head and forcing her to (a) remain in her elected position, (b) refuse to process same-sex marriage licenses and (c) obstruct others in the office from processing them.

Judge Bunning gave her ways out; she turned them down and went to jail, because Jesus. He gave her another way out presently, and she's out. For now. Her lawyers seem to feel that the legal burden is now on the Governor to carve out a special exemption for her, because Jesus. Even money says she'll be back in custody by the end of the month.
posted by delfin at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2015


Both state and federal versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allow for some amount of accommodation (see the Volokh piece I linked to - he explains it pretty clearly). In KY, for instance, yeah, they can accommodate by removing the name of the county clerk and just having the license say "County Clerk." Since it seems her claim (?) is that she doesn't want her name on the paper, that could be a thing that works. Or not. She's getting what seems to be terrible, terrible legal advice, so who knows.
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2015


if she defies it? When she defies it.

And okay, fine, there are some religious exemptions. Which now place an undue burden on the five non-assholes--at least one of them must now be available at all times, else the public is suffering from her bigotry again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2015


oh i agree that it's when. you seem to think we're disagreeing or feel differently about kim davis, but i don't think that's true. i just think that there are other options between "hold her in contempt for four years" or "let her fuck it up unabated for 4 years" and as far as i can tell, those other options are being explored.
posted by nadawi at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2015


I see Bunning's releasing her as declaring victory, though -- that as long as her office is functioning as it should, he just doesn't care about whatever religious convictions led her to spend Labor Day weekend in jail.
posted by Gelatin at 12:28 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


if she defies it? When she defies it.

Indeed, her asshat lawyer is already saying that she will.

Meanwhile, there may be another confrontation brewing in the clerk's office:

Sitnexto Kim Davis ‏@nexttokimdavis 1h1 hour ago: I don't care what happens. I'm not giving #KimDavis her fucking chair back. She gets a million dollars, I get lumbar support.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 12:30 PM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Which now place an undue burden on the five non-assholes--at least one of them must now be available at all times, else the public is suffering from her bigotry again.

Eh, I don't know that it's undue to have one of five people available at any given time in a seven-person office.
posted by Etrigan at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2015


Releasing her makes sense now, since most of the office have agreed to issue the licenses. As head of the office, it's up to Davis that 1 or 2 of those 5 are in the office at all times. If not, we'll ser what happens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:32 PM on September 8, 2015


her asshat lawyer is already saying that she will

Of course, because feeding this narrative of alleged persecution is all part of the grift. One would hardly expect the lawyers, who have their own axe to grind and have obviously been using their supposed client, to admit defeat. As Davis is the one who spent the weekend in jail away from the TV cameras, though, I'll be interested in seeing what she actually does.
posted by Gelatin at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's an option other than holding her in contempt. She was elected to perform the duties of public office. If she doesn't want to do her duties, and doesn't want to obey a court order telling her to do her duties, her choices are quit or jail. That's the end of it, for me. Putting the burden of fulfilling her duties on everyone else in the office is BS, it's saying to everyone in the USA that it's totally okay to be a bigot, and you can get away with being a bigot in public office.

That's crap. What happens when some other podunk asshole decides their religious beliefs forbid them from serving people of colour? Or people of another religion?

Eh, I don't know that it's undue to have one of five people available at any given time in a seven-person office.

On reflection, it needs to be two. Davis and her odious son and one of the non-assholes are the only people working on a given day. When does the non-asshole get to have lunch?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:35 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


correct me if i'm wrong, but i think if she keeps defying a court order and actively stands in the way of other people following the law, then she can be charged with an actual crime. jailing her for an actual crime seems like a better solution to me than holding her in contempt. lets take that key out of her hand if she doesn't want to use it to free herself.
posted by nadawi at 12:37 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I see Bunning's releasing her as declaring victory, though -- that as long as her office is functioning as it should, he just doesn't care

I'm not sure I would say it is declaring victory, but I agree with you. The point he's trying to make is that as long as the office is fulfilling the functions it is supposed to fulfill, he doesn't care. If it stops fulfilling those functions, the court will step in again. If the office is back to normal functions and he keeps her in jail, it could start to look like persecution. Let her decide to muck things up again, and then drag her back.
posted by nubs at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's important to realize that current American law does provide some religious exemptions at work

While that's true, the likely outcome is their use here to allow Kim to keep playing her games.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eh, I don't know that it's undue to have one of five people available at any given time in a seven-person office.

On reflection, it needs to be two. Davis and her odious son and one of the non-assholes are the only people working on a given day. When does the non-asshole get to have lunch?


Why would only three people be working on a given day in an office that apparently needs seven to work at normal capacity?

I agree that she's a contemptible moron who's in favor of a theocratic interpretation that boils down to "I don't like the gays, so I'm going to make it difficult for them." If I had the power to do so, she'd already have been impeached and removed from office in favor of someone who was willing to swear they would perform all of the legally mandated functions of the position. But having five people available to do the exact same function doesn't make it a separate-but-equal situation or place an undue burden on anyone.
posted by Etrigan at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Her lawyers seem to feel that the legal burden is now on the Governor to carve out a special exemption for her, because Jesus

In order to avoid violating the Establishment Clause (bear with me), wouldn't this exemption have to be so general as to allow for the mythical Muslim to refuse to grant women Driver's Licenses from the DMV?
posted by rhizome at 12:51 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Either Judge Bunning is (a) influenced by terrorism or (b) a Huckabee supporter. This smacks of political theater, there's no reason to expect her to comply with the new order, and no reason to release her other than to give Huckabee a triumph.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes. And Jews, Unitarians, Satanists, SubGenii, Pastafarians, Methodists, Baptists, Hindus, Bokonists, Taoists, Buddhists, Korean Shamans, Bene Gesserits, Shintoists, Omnians and followers of Frith and El-ahrairah all get equal dispensations.

Right? I mean, we wouldn't want to put forth the impression that one particular religion and its variations gets preferential treatment under American law.
posted by delfin at 12:55 PM on September 8, 2015


It absolutely places an undue burden. She is refusing to do her job--she is forcing the people around her to pick up the slack so that she can follow her stupid religion.

Why would only three people be working on a given day in an office that apparently needs seven to work at normal capacity?

The other four all ate the same chili and are stuck home with food poisoning. They were hit by a bus. It's a slow period right around Christmas so everyone's taking time off. Whatever. The fact is that could easily happen, and the other employees are now having to do her job.

Seriously, I am absolutely appalled at some of the commentary here. The very simple fact is that if I walked into her office to get my marriage licence, I would be discriminated against if she were there. That is a major, major problem; unless other people are staffing the front lines at all times, there is a non-zero chance that some person marrying someone of the same gender will be faced with her saying "I refuse to issue your licence because gay is gross, you have to talk to someone else."

That is not how government works. Everyone must be treated the same, period. No exceptions.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:55 PM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


When does the non-asshole get to have lunch?

A question I've asked myself in every 12pm meeting I've ever had
posted by stevis23 at 12:56 PM on September 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


> It absolutely places an undue burden.

> That is not how government works. Everyone must be treated the same, period. No exceptions.

You can say this as much as you like, but that doesn't make it how it actually works, right now, according to law. From the Volokh piece:
Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, both public and private employers have a duty to exempt religious employees from generally applicable work rules, so long as this won’t create an “undue hardship,” meaning more than a modest cost, on the employer. If the employees can be accommodated in a way that would let the job still get done without much burden on the employer, coworkers, and customers — for instance by switching the employee’s assignments with another employee or by otherwise slightly changing the job duties — then the employer must accommodate them.
[...]
The government is barred by the Free Exercise Clause from discriminating based on religion, but the government has no constitutional duty to give religious objectors special exemptions from generally applicable rules. Maybe it (and private employers) shouldn’t have such a statutory duty, either. But my point so far has been simply to describe the American legal rule as it actually is, and as it has been for over 40 years (since the religious accommodation provisions were enacted in the 1972 amendments to Title VII).
posted by rtha at 1:03 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


close friend of many pedophiles mike huckabee doesn't get a win from this. his win would have been a jailhouse photoop.
posted by nadawi at 1:04 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


She is refusing to do her job--she is forcing the people around her to pick up the slack so that she can follow her stupid religion.

Yes, and that's the case with basically every other case of religious accommodation and a huge amount of disability accommodation. That's why the undue burden test exists. Yeah, it sucks that people in Rowan County know that their elected clerk thinks they shouldn't get married, but should it be actionable if the effect is that they can get married anyway, barring some weird chili-related emergency?
posted by Etrigan at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


the government has no constitutional duty to give religious objectors special exemptions from generally applicable rules.

you were saying?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2015


Yeah, it sucks that people in Rowan County know that their elected clerk thinks they shouldn't get married, but should it be actionable if the effect is that they can get married anyway, barring some weird chili-related emergency?

Yes. Government must not be allowed to discriminate.

What if she refused to serve black people? Would it be okay for a black person to walk into the office and have her say she won't serve them?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


It should be beyond obvious that Davis is far from the only County Clerk who disapproves of having to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. Until very recently, though, she was the only one who prevented her office from doing so. By releasing her, Judge Bunning is affirming that what she believes simply doesn't matter as long as her office does its job.

If she prevents licenses from being issued again, she goes back to jail. But if not, it simply isn't a loss for Bunning or the rule of law -- let alone a capitulation to terrorism of the ambitions of third-rate presidential candidates -- it's a victory.
posted by Gelatin at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


We really, really need to avoid letting the far right walk us down the lane of religious exemptions for public employees.

It would be an absolute disaster to let each federal employee have the ability to determine which laws they chose to obey based on religious belief. That that door is even slightly open is already a small disaster.

The situation in Davis' office is a prime example of this problem. Nobody should have to know which specific clerk they need to see to get any legal license based on that clerk's personal beliefs.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:11 PM on September 8, 2015 [15 favorites]


Government must not be allowed to discriminate.

That's the whole point -- the government won't be discriminating, because Kim Davis is not the entirety of the government in this function.
posted by Etrigan at 1:13 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


would that I had more favourites to give, Joey Michaels
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:13 PM on September 8, 2015


That's the whole point -- the government won't be discriminating, because Kim Davis is not the entirety of the government in this function.

She is the elected official representing the government and she is discriminating. That is the government discriminating. I don't know how to make that more clear.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:14 PM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nobody should have to know which specific clerk they need to see to get any legal license based on that clerk's personal beliefs.

I'm pretty sure Kim Davis' Bible doesn't account for Zombie Homer Plessy having a voice in the matter.
posted by rhizome at 1:16 PM on September 8, 2015


> I don't know how to make that more clear.

It's not that you're unclear. It's that people are disagreeing with your description of how reality exists at this time. Please go read the Volokh piece. Here's another relevant quote:
First, a technical but important legal point: Title VII expressly excludes elected officials. But Kentucky, like about 20 other states, has a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) statute that requires government agencies to exempt religious objectors from generally applicable laws, unless denying the exemption is the least restrictive means of serving a compelling government interest. The federal government also has a RFRA, which may apply to federal court orders issued to state elected officials.
- emphasis mine
posted by rtha at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


What if she refused to serve black people? Would it be okay for a black person to walk into the office and have her say she won't serve them?

She would be in violation of Federal law, as blacks (and all people of color) are a protected class (i.e. discrimination based on color is prohibited as laid out in the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
posted by Thorzdad at 1:21 PM on September 8, 2015


"and not make the connection. She is causing harm by refusing to do her job, by refusing to obey the law, by refusing to treat people like me the same as everyone else."

… but the harm would be not getting a marriage license, not her being an asshole. If she's an asshole and people still get their licenses, the appropriate remedy for that harm isn't removing her by court order, it's letting the people of the county elect another non-asshole clerk in the next election. If she wants to say that her religion means that she only talks in beeps and boops to gay people, so long as she's fulfilling her official obligation to give them the documents they're legally entitled to, she shouldn't be jailed for not doing her job in the way any sane person would prefer. People have a lot of latitude to be assholes in the U.S. If folks can point to a quantifiable harm — say, several of the civil suits filed against her by couples — they're welcome to pursue it against her, but even then, she wouldn't be jailed unless she lost and refused to pay a judgment against her (and even then, it would likely take a lot).
posted by klangklangston at 1:21 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've read the Volokh piece, thanks. I find it uncompelling.

She would be in violation of Federal law, as blacks (and all people of color) are a protected class (i.e. discrimination based on color is prohibited as laid out in the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

Ah but since she's not in violation of Federal law by discriminating against sexual minorities, it's different somehow? Screw that sideways.

… but the harm would be not getting a marriage license, not her being an asshole. If she's an asshole and people still get their licenses, the appropriate remedy for that harm isn't removing her by court order, it's letting the people of the county elect another non-asshole clerk in the next election.

That's privilege talking. There is harm if I go to get a government service and I am told I have to wait because this asshole thinks I'm gross.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder if she will tear up the official copies of the licenses already issued with her name on them. Seems like an appropriately dramatic gesture for the cameras.
posted by JackFlash at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


"That's privilege talking. There is harm if I go to get a government service and I am told I have to wait because this asshole thinks I'm gross."

But again, this is predicated on people getting their licenses. So you wouldn't be waiting any more than you would in a normal bureaucratic regime. Even if she thinks you're gross, you still get the license. If she doesn't give you the license, then she'd be in violation of the court order. But we have to wait for that to happen rather than jailing her under the presumption that it might happen.
posted by klangklangston at 1:28 PM on September 8, 2015


Huh, I wonder if a reverse might do any good.

Man and Woman couple: "We'd like a marriage license, please."
#KimDavis: "Sure."
MWC: "Sorry, anyone but you."
posted by tilde at 1:29 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


But again, this is predicated on people getting their licenses. So you wouldn't be waiting any more than you would in a normal bureaucratic regime. Even if she thinks you're gross, you still get the license.

And, again, the fact of her being there is causing me harm. Please listen to the gay person telling you this.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:31 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah but since she's not in violation of Federal law by discriminating against sexual minorities, it's different somehow?

Well, yes. You started this by saying it was putting an "undue burden" -- a specific term of law in these matters -- on the other people in the office. In this legal matter, people are pointing out why your interpretation of the law, while preferable to our society, is not actually a correct one.
posted by Etrigan at 1:31 PM on September 8, 2015


Ah but since she's not in violation of Federal law by discriminating against sexual minorities, it's different somehow?

Well... I mean, yeah. It's wrong and unfair, but yeah, it's legally different.
posted by palomar at 1:33 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Davis’ supporters, including Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, don’t understand why the judicial branch is authorized by the U.S. Constitution to overturn laws enacted by the legislative branch.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT HOW DO YOU? I DON'T EVEN. IT'S RIGHT THERE ARTICLE III. CHECKS AND BALANCES? NINTH GRADE CIVICS YOU UNCOUTH FUNDIE HICKS?

Jesus fucking Christ this country get dumber by the fucking day.
posted by Talez at 1:35 PM on September 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


New Volokh touches on the potentials. She seems to be intent on scorching the earth.
posted by rhizome at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


this isn't about listening or not listening to gay people - this is about what the actual laws of the land say. i want them to change. i think everyone is this thread wants them to change. i don't want gay people to be fired for being gay, but i also understand that unfortunately the law doesn't support my wishes yet.

i wish people in my town weren't evicted/denied housing because they're trans. unfortunately, that is happening because there isn't protection for them in the law yet. today we're voting to change that and i really, really hope it goes through, but if it doesn't, no matter how upset it makes me, trans people will still be denied housing on the basis that it's still legal to do so.
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


And, again, the fact of her being there is causing me harm.

Not if you can get a license from the other five clerks. You're arguing that you are being harmed simply by her presence. Unless she was decked-out in a "God hates fags" t-shirt and playing some anti-gay sermon on a boom-box, her mere presence doesn't enter into any of this as long as the other clerks are available to give you a license. Just her sitting at her desk looking pissed doesn't qualify as "harm."
posted by Thorzdad at 1:39 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unless she was decked-out in a "God hates fags" t-shirt

Point of irony, WBC doesn't support Kim Davis at all.
"Get this straight: you can NOT repent of a sin you actively live. Kim must leave that man who's not her husband," the organization said on Twitter.

As if to clarify how it could so viciously attack someone who's fighting for its own principles, the group said, "Proud adulterers who divorce/remarry and refuse to call it a sin are no more a WBC member than a proud fag."
Sooooooooo..... yeah.
posted by Talez at 1:42 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. fffm, you've made your point many times here, maybe take a step back for a bit. When people are saying "harm" they're talking about which things technically count for the legal definition, not which things are bad in a wider how-it-should-be sense.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:43 PM on September 8, 2015


[Another deleted. This is a weird place to be telling straight people to be quiet, because as far as I know many of the people you're talking to here aren't straight. Nobody is saying they support Davis, here. Please take a step back and cool off.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:53 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kim Davis triumphant post release, takes stage to "Eye of the Tiger."

Survivor is probably pissed.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2015


It seems to me that, if straight marriages are receiving licenses with the secretary's signature on them, but gay marriages are getting licenses without, or with only some subordinate clerk's signature, and that third parties are already loudly doubting the validity of these licenses, then they haven't received the same service from the office, objectively and demonstrably. This seems obvious to me.

Who wants a license that carries with it the potential to be contested at some later date? It's not the same thing at all as a license with all the proper signatures, one that everyone concurs is official and unassailable.
posted by newdaddy at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


So they cut the music right after the "You trade your passion for glory" line as Kim takes the microphone before a cheering crowd. I'm assuming that was unintended irony.
posted by nubs at 2:30 PM on September 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Can we bring back the lions? Even just one.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:40 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


it was my impression that kim davis wasn't issuing any marriage licenses - gay or straight. until she goes to work tomorrow we won't know if that will change, but if she continues to abstain completely then straight couples aren't getting a superior license. i also think it stretches the imagination to consider that this will work out with having two different licenses, some with her name and some without. i would think it's going to be change all of them or none of them.
posted by nadawi at 2:45 PM on September 8, 2015


I can think of a way: she sits there with the deputies, all issuing licenses, except when a gay couple is next and she has to suddenly go to the bathroom. Somewhere down the line, moves are made to establish that only the ones with her signature are good, invalidating the others. It's not perfect, and there are many holes in this scenario, but given enough motivation to shit on people, she is certainly capable of this level of deviousness.
posted by rhizome at 2:50 PM on September 8, 2015


one would think that would invalidate all licenses from the beginning of her term that she didn't personally sign. that doesn't seem likely.
posted by nadawi at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2015


If that happens, I hope that gives newlywed couples the standing to sue the state for millions. And if you can't trust the state government with something as simple as a marriage license, how can any of the other contracts it certifies be trustworthy? I don't see how any company with any significant revenue would want to risk doing business in that kind of uncertain environment.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2015


Yes, that's one of the holes. Nevertheless. Consider that she is the only one issuing licenses then, and hands the desk off to a deputy only when a gay couple is next.
posted by rhizome at 2:55 PM on September 8, 2015


except how it worked before she was held in contempt is she wasn't issuing any licenses - i haven't seen any indication from her or her lawyers that she'll change that. even if she did and they tried to pursue that, it would invalidate a bunch of straight marriages too since i assume she hasn't personally signed every license from the day she took office until she stopped issuing them all together.
posted by nadawi at 3:04 PM on September 8, 2015


Kim Davis triumphant post release, takes stage to "Eye of the Tiger."

Well that was just...creepy.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:33 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kim Davis triumphant post release, takes stage to "Eye of the Tiger."

*Waits patiently for interwebs to deal with rhis*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 PM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ok, so keep in mind that I hope she goes back to jail4lyfe (exaggerating), but:

I don't think she's discriminating now, technically, yet. She essentially creates two types of Deputies, those authorized to issue marriage licenses, and those who aren't. Surprise, those 5 are authorized. The other 2 aren't. (Coincidentally, those two pay the same, but never mind that, they're different positions.)

Now, as long as she keeps a reasonable number of the license-issuing deputies on the payroll, you can show up at the office and get your license. No refusal required AS LONG AS, those other two aren't issuing heterosex licenses. As soon as they do, that's discrimination.

If all 5 take the day off at the same time, that's just poor management of the resources, same as if there were only 5 employees and all took the day off at the same time. Plus, I would describe that more as those 5 employees conspiring to prevent you getting your license, not Kim Davis.
posted by ctmf at 5:10 PM on September 8, 2015


What is the mechanism by which she "creates" these new responsibilities/privileges?
posted by rhizome at 5:29 PM on September 8, 2015


She's head of the office, presumably she has a lot of latitude on how its run.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2015


Aside from creating new positions/responsibilities, her deputies can already issue the licenses, can't they? She went to jail for prohibiting them from doing so.
posted by rhizome at 5:39 PM on September 8, 2015


As the clerk, it would be her prerogative to delegate her signing authority to whomever she chooses, or nobody. It doesn't necessarily have to go with the deputy title.

Ironically, the people doing it the way she likes, now can't do it at all, and the people doing it the way she doesn't like, HAVE to or she goes back to jail for contempt.
posted by ctmf at 6:12 PM on September 8, 2015


I take 61.035 to mean the official, in this case Kim Davis, does not have to personally perform every act of the Clerk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She "may" delegate that power to someone else. I don't take that to mean she has to allow that if she doesn't want to.
posted by ctmf at 6:18 PM on September 8, 2015




Just to clear something up from above: the worry that somehow the licenses issued by her office with a deputy's signature would be invalidated is contradicted by the plain language of Kentucky marriage law. First, the law explicitly names deputy clerks as sufficient authority; second, the courts may affirm any marriage deficient in paperwork by the testimony of the married parties; third, the U.S. has a long established precedent that marriages between eligible parties enjoy a presumption of validity. For these licenses to lose the presumption of validity would require a huge amount of support from a lot of people in different branches of government--many of whom have been explicitly opposed to her shenanigans.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 PM on September 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


So, I'm kind of curious: did all the couples who sued over this get their licenses?

If they all did, is this case over until someone else sues?

I assume not, as this point hasn't been brought up anywhere that I've seen, but I would think for the initial suit to continue someone would have to have standing, and if everyone got their licenses the standing would be lost.

I could be wrong, and this is a legal pedantic detail, but I'm curious.

(needless to say, I"m very much not a lawyer).
posted by el io at 11:58 PM on September 8, 2015


Thanks to klangklangston for clearing that up aboutthe validity of the licenses.
posted by newdaddy at 3:48 AM on September 9, 2015


If they all did, is this case over until someone else sues?

Yes and no. There's no controversy anymore but there's still an order to report on Davis's compliance with the order. If she violates the order at any point she can be pulled back in front of judge, asked to explain herself and then rejailed for contempt.

That's not to say Davis is immune to further prosecution and lawsuits. She defied a federal court order and knowingly denied a same sex couple their civil rights. One couple has decided to sue, the county isn't touching it with a 40 foot barge pole and the county's insurers have refused to indemnify her because they're pretty sure she's gone and lost qualified immunity with her fucktardery. Smith and Yates can probably take her house and financially ruin her and there's nothing those Liberty Counsel fucks can do about it. She's also still facing official misconduct charges too.

She's entirely fucked at this point unless some people she's maliciously denigrated and humiliated decide to forgive her. The irony would be that their forgiveness would be the true Christian™ action.
posted by Talez at 6:38 AM on September 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


klang: "Just to clear something up from above: the worry that somehow the licenses issued by her office with a deputy's signature would be invalidated is contradicted by the plain language of Kentucky marriage law. First, the law explicitly names deputy clerks as sufficient authority ... " [Emphasis mine]

Okay, but that plain language starts off with:
402.005 Definition of marriage.
As used and recognized in the law of the Commonwealth, "marriage" refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex
I'm not saying "gotcha", but I am curious how this works legally. Are the parts of a law that have been invalidated by the Supremes implicitly rolled back while the rest stays in place?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:42 AM on September 9, 2015


Are the parts of a law that have been invalidated by the Supremes implicitly rolled back while the rest stays in place?

In most cases, yes -- it's called severability.
posted by Etrigan at 9:11 AM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


The AP is staying on top of the ongoing developments - basically:

-Davis not expected back at work until Friday or Monday;
-Kentucky not planning to appoint special prosecutor;
-at least one deputy clerk has said no matter what Davis wants, he will keep issuing marriage licenses as per the court order.
posted by nubs at 9:20 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I'm not saying "gotcha", but I am curious how this works legally. Are the parts of a law that have been invalidated by the Supremes implicitly rolled back while the rest stays in place?"

My understanding is that while this remains the law in Kentucky, Kentucky is enjoined by the federal courts from enforcing that part of the law after a court decision in February. I don't see any mention of severability in the marriage code, which means that it would be treated under whatever the general precedent is in Kentucky — most states include severability in their legislation, but some states require that severability be explicit and others treat it as implicit.

But I honestly don't remember if the SCOTUS decision said anything explicitly about the facts in Bourk v. Bashir, the Kentucky marriage case consolidated into Obergfell v. Hodges.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


All grown up
posted by growabrain at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


-at least one deputy clerk has said no matter what Davis wants, he will keep issuing marriage licenses as per the court order.

I would like to send this guy something. Maybe a case of Diet Dew.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:27 AM on September 9, 2015


Rasmussen Reports: Voters Show Little Sympathy for Jailed Clerk in Gay Marriage Spat - "But just 26% of Likely U.S. Voters think an elected official should be able to a ignore a federal court ruling that he or she disagrees with for religious reasons. "
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:30 AM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


So a full quarter of people think that a random elected official can ignore the law.

That's not a "just", that's "holy the fuck how is a quarter of the population this deluded?"
posted by Talez at 10:50 AM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


So a full quarter of people think that a random elected official can ignore the law.

That's not a "just", that's "holy the fuck how is a quarter of the population this deluded?"


The Crazification Factor was set at 27 percent based on Alan Keyes getting that much of the vote in 2004 against Barack Obama. So if 26 percent of Americans think something, that means it is slightly more crazy than the rock bottom of crazy.
posted by Etrigan at 10:58 AM on September 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


"I just want to give God the glory," she told the gathered crowd. "His people have rallied, and you are a strong people. Just keep on pressing. Don’t let down. Because he is here."

If there is a god and he's so uptight about same sex marriage and not completely fucking enraged by the way his same people treat the poor, the sick, and the homeless then fuck that god and his so called glory.
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


I want to believe.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2015


I would like to see a same-sex couple be denied a license by Davis, then to go outside and face the press and solemnly declare that they had received a message directly from Jesus, that He looked in favor on their love and commitment and that He knew that Davis was lost and confused, but that He felt they should forgive Davis and hope that she finds her way because to forgive is the Christian way.

Just to see the look on her face.
posted by delfin at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Re: I want to believe.

A friend of mine made a Scully meme that says,
"Doesn't believe in UFOs
Does her fucking job"
that has picked up several thousand shares in the first couple hours.
posted by klangklangston at 3:37 PM on September 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


...And another share from me!
posted by rtha at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


...and me, because it is perfect.

How can I sue thee? Let me count the ways. When are people going to learn they can't just play songs like that? She's going to be knee deep in lawsuits from all angles if she keeps it up.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:23 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


In fairness, it's a matter of whom to sue on that. There is a reasonable presumption that Davis was not in charge of the post-jail press conference -- she was a little preoccupied to have been choosing her entrance music.
posted by delfin at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was the Huckabee campaign. From his own website (reprinting an article from the Christian Broadcasting Network): "GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee helped organize the rally and met with Davis after her release."

From the Washington Post:
The televised rally was Huckabee’s, not Cruz’s. The Texas senator worked through the crowd as Huckabee announced Davis’s liberation. At one point, an aide to Huckabee prevented Cruz from addressing the cameras that were present for the news conference. The senator carried out his own interviews in a field that had been conquered by TV trucks.
posted by peeedro at 6:24 PM on September 9, 2015


peeedro: Huckabee announced Davis’s liberation

Really, that's the word you're going to use? She wasn't a POW, nor kidnapped by militants. She broke the law, and she served her time. I'm glad she's being welcomed back into society, unlike so many ex-cons who bear the burden of being labeled "criminal" for the rest of their lives.


Joey Michaels: Survivor guitarist objects to Davis' use of Eye of the Tiger

I objected, too. Honestly, a more appropriate song is I Fought the Law (and the law won). Just sayin'.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:13 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Liberation of Kim Davis, think I can get funding if I whip out a script? Open with a shot of :

Kim Davis: "Join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual…"

Then flashback to when she was being whipped and the gays were saying "The form says Kim Davis! What's on the form?!" but she gets strength because she thinks of when Jesus fought the Nazis and St. Peter saw Nero with his little mustache and told him, "I am Spartacus!"

Just when it looks like she's in prison forever in order to keep Obama's Sodomy Panels from deciding when Americans can be fucked to death, Galactus gives Kim the Power Cosmic and she rides her surfboard through the wall.

Present day:

But her tragic curse is that the beauty of her sacrifice in being out of jail and paid to not do her job is making Americans socialist so she can't even and luckily Jesus shows up and does cross-fu like some harness work spinning and kills all the liberals and so collapses the presidential line of succession that the next shot is Kim Davis swearing in President Ted Cruz because she's the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Rapture.

I think it's four quadrant gold.
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Needs more lightsabers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:36 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oregon judge admits avoiding same-sex marriages:
Judge Vance D. Day, of Oregon’s Marion County Circuit Court, has been accused by a judicial oversight committee of dodging same sex-marriages — and admitted it, as well as another controversial choice: hanging a picture of Hitler in court.
posted by peeedro at 1:48 AM on September 10, 2015


I've got far more issues with some of his other activities from that article than his decision not to officiate gay weddings. As mentioned in the article, officiating the weddings is a favour, not a legal requirement of his job, and he passed the job on to others who would be willing to do it, unlike Davis. Based on what I'm reading there, he's acting entirely legally in that regard.

The bullying of his staff and the picture of Hitler and the partisanship is more of an issue for me.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:26 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


What does every situation need? MORE GUYS WITH GUNS!

The Oath Keepers, the anti-government “Patriot” group that mounted an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at the Bundy Ranch, stationed armed guards outside of military recruitment centers after the Chattanooga shooting, and unsettled Ferguson protestors when they showed up carrying assault rifles, is now offering anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis a “security detail” to protect her from further arrest if she continues to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
...
(Oath Keepers founder Stewart) Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead.
...
(Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny) Peyman suggested that he meet with the Rowan County sheriff to “educate him” on his responsibility to block the actions of the federal courts, but in the meantime, Rhodes said, “our guys are already there and more coming” and they are ready to “lead by example” by preventing Davis from being arrested again.


Get your popcorn ready.
posted by delfin at 9:40 AM on September 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was going to say "Jesus Fucking Christ", delfin, but I have a feeling he's rolling his eyes pretty hard too and didn't want to rope him into this further.
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


"If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”

"Shortly afterwards the group proceeded to file common law liens against the judge for Davis's pain and suffering wearing freshly pressed silver shirts."
posted by Talez at 10:03 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Get your popcorn ready.

I think this has more potential for horror than excitement. Remember, these guys have joined the group harassing Judge Bunning, led by people who stalk abortion providers. The warnings about stepping in to do the sheriff's job via 2nd Amendment solutions should be (but horribly and depressingly is not) seen as the rantings of dangerous people.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


The warnings about stepping in to do the sheriff's job via 2nd Amendment solutions should be (but horribly and depressingly is not) seen as the rantings of dangerous people.

I'd actually bet that lots and lots of people see it that way.
posted by jon1270 at 10:28 AM on September 10, 2015


Oh, absolutely these are dangerous people. Armed wingnuts with rifles and an anti-government grudge add a certain je ne sais quoi to any situation, but mix fundamentalist Christianity and gay rights into the mix and whammo! Instant clusterfuck. Particularly when many on the far right have harped on gay rights being THE hill for Christian activists to die upon.

...spurred on by, among others, Davis's lead attorney (Staver) who has accused gay rights activists of being terrorists, homosexuals as demons doing Satan's bidding while grooming children for child molestation, elected officials who voted for same-sex marriage as incompetent to hold public office, and claimed that gay marriage will cause crime waves, caused the bankruptcies of Wachovia and Washington Mutual banks, and will lead inevitably to the unraveling of America and the end of Western civilization.

Armed revolution? Staver says "quite possibly."

This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.

Likening inevitable Christian resistance to this forthcoming persecution to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s, Staver said that, just as Martin Luther King preached non-violence, he hopes that the next revolution will follow that same path ... "but you never know what happens."

posted by delfin at 10:37 AM on September 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm no great American history or legal scholar...but even I know this is way fucked up:

Huckabee: Dred Scott Decision "Remains to This Day Law of the Land"<
posted by nubs at 10:37 AM on September 10, 2015


In Kentucky, a clerk disrupts an unspoken agreement

"There are no winners. Everybody's been hurt," said Lois Hawkins, a Morehead native who works as the executive secretary to the county's top elected official. "It's going to be different. It can't go back the way it was."

Until two months ago, the people in this small town in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky had an unspoken agreement to tiptoe around each other's sexual identities and religious beliefs.

But that uneasy truce was shattered after Davis, an Apostolic Christian, cited God's authority to defy a federal judge's order that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

posted by andoatnp at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huckabee: Dred Scott Decision "Remains to This Day Law of the Land"

Thus saith the co-founder of Learn Our History. 'Faith-based, patriotic' history dvds for children.
posted by zarq at 10:54 AM on September 10, 2015


Huckabee: Dred Scott Decision "Remains to This Day Law of the Land"

No. We had a bad Supreme Court decision, we amended the constitution so that EVERYONE, WITHOUT QUESTION, “born or naturalized in the United States" was a US citizen. The constitutional question was answered by the Supreme Court, we didn't like the answer so we changed the fucking constitution. That's what you do in a functioning constitutional democracy. Hence Dred Scott isn't the law of the fucking land anymore.

The reason it's not directly overturned is because you'd have to show harm to yourself with black people having citizenship to have standing and any suit that purports to show harm and have standing would get tossed on its ass so fast it would make your head spin.

Jesus fuck do these people even listen in civics classes in high school? Or did they just drop out at 13?
posted by Talez at 11:03 AM on September 10, 2015 [11 favorites]


Some of this is so absurd that my brain rebels at the notion of taking it seriously, preferring to see it as a form of horseplay getting out of hand. I have the urge to scold, "It's all fun and games until somebody puts out a judge."
posted by jon1270 at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


gay marriage will cause crime waves

To be fair, it did cause one county clerk to spend time in jail.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Kim Tabor, meanwhile, has been so upset with screaming callers that she had a bright orange T-shirt made, saying "Hello my name is not Kim Davis." She's been wearing it a lot lately.
posted by andoatnp at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


"gay marriage will cause crime waves"

Taking photos on the first day the freedom to marry was restored here in California, the rush to wed certainly provoked a fashion crime wave, but I don't think that's what they mean.
posted by klangklangston at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Taking photos on the first day the freedom to marry was restored here in California, the rush to wed certainly provoked a fashion crime wave, but I don't think that's what they mean.

"Your honor, I have standing now. My retinas were harmed. Can we ban gay marriage now?"
posted by Talez at 11:47 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


By the time you have a dayglo orange tuxedo jacket and shirt, sure, why not wear it with khaki shorts and sandals? To be fair, if your husband marries you in that, you know he loves you.

(And I kid somewhat — I'm kinda a fashion anarchist, so I don't truck with the notion of fashion crimes. I was more charmed by the panoply of costumes and outfits — it made the whole thing feel less like a boring, solemn affair and more like a carnival. Too bad the lighting was for shit and no flashes were allowed.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:53 AM on September 10, 2015


Armed revolution? Staver says "quite possibly."

Go for it, tough guy! The Oath Keepers are reactionary headline-chasers and speak for basically nobody, not to mention Stavers' fitness as a leader who chooses "hey everybody, revolution happening over here!"
posted by rhizome at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kim Tabor, meanwhile, has been so upset with screaming callers that she had a bright orange T-shirt made, saying "Hello my name is not Kim Davis." She's been wearing it a lot lately.

"19 Photos"
posted by rhizome at 11:56 AM on September 10, 2015


~Armed revolution? Staver says "quite possibly."

~Go for it, tough guy! The Oath Keepers are reactionary headline-chasers and speak for basically nobody, not to mention Stavers' fitness as a leader who chooses "hey everybody, revolution happening over here!"


Problem is that, nutballs like Staver would probably dance with utter glee (at least in his head) if his followers did actually start a shooting insurrection and end-up, themselves, mowed-down by National Guard troops. Then, he'd have blood and the dead bodies of good Christian Soldiers™ to rally the faithful around (and, of course, make donations).
posted by Thorzdad at 1:10 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, they are itching for a new Ruby Ridge or Waco to rally around.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:31 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember, Kim Davis would have to go along with all of that. She already relented after a weekend in jail so I'm not sure a firefight is in her constitution, and Staver has nothing without her.
posted by rhizome at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2015


She already relented after a weekend in jail

She didn't relent - the judge was satisfied that the county clerk's office was again fulfilling its function and complying with court orders, and released her from jail with the admonition that she not interfere with the function of the office again. Because, from the judge's perspective, the issue at hand is the office performing the duties it is obliged and has been ordered to perform. Once that is resolved, it could be perceived that it was about keeping someone in jail for their beliefs rather than them refusing to comply with an order that (momentarily, at least) no longer appears to need to be enforced.

But she hasn't "relented" in terms of her beliefs and her stance towards this issue, and it remains to be seen if she'll continue to use those beliefs in an attempt to justify continuing with her desire to see a public office used as a bully pulpit. If she does, there will be consequences, and those consequences could be violent if Kim's various "defenders" are prepared to use force.

I am of the opinion that a lot of what is happening now has gone well outside of Kim's control and she has just become a centerpiece for a bunch of people fighting a larger cultural battle and are using her as a rallying point. I don't know how many decisions are getting made right now that actually involve her, and when she is involved, I expect there is a tremendous amount of pressure and selective information being applied to encourage her in certain directions.
posted by nubs at 2:58 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Which is not to say or imply that we should be upset for Kim Davis, who I figure is reaping what she has sowed, but just me trying to point out that there are a lot of other actors in this now using this to advance their agendas, while the media and public attention remains on Kim as the lightning rod.
posted by nubs at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2015


She didn't relent

On Thursday:
But Davis scotched that effort by informing Bunning, from a courthouse holding cell, that she would not agree to let her deputies obey the judge's order if she is released.

But yeah, there's the distinct smell that she's participating in this like she's just posting to her facebook.
posted by rhizome at 3:09 PM on September 10, 2015


OK, maybe I'm parsing something poorly - I've been reading a lot of dense stuff today - but I read this:
that she would not agree to let her deputies obey the judge's order if she is released.
as Davis saying that even if she was released, she's not going to allow the issuance of licenses. The judge is basically giving her enough rope here, right? Or am I missing a bit of context somewhere?
posted by nubs at 3:14 PM on September 10, 2015


I think that's about it, which is why I've been forcing this whole thought experiment onto the thread. :) Since she's supposedly not coming back to work until tomorrow or Monday, I've been ruminating on what kind of strategy she and/or her handlers have been cooking up since she's been out, if any. But hey, maybe she just sits back. It's possible.
posted by rhizome at 4:03 PM on September 10, 2015


OK, doing some digging - she said that last week when she was jailed, right? But the judge seemed somewhat indifferent:
But Davis scotched that effort by informing Bunning, from a courthouse holding cell, that she would not agree to let her deputies obey the judge's order if she is released. With a shrug, Bunning said Davis would remain incarcerated for at least a week, until he can review how her office operates in her absence.
I guess I understand the context of this, and the judge's order this week, to be the judge effectively saying that her willingness to relent or not doesn't matter, what matters is how the office is operating. I could be wrong, and often am. (Sorry for being weirdly focused on this, I don't know why I am, it just was an itch I guess I needed to scratch because I haven't seen anything anywhere to indicate that Kim has relented (or not). Not sure how relevant it is at this point anyways; she's out, and the next set of actions is what is really important now.)
posted by nubs at 4:05 PM on September 10, 2015


Sorry, didn't refresh the thread.

Yes, I think it is very interesting to see what has been getting cooked up. Personally, I'm wondering if she's taking some time to consider resigning and attempting a career as a professional outrage pundit/spokesperson/lightning rod.
posted by nubs at 4:07 PM on September 10, 2015


I will be flabbergasted -- and I do not like having my flabber gasted -- if she does anything other than go back to work and immediately declare that she and God's Word are the authority there, that the Constitution has not changed, and that no licenses will be issued under her watch. After a three-ring circus with all of America watching, Presidential candidates coming to her defense, and the fabled 27% thanking her for martyring herself In The Name Of Jesus Christ And His Christian Nation, do you think she's going to say "thank you, but I've had enough?" Maybe glare at same-sex couples as they grin at her while a deputy hands out licenses?

Hell no. The next act of the circus will continue as scheduled, this time with angry guys with assault rifles along for the ride. The only surer bet is that someone's FUCKING STASH OF DIET MOUNTAIN DEW will get raided again.
posted by delfin at 4:23 PM on September 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


A moment of silence for the Diet Mountain Dew, the most innocent of bystanders unfairly brought into this fight.
posted by nubs at 4:55 PM on September 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


PREPARE YOUR GAST FOR FLABBERING
posted by rhizome at 5:00 PM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'll think she'll do what our former president did in Iraq. She'll declare victory even though she's been defeated. She'll talk but she won't interfere with her office issuing marriage licenses for a month or two. When the heat is off she'll start interfering again. I think this will work because facts don't matter to Kim Davis' audience.
posted by rdr at 5:28 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


When the heat is off she'll start interfering again.

I think she's going to be under a microscope for the remainder of her term, and the heat's never going to be off. The Federal Court seems pretty clear about it. If she interferes with the official issuance of licenses to qualified applicants, there's a cell waiting for her.
posted by mikelieman at 6:54 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


A moment of silence for the Diet Mountain Dew, the most innocent of bystanders unfairly brought into this fight.

Nah... it knows what it did.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2015 [4 favorites]




"Meanwhile, Davis's attorney, Mathew Staver, has compared his client's situation to that of Jews living in Nazi Germany.

"What happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment," he said in a radio interview. "Then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses, then they continued to stigmatize them, then they were the ‘problems,’ then they killed them."
Okay, first of all, he has it reversed. The boycott came first. The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service banning Jews from being employed in government came after that.

Second of all, her situation isn't even remotely comparable to the treatment of Jews by the fucking Nazis.
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on September 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, back in the courts...

Davis's lawyers filed a petition Friday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to halt an order by a district judge requiring that marriage licenses be issued to all couples seeking them, Buzzfeed reported.

Translation: Judge Bunning's initial order applied to the four couples who brought the lawsuit that brought this to a head. Bunning's decision allowed marriage licenses for those four couples, but also expanded the same right to any subsequent Kentucky couples seeking licenses, which Davis's team charge was overbroad and without jurisdiction with regard to the original case.

Is it totally cuckoo for cocoa puffs? No. Is it essentially a bunch of technicality fuckery designed to stall for time? Yes.
posted by delfin at 1:46 PM on September 11, 2015


I can almost guarantee their strategy is to hone this into a challenge to Obergefell. As long as it's fought in the courts, they have a chance of denying equality going forward.
posted by rhizome at 2:07 PM on September 11, 2015


I've been wondering off and on if there's not a strategy in the crazy fringe to find ways to slowly restrict the right of marriage for same sex couples while leaving the Obergfell decision intact (similar to the way they've handled abortion rights).

Part of me is imagining a required video watching for prospective couples with the heterosexual ones getting pictures of cute kids and vacations at Disneyland, and the gay male couples getting anal prolapse, people dying of AIDS and the like.

Perhaps a round of compulsory counselling where the counsellors are required to take courses which emphasize how icky same sex couples are and how they're going to suffer and maybe go to hell according to some nicely cherry picked list of books.

Maybe lots of forms to fill out which have defaults that work for heterosexual couples and that need to be extensively (and correctly) changed to work for same sex couples.
posted by Death and Gravity at 4:10 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


If she interferes with the official issuance of licenses to qualified applicants, there's a cell waiting for her.

Which is, after all, what she wants.

Why not? She went in for a few days, came out and was a national folk hero to the 27%. She figures that she'll go back to work on Monday and declare that while she has appeals in with various courts the issue is unresolved and she is still in charge and while she is in charge there will be no violating The Will Of God Who Is Not Mocked, to the cheers of her faithful outside. Then she'll go to jail for a few days, appeals will be filed, and she'll get out again and this time be offered the Veep slot on Mike Huckabee's hypothetical ticket.

It's not like she's being charged with a crime where she has no way out of jail. Every day she spends behind bars makes her speaking tour fees and book deal advance get bigger, and if it gets too much she can finally, tearfully resign, declare that JUDICIAL TYRANNY took her job but can never BREAK HER FAITH or corrupt her God-given soul, and she'll ride the wingnut gravy train for years. The usual sources will scream about THE WOMAN JAILED FOR BELIEVING IN JESUS all through the election cycle, and then the focus will move to the next place where local government declares Jesus to be more important.

Such as McDowell county, North Carolina, where all four local magistrates have opted out of performing same-sex marriages, citing Jesus. And it's legal* there!

* At the state level, at least. Because the NC legislature passed a law allowing magistrates and registers of deeds to opt out of their marriage duties if doing so were to violate their “sincerely held” religious beliefs, subsequently disqualifying them from performing any marriages for six months afterwards, overriding the Republican governor's veto in doing so. What happens when Obergefell and state laws collide? More circuses. More screaming. More threads like this.
posted by delfin at 6:21 PM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


What happens when Obergefell and state laws collide?

Something Mr. Staver would like to be able to tell us, through the courts, eventually.

States' rights!
posted by rhizome at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2015


As long as it's fought in the courts, they have a chance of denying equality going forward.

I'm sure that Liberty Counsel or whatever they're called wants to keep fighting, but I don't see the US District Courts playing along, since it's predicated on ignoring the US Supreme Court's ruling and I'm pretty sure they don't do that.
posted by mikelieman at 7:07 PM on September 11, 2015


No doubt.
posted by rhizome at 7:17 PM on September 11, 2015


and she'll ride the wingnut gravy train for years.

Gambling that it will be worth throwing away an 80k job from now until retirement. It makes me wonder if PACs throw these kind of high-profile pains-in-the-ass some incentive money up front for their troubles and call it a campaign expense.
posted by ctmf at 7:32 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I realize that I'm more or less preaching to the choir here, but if she spends another weekend in jail, I think two things are going to start happening:

1 -- Diminishing returns. The crowd will be smaller when she gets out next time. The world will have moved on to the next Outrageous Injustice Against Christians.

2 -- Even her supporters are going to start realizing that she's not martyring herself by spending a weekend in jail and then capitulating entirely, only to do it again. She didn't win anything but a PR battle (that no one else was really fighting) last time, and people are going to get sick of just being part of The Kim Davis Show Starring Kim Davis And Mike Huckabee featuring God in a supporting role.
posted by Etrigan at 5:18 AM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


1 -- Diminishing returns. The crowd will be smaller when she gets out next time. The world will have moved on to the next Outrageous Injustice Against Christians.

So they lost...the eye of the tiger?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:47 AM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Second of all, her situation isn't even remotely comparable to the treatment of Jews by the fucking Nazis.

No, but what these "Persecution of Christians" nuts want you to believe is that things are heading in that direction very quickly, unless something-something-revolution-something-guns-something.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2015


featuring God in a supporting role.

God's a bit like Gary Oldman. He's apparently been in everything but you don't even realise that it's him until someone points it out and assures you that it is him but dammit, you still can't be sure because, really, who is Gary Oldman? Is he even real? Can that good of an actor ever truly exist? What does the real Gary Oldman look like? Could he actually be a woman?
posted by Talez at 11:21 AM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


No, but what these "Persecution of Christians" nuts want you to believe is that things are heading in that direction very quickly, unless something-something-revolution-something-guns-something.

Yeah, I know. Pure horseshit, but the "War on Christmas" crowd laps it up.
posted by zarq at 3:02 PM on September 12, 2015


God's a bit like Gary Oldman

G (ary) O (ldman) D (omini nostri Iesu Christi)
posted by juv3nal at 8:59 PM on September 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Oathkeepers certainly make this a much more important story than it otherwise deserves. A religious nutter being made to follow the law should not draw any more attention than a flasher being jailed until he promises to stop. But nutters with guns? That's a whole other matter. We could have own home-grown Taliban or worse.

The more Huckabee speaks, the worse I feel that I once thought he was OK because I thought he presented well on Colbert an election or two ago. He is dangerously theocratic. Huckabee with guns is bad news.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Yeah, I know. Pure horseshit, but the "War on Christmas" crowd laps it up."

I'm just like Schindler — we both get papercuts!
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 AM on September 13, 2015


oh FFS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2015


Prediction: An immediate HECK NO, SORRY BUT NOT SORRY.
posted by Atreides at 5:09 PM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


, asking that the Rowan County Clerk's Office be allowed to continue to withhold marriage licenses until litigation over the matter is concluded.

Someone email the guys at Liberty Counsel a copy of the Supreme Court's decision. They must have missed it.
posted by mikelieman at 5:18 PM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone email the guys at Liberty Counsel a copy of the Supreme Court's decision. They must have missed it.

Ah, but the Supreme Court only said that same-sex marriage was legal. They did not specifically say that Kim Davis had to put her name on a form.

LAWYERED.
posted by Etrigan at 5:58 PM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Love their trolling of the governor. Fuck 'em all.
posted by rhizome at 6:02 PM on September 13, 2015


Oh my god I was only kidding:
"However, the Supreme Court has not decided that those marriages can be issued by a specific person in a specific county..."
Also gold:
An attorney for Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, "wants to treat everyone equally, however her conscience does not allow her to," her attorney says.
I think her lawyer is saying that she's not a homophobe, but God is, and whaddaya gonna do? You know how old people are.

(Also, I think "An attorney for..." at the beginning shouldn't be there.)
posted by Etrigan at 7:34 PM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


As of Monday, Davis issued a statement saying she refuses to authorize marriage licenses and that her deputy clerks don't have the authority to do so.

The deputy mentioned earlier in this thread said he would disobey her if necessary to continue to issue them. It'll be up to Judge Bunning to determine whether Davis is violating the conditions of her release.
posted by Gelatin at 6:08 AM on September 14, 2015


As of Monday, Davis issued a statement saying she refuses to authorize marriage licenses and that her deputy clerks don't have the authority to do so.
Kim Davis made a statement Monday morning saying that "I'm here today before you with an impossible choice, my conscience or my freedom, I am no hero."
Well, no, you're fucking not, because you fucking lied to the judge to get out of jail in time for your '80s-themed prom press conference.
posted by Etrigan at 6:38 AM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fuck her. Just fuck her forever. Back to jail with you, shitstain.

And I mean yay for that deputy, but unfortunately if he issues licences and she starts claiming they're not valid, anyone he issues a licence to is going to be stuck in ugly limbo.

Fuck her and her discriminatory dog, too.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:41 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


She left out, of course, the third choice, which would be to resign from her cushy patronage job.
posted by Gelatin at 6:41 AM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the Washington Post coverage: "Davis has told her deputy clerks that they were welcome to take a vacation day Monday, Davis’s husband, Joe Davis, said. However, at least one deputy clerk appeared to be on hand to issue marriage licenses."

It sounds like the most dysfunctional workplace ever, I really feel sorry for the deputy clerks that have to work under her. Imagine if your boss told you to take the day off so she could grandstand her beliefs for the media and you could risk being hauled in front of an angry judge. And go home Joe Davis.

And, "A test will come later Monday morning when a gay couple, Shannon and Carmen Wampler-Collins, is expected to show up to apply for a marriage license."

Good on them.
posted by peeedro at 7:08 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


She left out, of course, the third choice, which would be to resign from her cushy patronage job.

No, look, the scripture's pretty clear here. Let's review Matthew 5:29-30:

If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your government job makes you stumble, definitely keep it, definitely just grasp on to it with both hands and stick around; for it is a solid income and presumably benefits and besides it's been in the family for a while and you deserve it, it's basically your birthright, and eesh have you seen the job market.
posted by cortex at 7:14 AM on September 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


Matthew 5:25 works as well: Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
posted by peeedro at 7:26 AM on September 14, 2015


Let's review Matthew 5:29-30...

Boy, the King James Version really got down to it, didn't it.
posted by Etrigan at 7:27 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also from the WP article: "Nevertheless, she said, if any of her deputy clerks “feels they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown into jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.”"

Oh fuck YOU, lady. That is like the ne plus ultra of hair splitting. I think you're breaking the law but I guess go ahead and do it because I don't want to go back to jail and stuff, so meanwhile, whatever, I guess, while I try to get the governor to bend the state of Kentucky to my will. UGH UGH UGH.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:30 AM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Nevertheless, she said, if any of her deputy clerks “feels they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown into jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.”"

So she's saying that she will either:
A) abrogate her duty to issue marriage licenses to persons determined eligible to marry by the Supreme Court of the United States, or
B) abrogate her duty to prevent the issuance of unauthorized licenses by persons under her direct supervision.

Either way, she's given up on being the Clerk of Rowan County in accordance with the laws of the land.
posted by Etrigan at 7:48 AM on September 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Kim Davis won't take action against her deputies for disobeying her orders and following the law because:

1) She has genuine concern for her deputies and doesn't want to see them in jail, or
2) She wants to keep the martyr status all to herself.

Tough call...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:25 AM on September 14, 2015


3) Not actually taking action lets her talk as if she won the fight while not disobeying the court order enough to land her back in jail.
posted by Gelatin at 8:40 AM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]




By introducing doubt about the legality of the output of her office, she's trying to dissuade couples from getting licenses and therefore indirectly trying to stop licenses from being issued. She is interfering with the court order and really should be thrown back into jail. It's insane that she is allowed to keep putting on her show.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:02 AM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is there a way for someone who has a license issued in the past few days to get a ruling on the legality of it? Because someone upthread seemed pretty clear that the laws would uphold the licenses just fine, but it would be nice to put that particular argument to rest.

Basically, I'd just like the legal system to shut down all these stupid attempted maneuvers to circumvent things right away. Her appeals seem preposterous - "not decided that those marriages can be issued by a specific person in a specific county" - WTF? Does the Court have to name each individual clerk in each individual county, along with each individual person in the country that might someday wish to marry some other person?

The law affects everyone who lives under it.
posted by nubs at 9:13 AM on September 14, 2015


USA Today frames today's events as Davis backing down.
posted by Gelatin at 9:29 AM on September 14, 2015


We're not saying the name Brian Mason enough in this discussion. Without two presidential candidates fighting over photo ops with him, with his boss (metaphorically) shaking her head at him, under the significantly more real risk of actual damage to his career and his life outside work, Brian Mason is the one who's doing his fucking job and treating his fellow human beings like fellow human beings deserving of love and dignity and service, and he deserves to be remembered more than his self-congratulatory asshole of a boss and the blowhard shitbags who are enabling her.

Brian Mason for Clerk, or whatever the hell else he feels like running for.
posted by Etrigan at 9:35 AM on September 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


"Nevertheless, she said, if any of her deputy clerks “feels they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown into jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.”"


By introducing doubt about the legality of the output of her office, she's trying to dissuade couples from getting licenses and therefore indirectly trying to stop licenses from being issued.

Yeah, I wonder how clever she thinks she's being, or if this is her lawyers feeding her talking points or both or what, but this is such a transparent attempt to say "No, Your Honour, I didn't impede anyone from issuing licences," while actually saying "you'd better not issue any because they might be unauthorized and you wouldn't want that, would you, it could really bite you in the ass, also nobody come here because you might not be real married." Hopefully the judge takes an exceedingly dim view of this bit of theatre.

I'm also curious to know what happens when she gets thrown back in jail. Does she stay there until her term ends? Because I'm guessing the judge could easily go "yeah no, that's what you said last time" when she promises to behave.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:38 AM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


"A test will come later Monday morning when a gay couple, Shannon and Carmen Wampler-Collins, is expected to show up to apply for a marriage license."

Which they did receive.
posted by Gelatin at 10:32 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the simplest route to test a marriage license is. Life insurance? Quarterly tax payments?
posted by rhizome at 11:12 AM on September 14, 2015


Huh, it might actually be wise to take one of those new licenses before a court, so there's no question from any insurance companies years down the road.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the Reuters article above: "Elizabeth Johnston and Flip Benham, who organized rallies for Davis at the county jail, called for Deputy Clerk Brian Mason, who has been issuing licenses, to be fired."

Oh heck no. Brian Mason's the only one over there with big boy pants, doing his damn job.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:31 AM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


People Calling for the head of the person actually following the law and defending the person who was actively flouting the law is a sign that we've moved in to the mirror universe. Double check which way your water if spinning down the drain.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:40 AM on September 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Brian Mason's the only one over there with big boy pants, doing his damn job.

Meet your new battlefield.
posted by rhizome at 12:24 PM on September 14, 2015


One thing that has been bugging me is this Kim Davis mugshot.

Check out the height scale in the background. This isn't your typical paper chart on the wall. Someone has painstakingly hand drawn the scale on the concrete block wall with a Magic Marker. The numbering is perfect. The lines are perfect. It must have taken hours. Who does such a thing when you can buy a height chart for a couple of bucks?
posted by JackFlash at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have worked for government-funded operations where a few hours of someone's time was a lot easier to get than money for such an order. Or maybe someone with time to kill got tired of re-taping up some paper chart that kept falling off the concrete walls.
posted by phearlez at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Davis has told her deputy clerks that they were welcome to take a vacation day Monday

Not admin leave. They would have to burn their own accrued paid time off, i.e., it would cost them money. In case there was any doubt that she was being nice "giving" time off.

Look, you can't say you prohibit it for grandstanding purposes, but also say you won't take action against people who do it for not getting thrown in jail purposes. Which is it, can they do it or not? Pick one.

This is a super-weaselly way of doing just that. An abandoned, unenforced rule isn't a rule and this one is explicitly abandoned on the disciplinary end in advance. So the only thing she could mean is, licenses issued without her authorization won't result in disciplinary action BUT won't be valid. I want her to explicitly say for the record those licenses are valid or go back to jail.
posted by ctmf at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Check out the height scale in the background. This isn't your typical paper chart on the wall. Someone has painstakingly hand drawn the scale on the concrete block wall with a Magic Marker. The numbering is perfect. The lines are perfect. It must have taken hours. Who does such a thing when you can buy a height chart for a couple of bucks?"

My hunch would be that it's not marker, it's paint, and that it wasn't for Kim Davis, but rather to take the time of a deputy without any prisoners to supervise god knows how long ago. Sure, you could buy a height chart, or you could have Billy just paint the damn thing until he gets it right because we're in no hurry. Then it shows up in the photo.
posted by klangklangston at 1:09 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The height chart probably had to be semi-permanent, in that a paper chart could easily get moved and make the calibration all wrong. Still, they could have painted a single line where the bottom of the chart lines up and check it before every photo.
posted by ctmf at 1:09 PM on September 14, 2015


"Not admin leave. They would have to burn their own accrued paid time off, i.e., it would cost them money. In case there was any doubt that she was being nice "giving" time off."

She can't give admin leave because that would be directly interfering. She can say that she won't hold their vacation days to the general approval procedure, but that's not much of a deal.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on September 14, 2015


"I have worked for government-funded operations where a few hours of someone's time was a lot easier to get than money for such an order. Or maybe someone with time to kill got tired of re-taping up some paper chart that kept falling off the concrete walls."

Heh. Missed this on preview.

Hell, it could even have been some Otis who was going to be held another 24 on vagrancy or drunk tank charges, whatever. "You can stay in there, or you can come out here, have some coffee and paint some lines. I know you did the new signs for the grocery, those were real nice."
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Who does such a thing when you can buy a height chart for a couple of bucks?

"Hey, Billy, we can just buy a chart, you know..."
"You know, Stu, I went to art school."
"It's 'Chief Deputy,' Billy. We've been over this."
"Dude, I held your head over the toilet when you had too many tequila shooters, and you pronounced it 'tuh-kwill-uh.'"
"ANYway, Billy, we can just buy..."
"I WENT TO ART SCHOOL AND THEN MY MOM GOT SICK SO I HAD TO COME BACK AND BE A COP, STU. This is all I have. Don't take this away from me."
posted by Etrigan at 1:13 PM on September 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


People Calling for the head of the person actually following the law and defending the person who was actively flouting the law is a sign that we've moved in to the mirror universe.

There are times when this is the right thing to do, though. When a law is manifestly unjust and discriminatory, we would celebrate the one who flouted it.

This is not one of those times (except for a certain segment of the population who believe this Supreme Court decision to be such an example and are dancing around full of aggrieved privilege).
posted by nubs at 3:52 PM on September 14, 2015


"I WENT TO ART SCHOOL AND THEN MY MOM GOT SICK SO I HAD TO COME BACK AND BE A COP, STU. This is all I have. Don't take this away from me."

somebody please make this a new tv show and i would watch the everloving bejesus out of it oh god please
posted by palomar at 5:18 PM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


somebody please make this a new tv show

Hm. Close - "Jenna Quinn has a secret passion for art and ends up shadowing the dapper sketch artist, Arthur Green. The two strike up a torrid flirtation while sketching suspects (beginning in S01.E16, “Draw Me Like One of Your French Suspects.”), which tends to be awkward because a victim is always there." but not quite...you might be on to something...
posted by nubs at 5:51 PM on September 14, 2015


George Takei on How Kim Davis Violated the First Amendment
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:07 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Marty Lederman's update with his sense of the landscape.
posted by rhizome at 10:51 PM on September 14, 2015




Jesus, I assumed that headline meant the deputy discovered some loophole or something in the law that might invalidate the marriages. But no:
Davis was held in jail for five days after repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses because she opposes same-sex marriage, which became legal nationwide in June. She was released from jail last week under the condition that she would not interfere with how licenses are issued.

[Deputy clerk] Mason told his attorney that Davis confiscated the original forms this week and handed out an altered form that did not include her name and does not mention the county. The new form has Mason’s name and a place for him to write his initials but not his signature.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:21 AM on September 20, 2015


sounds of incoherent rage and screaming
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:23 AM on September 21, 2015


Salon: The ACLU is now asking the clerk’s office “to issue marriage licenses in the same form and manner as those that were issued on or before September 8, 2015.” In other words, without a petulant declaration of only doing this because they made me.

Kim in an interview on ABC NEws: Davis also said that the altered marriage licenses her office is issuing are “not valid in God’s eyes.”

Davis added that “I don’t think dignity is guaranteed in the Constitution. I think dignity is something that you find within yourself. I feel really sad that … someone could be so unhappy with themselves as a person that they did not feel dignified as a human being until they got a piece of paper. I mean, there’s just so much more to life than that.”

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:13 PM on September 22, 2015


Did they ask whether her marriage licenses are valid in god's eyes?
posted by rhizome at 5:25 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


She must really be bereft of dignity then, what with all the pieces of paper she's acquired over the various marriages she's had. If all she requires is validity in the eyes of her God, then why bother with the government-issued piece of paper?
posted by rtha at 5:50 PM on September 22, 2015


If there's so much more to life and dignity than a piece of paper, why the fuck is she making such a stink about them?
posted by nubs at 5:51 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Davis also said that the altered marriage licenses her office is issuing are “not valid in God’s eyes.”

jesus: why don't we give caesar all the stuff that caesar wants, and then give god all the stuff that god wants

Kim Davis: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
posted by Greg Nog at 7:13 PM on September 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


"I don’t think dignity is guaranteed in the Constitution..."

Given how little she's apparently read of the Bible, it doesn't surprise me that she;s not 100 percent certain of what's in the Constitution, which -- including all amendments -- only just barely reaches the Hugo threshold between short story and novelette. You'd think she could have used that three-day vacation she had a coupla weeks back to bone up on the fucking ruling legal document of the land.
posted by Etrigan at 7:32 PM on September 22, 2015


I could understand why she removed her name from the certificates, as that was pretty much her biggest gripe the entire time. She couldn't put or have her name associated with a legal document that had exactly zero religious elements to it, but removing the name of the county and everything else falls into the realm of some seven year old storming into her bedroom and snarling, "I'll show them. They want marriage certificates, well, I'll SHOW them marriage certificates!"

I want her to go away and be forgotten as a forgotten speed bump on marriage equality, but likewise, I hope the federal judge finds her in contempt of his order for these ridiculous and completely unnecessary shenanigans.
posted by Atreides at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Makes perfect sense to me. As far as her sense of identity is concerned that office is her. To have its name on a document without hers is to deny that it's her little fiefdom which she has a right to. It's practically a family royal title at this point.
posted by phearlez at 8:06 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, I am so very glad to hear Ms. Davis is taking this stand, and defending her personal views in this fashion. This is exactly what I want to hear, and she should continue doing it loudly, publicly, and continually.

Because if she were taking a principled stand, others will continue to rally behind her. But as she's chosen instead a petty one, her support will quickly wither and others will see her (and by extension, her position), as petty and unprincipled.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


At what point do her actions constitute a hate crime?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:26 AM on September 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


In Kentucky?
posted by klangklangston at 12:00 PM on September 24, 2015


Kim Davis Loses Latest Bid to Stall Gay Marriage

Bunning on Wednesday dismissed Davis' arguments that she is likely to suffer irreparable harm by having to issue the licenses.

"This argument is unpersuasive because Davis has created her own risk of harm by violating a valid order issued by this court," Bunning wrote, adding: "As for the public interest, the court simply notes that the public has an interest in the enforcement of valid court orders."

posted by nubs at 12:01 PM on September 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


As for the public interest, the court simply notes that the public has an interest in the enforcement of valid court orders.

"You just got a Judge David Burning."
posted by Etrigan at 12:07 PM on September 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have to think she's going to have to pull a Palin. She really doesn't have any other option to resolve her cognitive dissonance.
posted by rhizome at 12:17 PM on September 24, 2015


(Slightly) old news: as the Salon headline put it, Kim Davis wins her bigot medal: Conservative summit will honor anti-gay Kentucky clerk. She'll be honored at the conservative, Christian-focused Value Voters summit, which is starting today.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 AM on September 25, 2015


Kim Davis Is Officially Becoming A Republican
"My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?"
Good question. We certainly weren't hanging on on our end.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:02 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Anthony Kennedy and David Bunning are well-known liberal standard-bearers, the commie symps. A more likely motivator: follow the money.
posted by rhizome at 3:30 PM on September 25, 2015


Also a new smartphone game called "Condemn Kim" has been released. It "gives you the chance to apply for a marriage license with the bigot clerk and send her to jail."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2015


[Couple comments deleted. Sorry, I know it's meant in a spirit of wtf-isn't-this-weird but let's not throw more clicks to a weird sexualizing-Kim-Davis-as-maybe-a-joke thing, that's not a good place to go.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Okay, a bit of confusion here on our end, but there's a story about Kim Davis getting a book deal that is a hoax story. I've now removed the comment referring to it, thanks all.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:55 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


So how much of her vacation time is she using up sitting in jail, flying around the country, or sitting at home reading her fan mail? None. Elected officials in Kentucky get paid whether they work or not. The state auditor's office confirmed that officials don't accumulate vacation, sick or comp time.

So conceivably she could never return to work and still get her $80,000 a year. It will be up to the electorate to decide whether or not she is voted back into office.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:04 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


honestly, that's probably cheaper than impeachment proceedings and all the lawsuits - i would be totally in favor of the licenses being issued with all the proper wording and her never stepping foot in the office again while still pulling the paycheck for the 3 years or whatever she has left of her term. as a bonus, when her son tries to run his opponent can point out that he comes from a family happy to take government money but not fulfill their duties.
posted by nadawi at 12:08 PM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not a lot of deterrence in the "just let her shirk" strategy, though.
posted by rhizome at 1:36 PM on September 28, 2015


what i want is her removed from office weeks ago and the supreme court saying "no - you can't have a religious exemption from this and you try assert one, you'll be fired" - but there are a million things keeping that from being a way this will resolve. the deterrence comes in the inability for these people to be voted in. hopefully towns and counties will start asking "will you perform your job" and stop voting people in who will just fleece their community for $320,000 while they wait for the next election to come around.
posted by nadawi at 1:43 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Way I see it, the Law of the Land is happening. It doesn't *matter* if she's doing what she feels she has to.

The Man has made sure that if you walk into her office qualified for a marriage license, you get a valid one, and that's all that matters at the end of the day. Whether the Voters will consider her worth the money next election cycle really doesn't change the fact that the Government's Business is being conducted.

My feeling now is that the question of "Will clerks' offices do their fucking duties regardless of the beliefs of the elected clerk" has been resolved. "Yes, they will". That's the signal, everything else is just noise.
posted by mikelieman at 1:54 PM on September 28, 2015


except she's still changing licenses and having her legal team use that to then question the validity of the licenses. i think it will shake out to all be fine, but it hasn't shook out yet.
posted by nadawi at 2:06 PM on September 28, 2015


Licenses issued by that office will be presumed to be valid. Her legal team, such as it is, has an uphill battle on that front, according to my understanding of the issues involved. If she thinks she's going to be able to go, "HA HA SUCKERS, I USED THE WRONG COLOR OF INK ON PURPOSE" and wipe out peoples' marriages, she is going to get run out of town on a rail.
posted by rhizome at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


like i sad - i agree that's how it will shake out - but as fffm brought up earlier in the thread, is her agitating keeping people from using her office for fear that it'll shake out another way or add delays? i think the answer is probably yes. i mean, if i were getting married to someone of my own gender, and they were sick, and we needed to make sure death benefits were handled properly, i'd go to the next county over. this is why i say, with our available options, i favor her just staying home and drawing her paycheck and letting the voters decide if they want to give her $300k+ to not do her job in a couple years. i think that's less disruptive and discriminatory than her grandstanding in the office.
posted by nadawi at 3:00 PM on September 28, 2015


Do you really think any insurance company would challenge the licenses, though? Seems like a very, very bad PR move at this point.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:53 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


If any people are feeling compelled to go the next county over for their marriage licenses, the judge in the current case against her would surely be interested to hear about it ASAP.
posted by rhizome at 3:55 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe. Once they do that they no longer have standing for the sake of a suit, though when we're talking about contempt of court orders that's not a bar that necessarily has to be overcome.
posted by phearlez at 3:59 PM on September 28, 2015


And as for the marriages being presumed to be valid, it is not a thing that will "shake out," it's the law of the land.

Kim Davis, et al, would like to muddy the waters with a bunch of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but it just ain't so.
posted by rhizome at 4:01 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


all i am saying is that with the current situation, i don't care if kim davis sits home and collects her check and i'd prefer it to her being in the office. i think it's the least disruptive option.
posted by nadawi at 4:07 PM on September 28, 2015


Do you really think any insurance company would challenge the licenses, though? Seems like a very, very bad PR move at this point.

For an insurance company, you actually have to list the beneficiary when you sign up so there's not a problem there. Being able to be with your loved one as they die, making sure you are the next of kin, ensuring that you are the heir to your spouse's estate, though? That just dealing with more government bureaucracy and lets hope none of them feel the way Kim Davis does.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:52 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kim Davis' lawyers claim she met with the pope.

My bet is that Davis' lawyers aren't being exactly truthful.
posted by rdr at 8:44 PM on September 29, 2015


Pope Guilty, sure. Why not. The Pope from Rome? Ha. It is to laugh. That Really Happened.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 PM on September 29, 2015


Thirty minutes with five victims of Catholic church abuse, fifteen minutes with a clerk not doing her job. Yeah, sounds about right for Vatican priorities.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:33 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My bet is that Davis' lawyers aren't being exactly truthful.

They also said that 100,000 people gathered in Peru to pray for her.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:11 AM on September 30, 2015


The Guardian also has the story, which does seem unlikely but perhaps really did happen:

"Pope Francis allegedly thanked Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licences on religious grounds, for her courage when the pair had a private meeting during his trip to the US.

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said he would not deny the meeting took place, but said he had no other comments to add. "
posted by Rumple at 8:22 AM on September 30, 2015


If it's true that the Pope met with her and thanked her for her "courage" then I lose the grudging respect I was starting to have for the Pope (I kinda appreciated a Pope coming to America and talking about the perils of unfettered capitalism). I was hoping he would have met with her and told her to get her head on straight, and that you don't further the work of Christ by not celebrating love and commitment.
posted by nubs at 8:29 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Roman Catholic Church:
Right on war, poverty, and the death penalty;
Wrong on just about everything else.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:41 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't quite understand the Vatican response other than to interpret as either A) it was stupid of us to do this and we don't want to out right confess to arranging it; B) That's not "quite" how the meeting went and we're working on a proper response that more accurately reflects the meeting and words of the Pope; or C) Wha? This is the first I've heard of it, I'm not going to commit to an answer until I know it.

I also find it incredibly odd that the Pope would reach out to Wendy Davis, a non-Catholic, going so far as to invite her to the Vatican embassy (a call wouldn't have sufficed?), and injecting himself into a specific issue, whereas he has regularly sided stepped such specific issues.

I'm almost wondering if Wendy Davis was flown out to D.C. and had the equivalent of a cold call visit where the Pope met her for two minutes out of politeness or something.

BUT, if her story is true, it diminishes the Pope in terms of how I view he has been striving to present himself and the Papacy.
posted by Atreides at 8:41 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


(wendy davis is the awesome pro-choice texan legislator and kim davis is the freeloading bigot)
posted by nadawi at 8:55 AM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Huh. I kind of assumed that they were lying (or exaggerating to such a degree that they might as well be), but if the Vatican isn't denying it then I guess it happened. I find it a really bizarre choice, though. I wasn't surprised that he visited the Little Sisters of the Poor, for example, even though I disagree quite strongly with their "even saying we object is toooooo much of a burden" lawsuit over the contraception mandate. But why on earth would he decide to throw in with a non-Catholic grifter like Kim Davis, on hatin' on the gays, a subject that the Vatican has generally de-emphasized of late?

But I guess it's a good reminder: the Pope, not a friend of any progressive. Just sometimes a useful ally.
posted by tavella at 9:15 AM on September 30, 2015


From a Jezebel post on the pope meeting:
The Vatican initially refused to say much of anything about the meeting, with Father Ciro Benedettini of the Holy See Press Office initially telling CBS and other outlets, “The Vatican does not confirm nor deny this.” Hours later, that was upgraded, with Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi telling the New York Times and other media organizations, “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add.”
That post goes on to talk about a recent massive lie told by Davis's lawyer about a photo he claimed was taken at a prayer rally held for Davis in Peru. He doubled down on that one for quite some time before finally admitting his claims weren't true, so I'll just sit back and wait for him to do that again here. The part where he keeps insisting that they saw no need to document the event but that the Vatican has plenty of photo evidence... that's going to be interesting if it gets an official response.
posted by palomar at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Vatican confirms the meeting:

Rev. Manuel Dorantes, a spokesman for the Vatican, said to The Washington Post, “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no comments to add.”

"Mat Staver, Davis’s attorney and the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told the Washington Post that Davis and her husband, Joe, met privately with Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington last Thursday afternoon. The brief meeting lasted under 15 minutes, Staver said."

The article also reports that Davis and her husband received rosaries blessed by The Pope.

All kinds of weirdness going on here.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:38 AM on September 30, 2015


Well I just hope to god she just got plus-oned by some American bishop or whatever who already had a meet and greet scheduled and got some papal boilerplate; if the pope was like YES CARVE TIME OUT OF MY BUSY SCHEDULE FOR THE RECALCITRANT COUNTY CLERK then all I can say is what the hell, Francis.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:40 AM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Trying to find a silver lining here: I'm hoping to see some conservative talking heads' heads explode because of this.

Because on the one hand, they hate the pope because he had the temerity to diss unfettered, amoral capitalism.

But on the other hand, he's giving major props to one of their current Culture War Heroes. I envision smoke coming out of their ears as they try to solve this logic puzzle.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:59 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


WHAT
THE
FRAK
FRANCIS?

Why take time for a private meeting over this? Why insert yourself into the US Culture War in this way?
posted by nubs at 10:03 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


prize bull octorok: "Well I just hope to god she just got plus-oned by some American bishop or whatever who already had a meet and greet scheduled and got some papal boilerplate"

That is almost certainly what happened; there's no way the Vatican deliberately scheduled a meeting with a rando, not-Catholic county clerk on a hot political topic. Her lawyers are fundraisers and lobbyists; one of them knew a bishop or a functionary at the nunciate; they wrangled a meeting through their contacts.

As for what the Pope said to her -- dude, he talks to murderers and drug addicts and rapists and offers them kindness and compassion and spiritual strength. Why WOULDN'T he offer Kim Davis the same comfort and compassion? Her battle is stupid and she's wrong, but she's still suffering, and Francis has shown many times over that he's a lot more concerned about showing compassion for the suffering than yelling at people about their wrongness.

(As for the Vatican's lack of comment, since he almost certainly spoke to her pastorally, that would be considered private and while probably not technically prohibited by canon law from being revealed (as confession would be), it's very very bad form to reveal what you said to someone in pastoral counseling. It's very tacky and obviously headline-grabbing for her lawyers to be talking about it in this fashion, and whoever in the Catholic power structure helped them set up the meeting to get these headlines is going to get severely reprimanded and possibly fired.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 AM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


i mean - the catholic church is homophobic, no matter what pr spin the vatican is trying to put on that.
posted by nadawi at 10:12 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, her lawyers have burned all available bridges with the official Catholic hierarchy by publicizing this and attempting to insert the Pope into their culture war. The Vatican is super-careful about visits to foreign countries; it is super-careful about how it addresses specific national issues; and the USCCB (US Catholic Bishops) is very picky about how it, as an official body, speaks on national issues it wants to lobby on. Liberty Counsel may have gotten quiet support from highly-placed Catholic officials and big Catholic donors, but now they're going to get frozen out and they're going to find a lot of their contacts in DC dry up, because this is hugely embarrassing and a big breach of etiquette. People won't say anything in the press, but Liberty will go knocking on doors that in the past have opened to them, and find that suddenly all those people are too busy to talk to them.

(As for the Papally-blessed rosaries, those are just, like, Pope party favors, everybody gets a blessed rosary at Pope-events. I have one upstairs in my dresser that my grandmother got years ago.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:15 AM on September 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


Thanks Eyebrows, for providing some context and thoughtfulness about this latest development.
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pope Francis once said gay marriage was from Satan. It's no stretch at all to think he'd be sympathetic to Kim Davis.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2015


Thank you, Eyebrows.
posted by zarq at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2015


The Washington Post has a decent summary, including some analysis from John Allen, who is my go-to Vatican expert.

It would really be very unusual for the Vatican to speak to a specific issue of legal interpretation in a particular country, even if the Catholic Church were a litigant in the case. Like, when big Catholic hospitals or universities in the US have had lawsuits about conscientious objection, the Vatican has just been like, "Yeah, C.O. is super-important for religious freedom, we support Catholic community organizations," and has basically never had a comment about specific legal wrangling or outcomes -- nothing ever like "the only way to protect religious freedom is by deciding X" or "the right way to have conscientious objections is Y."

Davis's lawyers clearly want us to think that the Pope agrees with her legal argument within the context of US law. That isn't something the Vatican would ever, ever, ever say. If there is a message (and I'm still pretty convinced it's a hyper-conservative Catholic within the USCCB structure or the nunciature who set the meeting, and I'm pretty convinced the Vatican either didn't know about it in advance or didn't know who she was; they have a very careful foreign office), it's just that the Vatican opposes same-sex marriage and favors religious freedom, which isn't really news. If Davis won her case, the Vatican would never say, "This is a victory for religious freedom!" Whether she wins or loses, if they're forced to make a statement, it would be the same sort of thing: "We should all value the process of law in democratic societies that enables us to peacefully resolve our disputes, with due respect for the opinions and values of the religious among us, and always taking care that the right to conscientiously object is respected."

The Vatican no longer even offers opinions on Italian laws or legal cases, and that was a thing they did for a long damn time. Now it's all just "Wow, isn't democracy a great system, even when it sometimes does stupid things? Let's all pray."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:09 AM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


They don't want to release the details of the meeting because it was super awkward.

Pope Francis asking a confused Kim Davis about the Mountain Dew and pizzas then muttering "I meant the woman with the funny Twitter" to an aide as he was ushered away.
posted by fullerine at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is a good article by a Jesuit Priest to put her visit in perspective. Bottom line, the pope probably did not know who she was nor the particulars about her job. The last line: Meeting with the pope is a great honor, but it does not betoken a blanket blessing on “everything” one does. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Pope Francis also met Mark Wahlberg, and that does not mean that he liked “Ted.”

On a more hilarious note, Davis' attorney was claiming that 100,000 Peruvians were praying for Kim and had the photo to prove it. After spending Monday defending the photo, Liberty Counsel has admitted that it is not of a Kim Davis rally. In fact, they no longer claim that any rally whatsoever took place for Davis in Peru, but merely that some people in Peru prayed for her.

So not only did she get to meet the Pope, some Peruvians have prayed for her!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not to put too fine a point on it, but Pope Francis also met Mark Wahlberg, and that does not mean that he liked “Ted.”

Big Entourage fan, though. Huge.
posted by phearlez at 12:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]




I'll be shocked if her evil jackasses can wring anything substantial out of that story over the long-term.
posted by rhizome at 4:13 PM on September 30, 2015


Honestly, if he was tricked, he needs to say so. Because otherwise, I think that the message is that the happy-clappy, feel-good, let's-ignore-the-culture-war schtick was bullshit. And honestly, meeting with Kim Davis is expressing contempt for the US Constitution. That's ultimately what Kim Davis is about: do we have the rule of law or not? Does a Supreme Court decision mean anything? He may not realize that's what it is, but it is. It was a serious, serious misstep, and I think it basically undoes every PR gain that he made on the trip.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Honestly, if he was tricked, he needs to say so. "

Yeah, no, that's not how the Pope or most diplomats would ever work. Even if he was duped and spent the entire meeting lecturing her on how the only true salvation is from within The Church, the cost to his credibility from spending a quarter hour with a right-wing nutbag and not giving it any legs with follow-up communication is much, much lower than "Hey, I'm the Pope and I got snowed by a stump-humping rando who I thought just wanted to talk about hats!" The most — and even this is unlikely — is a surrogate saying the conversation was pastoral. Otherwise, affirming the right of people to conscientiously object without getting bogged down in the details is the entirety of what you're going to hear from the Vatican.
posted by klangklangston at 4:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


She asked the pope to pray for her, and he said he would pray. He said to ‘stay strong.'”

Stay strong. This is exactly the sort of generic, content- and opinion-free thing a Pope would say to any of millions of people who find their way in front of him. Are you a murderer serving jail time? Stay strong. Are you dealing with deep psychological issues that cause you to rob banks?

Stay strong. Hang in there. The Pope will pray for you.

It means absolutely nothing. The Pope doesn't have a fluent understanding of English, anyway. The likelihood of him grasping who she was, what she was meeting with him for, how it would be used politically, etc. is close to nil. He's a spiritual leader, not a politican used to dealing with rapid-fire lobbying interests that he has to navigate on the fly.
posted by naju at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


She also said that he thanked her for her courage, which seems fairly unambiguous. Does he thank murderers for their courage? It sometimes takes courage to murder!

I don't believe that he didn't know the implications of meeting her. He knew who she was. He knew what she did. He supports her.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:41 PM on September 30, 2015


"Stay strong. This is exactly the sort of generic, content- and opinion-free thing a Pope would say to any of millions of people who find their way in front of him. Are you a murderer serving jail time? Stay strong. Are you dealing with deep psychological issues that cause you to rob banks?

Stay strong. Hang in there. The Pope will pray for you.
"

"Is that what the bracelet says? Stay strong? For the bicycles, right?"

"I don't believe that he didn't know the implications of meeting her. He knew who she was. He knew what she did. He supports her."

You're grafting an unreliable narrator onto your previously existing biases and finding that they confirm exactly what you already thought.
posted by klangklangston at 4:46 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hate this. I was liking a lot of things about this Pope, relatively speaking of course.

I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but I find that all I'm feeling about him now is all sad trombone...'wa wah....'
posted by Jalliah at 4:46 PM on September 30, 2015


You're grafting an unreliable narrator onto your previously existing biases and finding that they confirm exactly what you already thought
It's not like I already thought it for no reason. We're talking about an institution that puts a lot of money into campaigning to deny me and a lot of other people pretty fundamental rights. We were supposed to believe that this Pope was different, and it's ok to notice glaring signs that he's kind of not. And I'm sorry, but secretly meeting with Kim Davis completely undermines the message he was trying to send, and I think he understood that, because he's not some naive dingbat and because otherwise he wouldn't have done it secretly.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:59 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Stay strong. Hang in there. The Pope will pray for you.
...
She also said that he thanked her for her courage, which seems fairly unambiguous. Does he thank murderers for their courage?


I could see him saying all of these things to a condemned murderer, yes.
(Well, maybe not that "Hang in there" part.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:59 PM on September 30, 2015


He knew who she was. He knew what she did. He supports her.

Should that really be surprising? The difference between him and JP2 or Pope Palpatine isn't that Francis doesn't care about all the nookie stuff. It's just that he emphasizes the good stuff more, and/or that his statements about the good stuff get more coverage.

Even if I disagree with him on the nookie stuff, though, still a gazillion percent better than Comically Evil Pope Palpatine.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:20 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess that I don't think that Kim Davis is just about the nookie stuff, which is why this is shocking and depressing as hell to me. Lots of people oppose same-sex marriage. Lots of people want to amend the Constitution or appoint different Supreme Court justices who will overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. That's not Kim Davis's position: she thinks that it's ok to invalidate a Supreme Court decision because Jesus. The Supreme Court ruled, and she, in her official capacity as a government official, is free to ignore that ruling because her religion is more important than the Supreme Court. That's not just a position on same-sex marriage. It's a really extreme position on the Constitution and the rule of law. I'm frankly really shocked that it's apparently something that the Pope would endorse, but I think it's stupid to see his meeting with Davis as anything but an endorsement. I realize that it's painful for Catholics to see it in any other way, but I don't see any other way to take it. There is no other reason for him to meet with a random, non-Catholic person who happens to be a massive celebrity only for this one issue.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


> He's a spiritual leader, not a politican

He's both; you don't rise to the position of pope without understanding how to play the political end of the game.

That said, yeah, the Vatican is not going to talk about this in more detail, and Catholic doctrine is pretty bright-line about same-sex relationships and the role of marriage therein (none). He can be and has been less harsh about this than previous popes, but it's still catechism.
posted by rtha at 6:42 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The idea that someone could get a private audience with the Pope without him, his handlers, and his security team knowing exactly who and what they were dealing with is beyond laughable. We're not talking about a casual brush in a crowd; this was an arranged meeting.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:44 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I mean, I am totally aware that the idea that Catholics put religion before the Constitution is a very old, very false anti-Catholic canard, which is what makes this whole thing so seriously WTF.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Pope commented during the time of his visit on conscientious objection and the idea that Catholics should be able to exercise that isn't remotely new. While I may personally think it's bunk that CO should apply here - would I be free, in the employ of a judge, to refuse to issue an execution warrant since I oppose the death penalty? - I don't think it's out of the realm of mainstream Catholic thought that a person should be allowed to pass on participating in issuing marriage licenses.

I think a sensible organization would tell these folks to render unto Caesar and shut the fuck up, but nobody is giving me any pointy hats.
posted by phearlez at 7:27 AM on October 1, 2015


*awards phearlez the pointiest hat*
posted by nubs at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Was Pope Francis Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis? - Charlie Pierce's re-take on the Kim Davis meeting. It's intriguing, but it still seems slightly far-fetched to me.
posted by gladly at 7:48 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's stupid to see his meeting with Davis as anything but an endorsement.

He met with hundreds of people. He regularly asks murderers and congressmen to pray for him, and says he'll pray for them. He met with Mark Wahlberg, are we to assume that means the Pope is totally cool with that time Marky Mark beat the shit out of a Vietnamese man? And given how weirdly her lawyer spins everything, why is anyone reading their statements and taking them at face value?
posted by palomar at 7:59 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Was Pope Francis Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis? - Charlie Pierce's re-take on the Kim Davis meeting. It's intriguing, but it still seems slightly far-fetched to me.

Doesn't sound far-fetched to me in the slightest. There's no reason the Pope himself would've known who she was - this is not an international news story that would have been top headlines in Rome. But for sure the people who arranged it knew what they were doing. Their motives don't even have to be trying to make Francis "look bad," merely to reinforce the idea that the Catholic church is officially still anti-gay.

I'm 99% sure Francis did not know who she was, or fully understand her situation, when he met her, and that the people who set it up were deliberately vague on the details to him. I'd already guessed that much before reading Pierce's piece, though my original idea was that it was her 'lawyer,' Mat Staver who did the misleading, in order to keep her in the news so he can continue to make money off touting her story.
posted by dnash at 8:43 AM on October 1, 2015


Should that really be surprising? The difference between him and JP2 or Pope Palpatine isn't that Francis doesn't care about all the nookie stuff.

He met with an anti-gay activist who literally risked her job and was thrown in jail because she used her political position to hatefully deny a civil right to gay couples. A civil right those couples had to fight tooth and nail to get for years. This is about a hell of a lot more than "nookie stuff." It's about the Pope symbolically taking sides against American LGBTQs' ongoing effort to be treated with basic human dignity, equality and respect by a population that his Church has historically attacked, smeared, vilified and tried to destroy.

So yeah, maybe not so much better than Ratzinger.
posted by zarq at 9:17 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]




So yeah, maybe not so much better than Ratzinger.

Did anyone really think he was, as far as actual acceptance within the church or removing policies? This pope seems better as far as setting highly visible priorities and using the bully pulpit and I don't think contact with Davis changes that. I didn't think my perspective was all that off the norm in believing
  • The Church, on average, acts as a negative force with regards to gender equality and gay rights
  • Pope Francis has shifted the Church's overall active efforts more towards christian beliefs about supporting the poor and personal acceptance of people in general
That said, I think just a change in the things the pope takes time to notice and talk about is enough to qualify this as "better," even if that's not something you can quantify with an exact measure.
posted by phearlez at 11:29 AM on October 1, 2015


Why The Vatican Is Being So Weird About The Pope’s Meeting With Kim Davis, According To An Expert

Again... the rosaries are pretty much holy Mardi Gras beads, for all the meaning imbued in receiving a set. Dude says "pray for me" to literally everyone. Speculation at this point is just bonkers.
posted by palomar at 11:30 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like, honestly, I get that it might be upsetting to hear her lawyer's statements, but please remember, they made wild claims about that supposed prayer rally in Peru in Davis's honor, and then they had to walk that back. These people embellish and flat out lie, and buying into their statements is just wildly foolish. No one honestly thinks that the Pope is endorsing murder when he blesses murderers, right? If you don't take that as a tacit embrace of the practice of murder, think about how you're reacting to the Kim Davis thing, where the information is coming from, and who it's designed to upset, and then recalibrate.
posted by palomar at 11:34 AM on October 1, 2015


i once "met with"* the dalai lama - i don't think that indicates he supports anything i've done with my life.


*(which is to say, i went through a reception line like thing and he made a pleasant face at me and nodded his head)
posted by nadawi at 11:35 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a child, I was granted a private audience with Mickey Mouse at the very seat of his power in his walled enclave at Disneyland. I left there with tokens of his blessing in my possession, secure in the knowledge that the Disney Corporation favors all my undertakings.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:40 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alanis Morisette told me at a meet and greet that she liked my shirt... I felt pretty blessed.
posted by numaner at 12:44 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


nadawi: i once "met with"* the dalai lama - i don't think that indicates he supports anything i've done with my life.

This is not the same thing. He had a private audience with her. She didn't wait on a receiving line and get a brief public nod / acknowledgement.

prize bull octorok: ...secure in the knowledge that the Disney Corporation favors all my undertakings.

That's not the point.
"The news that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis while failing to respond to repeated requests for dialogue with LGBT Catholics and their families will be deeply disappointing to many Catholics, gay, trans, and straight alike," says Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, in an email to The Advocate. "It put the weight of the Vatican behind the US Catholic bishops’ claims of victimization, and supports those who want to make it more difficult for same-sex couples to exercise their civil right to marriage."

"If it turns out the meeting actually happened, I would be very disappointed in Pope Francis," says Frank DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry. "There were numerous calls for him to meet with LGBT Catholics and families while in the U.S., and the Vatican ignored them all."
The fact that he deliberately met with her and not with them does mean something.
posted by zarq at 12:48 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


do we even know what "private" means in this context? or if anything was actually said between them? it seems like most of the info is guesses and what davis's people are saying - which doesn't seem to be the best source.
posted by nadawi at 12:53 PM on October 1, 2015


He had a private audience with her.

Can you link to a source on this? Because I keep seeing people saying that, but... when was that information released? By whom?

This is what I mean by speculation. People are getting all kinds of worked up over information that as far as I can tell has not been in any way verified.
posted by palomar at 12:57 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]




so - no verification about how private or not it was (and as even davis's lawyers say, there were quite a few more people in the room than kim & the pope) and absolutely nothing about whether they discussed anything at all or if he just did his general peace-be-unto-you-have-a-rosary thing that he extends to just about everyone who is in his company.
posted by nadawi at 1:04 PM on October 1, 2015


From Etrigan's link: "The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security guards, aides and photographers."

Does the Vatican have an Instagram account? Pix or it didn't happen!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:05 PM on October 1, 2015




so - no verification about how private or not it was (and as even davis's lawyers say, there were quite a few more people in the room than kim & the pope) and absolutely nothing about whether they discussed anything at all or if he just did his general peace-be-unto-you-have-a-rosary thing that he extends to just about everyone who is in his company.

As zarq said, the sheer fact that he had this audience -- and no one talks to the Pope at the Vatican Embassy without the Pope wanting it to happen -- speaks volumes, regardless of whether it was a private private meeting. She wasn't taking the tour and "Oh, hey, look, there's the Pope way over there on the other end of the room! Everybody wave!"
posted by Etrigan at 1:08 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]




yes, the vatican says that the pope and kim davis stood together in a room. that doesn't mean the pope had a "private meeting" or that anything of substance was said between the two. even from kim's own telling, he grasped her hand and hugged her. that doesn't really elevate it above a receiving line type of interaction.

i mean, i was never on the "the pope is so cool and liberal now!" bandwagon because the church he heads has been very clear how they feel about queer people, but i don't understand people's obsession with a meeting that we know nearly nothing about.
posted by nadawi at 1:11 PM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


He took a meeting. Multiple reporters other than Davis and her lawyers have characterized that meeting as "private." We know where it happened. And we also know that the Pope and Vatican officials refused to meet with LGBT Catholics during this trip, who feel they have been affected, harmed and/or marginalized by Church policies and statements.

I'm not "obsessed," thanks. However, I also don't think he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
posted by zarq at 1:19 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


i don't understand people's obsession with a meeting that we know nearly nothing about.

Fair enough. I don't understand your obsession with waving it away as though it wasn't really anything, either.
posted by Etrigan at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2015


welp i'm now fighting with people i adore so i'm going to go do something else. sorry this is upsetting.
posted by nadawi at 1:21 PM on October 1, 2015


Oh, wait. I'm not offended or upset. And I'm very sorry if I'm giving you that impression. I have tremendous, tremendous respect for you, nadawi!

I just... considering the Church's history -- especially on this issue -- I don't assume good faith. No pun intended.
posted by zarq at 1:26 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know, those articles still indicate that it's her camp saying it was a private meeting, and officials will only confirm that a meeting happened, saying nothing about the privacy level. All claims about a private meeting are coming from Mat Stanger.
posted by palomar at 1:27 PM on October 1, 2015


And Mat Stanger is the guy who had to walk back the whole "people in Peru had a rally for Kim!" thing, so... yeah. Sorry, still sticking to the thing where I'm not buying into what Mat Stanger says, no matter how many news media outlets reprint his claims in their headlines while not actually backing up his claims with a secondary source.
posted by palomar at 1:28 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The pope's visit was already overshadowed by his canonization of Junipero Serra, so now with this bizarre meeting with Davis the whole visit is framed by these two ugly bookends which undermine everything he did and said, imo.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on October 1, 2015


"and officials will only confirm that a meeting happened, saying nothing about the privacy level."

And — despite those "confirmed!" headlines — the official language is just that the Vatican won't deny that they met. That's it. The substance of the meeting, how private, what was said, whether it reflects a genuine policy priority or preference by the Pope — that's all speculation. That he didn't meet with LGBT groups is entirely understandable.

I'm not someone who believes that the Pope seriously desires to end the institutional homophobia or misogyny of the Catholic church. That he is regarded as such a wild leftist for merely deprioritizing the revanchist Opus Dei agenda is a good sign of how far conservative bishops installed by JPII had climbed in the Vatican power structure, and while I think that ultimately it's good for the Catholic church to shift back toward actually valuable works, it's weird how overblown this is — it was a minor blip, and because people are so desperate for some sort of BIG STATEMENT about something that's likely not really that big of a deal for him (one of the most literally privileged people in the world) it's being treated like it's a direct window into his soul rather than a crumb of Kremlinology applied to the See.
posted by klangklangston at 1:54 PM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


the official language is just that the Vatican won't deny that they met. That's it.

There have been a few links posted that feature the Vatican confirming that they met.

whether it reflects a genuine policy priority or preference by the Pope — that's all speculation.

"On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.

'Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,' Francis said."

posted by Etrigan at 3:13 PM on October 1, 2015


You seem to be arguing that the Vatican has confirmed the meeting, rather than just ceasing denials, and that the meeting represents a genuine policy priority for the Pope. But in the articles that you linked, and the ones you reference (which I acknowledged by saying despite those "confirmed!" headlines) give this quote: “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no comments to add,” Rev. Manuel Dorantes, a spokesman for the Vatican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday. Contrast that with the great many meetings that the Pope had and that are confirmed.

As for whether Davis represents a policy priority for the Pope, his saying "Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right" and "I can't have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right" does not support the idea that he was familiar with or intending to put out a message on Davis specifically. Arguing that his meeting Davis constitutes an endorsement of her goldbricking or intends to send a serious message about same-sex marriage is not supported by the link you have provided. The gloss of the headline is not supported by the article.
posted by klangklangston at 4:10 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's a statement as vague as the Bible itself, meaning it can be put to use for any purpose a person can think of.
posted by rhizome at 4:51 PM on October 1, 2015


Vatican officials initially would not confirm that the meeting occurred, finally doing so on Wednesday afternoon, while refusing to discuss any details. - NYT

Maybe people are saying the Vatican has confirmed the meeting because the Vatican has confirmed the meeting.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:58 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Really? That NYT article has a quote confirming the meeting? Hmm, nope. They give the same time as the WaPo and NPR stories — Wednesday afternoon — in which both of them quoted what I repeated above, that the Vatican no longer denied that a meeting had taken place.

I'm not denying that they actually met, I'm pointing out that if this was a deliberate piece of stagecraft, the Vatican would do more than simply stop denying that the meeting took place. For example, see any number of other informal meetings from his trip — including the Little Sisters of Mercy — where the Vatican has in fact affirmatively stated that they did happen.

So maybe people are saying the Vatican has confirmed the meeting because they don't understand the distinction or don't understand the articles and quotes.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


So you're not denying the meeting took place, you're just taking issue with people who believe the meeting took place, based on the Vatican specifically changing its story from denying it to not denying it. Did the meeting exist in some kind of Schroedingerian continuity?
posted by Etrigan at 9:03 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Vatican at first would neither confirm nor deny the meeting took place, then they changed their statement to say they did not deny it. Several news organizations have taken that to mean they have confirmed it, but you're saying they haven't confirmed-confirmed it. OK. But they also haven't denied confirming it, and they have acknowledged confirming they had denied it. Now it could be said they haven't confirmed not denying it, so we can't say they've really confirmed-confirmed the confirmation, but neither have they denied not confirming they haven't denied the confirmation's denial, so it should be completely obvious that Saddam had WMDs but they got lost during the invasion.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:40 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Vatican has released a statement saying that the meeting occurred; it wasn't an official audience; and we shouldn't take it as a statement of support for Davis.
The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:

Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.

The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.
I think it was an incredibly dumb move to meet with a person who is celebrated only for defying the US Constitution if you do not, in fact, have contempt for US Constitution, but maybe the Pope really is that inept.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:23 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sounds to me like some rich Catholic wacko from Liberty Counsel slipped her into a group of donors and it got by the pope's vetting people.

I wonder how God feels about pulling a fast one on the pope? Like, it sounds like KD has been *heavily* misrepresenting that meeting. "In same room as pope + crowd" != "sooper secret powwow of support"

She knows she 'met' with the pope, but it sure don't sound like the pope knew he was meeting with her.
posted by telepanda at 5:45 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, that statement claims that Davis was invited by the Nunciature, which of all things plays into the Esquire article theorizing that perhaps the Vatican's American embassy purposefully was trying to spoil the Pope's visit.
posted by Atreides at 6:50 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's entirely possible that outside of the US the whole Kim Davis thing is barely even a blip on the news radar, and that the US is not actually the center of the universe, and maybe the Pope actually wasn't completely aware of who she is. That doesn't seem crazy to me. Watching the reaction to that statement is really interesting because sooooo much of the internet is angry and wants to see this as a conspiracy of some sort, and I don't get it. The notion of American exceptionalism manifests in weird ways...
posted by palomar at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Pope is not just a random individual acting alone based on his own reading of the local newspaper. He's a major world leader. He has a very large diplomatic staff whose job it is to help him not make major diplomatic gaffes. I don't think he gets a pass just because they either spectacularly messed up or deceived him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:25 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess I just don't understand the hue and cry. He meets with murderers and no one flips out and assumes that means the Pope approves of murder, but people readily accept the spin that Kim Davis's team put on the event without batting an eyelash and that is just bonkers to me.
posted by palomar at 7:28 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does he meet with murderers whose act of murder is being celebrated by lots of people who think that other people should follow the murderer's lead and commit more murders, because people like the victim deserve to die? Because that seems like it would be a better analogy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:30 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, see, that's where we get into the notion that the Pope absolutely MUST be well-informed about what are effectively minor current events blips to the larger world. We're not actually that important, and since fighting against gay marriage isn't something he gives a damn about, in that his attitude about it really seems to be "why bother, when there are poor people to take care of?", I really just don't understand the dogged insistence that this was a deliberate slap in the face and a secret handshake winky-winky "the lurkers support you in email Kim!" sort of deal.
posted by palomar at 7:44 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess I just don't understand the hue and cry. He meets with murderers and no one flips out and assumes that means the Pope approves of murder

The Catholic church doesn't have pro-murder doctrine, and the Pope doesn't have a history of pro-murder rhetoric.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:50 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, I almost forgot... while he was here the Pope sent a letter to Governor Fallin of Oklahoma, begging her to spare Richard Glossip's life instead of executing him. But I guess begging to spare a life somehow means less than a chance encounter at an event akin to a Taylor Swift meet and greet. No, you guys are right, it's really important for us all to totally buy into what Mat Stanger tells us, even though he's already been caught once lying about international support for his client. For sure, it's totally not possible that the Pope doesn't know every subtle nuance of the Kim Davis situation and is secretly commenting on his support of her actions when he couldn't even be arsed to do that in his own home country when they legalized gay marriage years ago. That makes a whole lot of sense.
posted by palomar at 7:55 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


> ... fighting against gay marriage isn't something he gives a damn about ...

I don't let the Catholic Church off that easily. He personally may not feel the need to push that point, but I'm pretty sure the church's official position is against same sex marriage, and many with official positions in the church use those positions to work against it. Plus he isn't just some Mr. Bergolio, random catholic; he's the head of the organization and carries some responsibility for it's actions.

I'm glad people are pushing against this, and demanding that Francis' staff not let Davis' people claim he supports all her views.

And praise Jesus they've delivered. My Google search to find 'Bergolio' turned up this, from 31 minutes ago:

Pope Francis’ Meeting Wasn’t an Endorsement of Kim Davis’s Views, Vatican Says
Good. I'm glad they announced this, and I'm glad people demanded it.

(I haven't read it yet. I hope it's straightforward and not weasely.)
posted by benito.strauss at 7:58 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


since fighting against gay marriage isn't something he gives a damn about

Now you're just straight-up wrong.
Late last year he said that preserving the family as an institution based on marriage between a man and a woman is not a political cause but a matter of “human ecology”, as “children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity”.

Earlier this year, in the Philippines, he said that efforts to redefine marriage were a form of “ideological colonisation” resulting from confusing presentations of sexuality and marriage, which threaten to “disfigure God’s plan for Creation”.

How can these statements be reconciled with Pope Francis’ wish for the Church to be a place of welcome for gay people, and for the need for the Church to heal rather than deepen their sense of being “socially wounded”?

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio lived with this tension. While ensuring the pastoral care of gay people personally as well as through the work of his priests, he also led his fellow bishops in opposing same-sex marriage. He differed from the other bishops, however, in that he was willing to accept some form of civil legal protection for same-sex unions.
posted by Etrigan at 8:00 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The sad thing is that I really do like Pope Francis. He seems like someone who really does take Jesus' messages of compassion and caring for all seriously. He's the best Pope I've seen in my life. Some of the things he did on this visit I found inspiring and made me think how I could change my own behavior (and I'm not in any way a Catholic).

But the people who will not hear one bad thing about him exasperate me. Look, your cool Uncle Francis is a great guy, but he has some seriously outdated ideas and works with some people who are just awful. I still like *him*, but your blindness is making me a bit tired of *you*.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:20 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's just honestly hard for me to understand why intelligent people are so eager to believe whatever Kim Davis's people tell you, to use the anger generated by that to filter all the news reports so that the news that they met for a very short amount of time and that he treated her exactly like he treats every single person he meets regardless of who they are and said exactly the same things to her that he says to every single person he meets regardless of who they are somehow turns into "the Pope supports Kim Davis in email!!11!!!". I don't even have an opinion on the Pope one way or the other, he's not someone I revere or abhor. What I have an opinion about is people getting spun out and jumping to conclusions based on extremely minimal information, much of it from unreliable narrators already proven to have a loose relationship with facts and honesty, and as more information comes out to clarify the situation people are reluctant to let go of the sense of anger and betrayal they induced in themselves by buying into that information uncritically, and they're refusing to believe the correction because it doesn't support their preconceived notions. Seems like easily half the internet is donning their tinfoil and frothing at the mouth about how we were "duped", which... huh? Okay.
posted by palomar at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


But the people who will not hear one bad thing about him exasperate me. Look, your cool Uncle Francis is a great guy, but he has some seriously outdated ideas and works with some people who are just awful. I still like *him*, but your blindness is making me a bit tired of *you*.

I'm not sure who these people are, but I don't think they're here in this thread. In my dream world the Pope would send Father Guido Sarduchi out to give Davis a talking to and laugh at the suggestion that they meet. But in my dream world that would be about the 1,038,173th thing the church would do to change how it handles sexuality because they currently do so many shitty things that have a lot more impact than a glad-handing with some clown.

This may be the best possible real life to describe as arguing over positions about deck chairs on the Titanic. Yeah, the deck chair has fallen over on its side and is pushed up against the railing and that would be inconvenient for laying on to get some relaxation. But it's over there because the larger ship, the Catholic Church, is all kinds of fucked up in terms of its position and sucks mightily on gay issues. It's a problem but the underlying problem pretty much guarantees this problem. If the chair had been bolted down it still wouldn't be comfortable to lay on because of the underlying issues.

So yes, this meeting is somewhere between perfectly benign ignorance and being willing to cozy up with someone prepared to not do her fucking job because she's so committed to persecuting people living their lives in a way she doesn't approve of. It's just really perplexing that people are so committed to the worst possible interpretation of it given how small stakes the meeting and the person and the papal support, if it exists, are in the scope of the Church's overall behavior on this issue. Plenty of us only love this corn pope some of the time.
posted by phearlez at 9:15 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


palomar: I don't believe Kim Davis' people. I think they'll be able to use their claims to argue that they are supported against a media that is too spineless to challenge them, unless the Vatican contradicts them. I know that the media world we currently live in will promote someone who can lie with conviction much more than someone with reasonable doubts, so I get ticked when the Vatican doesn't do the minimal job of countering the lies, especially when they're practically the only ones who can do it.

And you must realize that when it comes to the Catholic church the sense of anger and betrayal is always there simmering under the surface, ready to break out again.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:15 AM on October 2, 2015


the Pope doesn't know every subtle nuance of the Kim Davis situation

I'm sorry, what part of the Kim Davis situation is subtle?

I just love the idea that somehow Pope Francis is some complete rube, totally hoodwinked by a Kentucky clerk and her lyin' lawyers who've outwitted one of the oldest political institutions in the world with an elaborate support and information network in virtually every country. Yep, the Vatican is just some loosey-goose organization that just randomly meets with whomever might come their way because they're just so desperate for supporters.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:51 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's just honestly hard for me to understand why intelligent people are so eager to believe whatever Kim Davis's people tell you,

Perhaps listening to the many of us who have said, 'we don't believe her or her people,' rather than making statements like this would be helpful.

to use the anger generated by that to filter all the news reports so that the news that they met for a very short amount of time

And perhaps it would be nice if you also made an effort to understand why his taking that meeting was an ugly act, when requested meetings by the group(s) that Davis targeted with her bigotry, and that the Pope and his Church have disparaged in statements and policies, were denied.

and that he treated her exactly like he treats every single person he meets

You have no knowledge or evidence of this. None of us do.

regardless of who they are and said exactly the same things to her that he says to every single person he meets regardless of who they are

You have no knowledge or evidence of this. None of us do.

somehow turns into "the Pope supports Kim Davis in email!!11!!!".

I'm sorry you don't understand why people might be upset that he met with her, especially considering who was turned away. Perhaps re-reading the thread with a less defensive eye might be helpful?
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on October 2, 2015 [4 favorites]




Not even defensive, dude, just bewildered. This "meeting" had about as much substance and depth as a meet and greet with a pop star. That's why the outsized reaction is baffling. Maybe I needed to be deeply religious for this to make sense?
posted by palomar at 10:22 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's why the outsized reaction is baffling.

You have commented 13 times on this, a couple of times consecutively. You complaining about "the outsized reaction" at this point is laughable.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on October 2, 2015


granted this remains all lively speculation set to the tune played by her shitbag attorneys, but assuming the Archbishop of Foggy Bottom or whoever brought her as a guest, what is the Pope supposed to do? Have his Swiss Guard bar her entry with halberds crossed? I mean yeah no duh the Catholic Church remains a very institutionally homophobic organization, but the AHA reaction this is getting is indeed baffling
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, indeed, it's MY reaction that's laughable. If that's what you need to tell yourself...
posted by palomar at 10:54 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Maybe I needed to be deeply religious for this to make sense?

It's enough to live in a place where the Catholic church still has a lot of power over what happens locally. I grew up in a post-WW II west-coast suburb and would have been equally puzzled about the fervor over what the Pope does/did. I now live in Boston and I get it.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:57 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


prize bull, read the Pierce piece for what the should have done.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2015


Make of it what you will, but the V is now talking about how Franky met a same-sex couple the day before Davis.
posted by rhizome at 11:24 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


"So you're not denying the meeting took place, you're just taking issue with people who believe the meeting took place, based on the Vatican specifically changing its story from denying it to not denying it. Did the meeting exist in some kind of Schroedingerian continuity?"

Thanks for clarifying that you didn't understand the distinction in public statements between confirming and not denying. If you have any other questions about communication like that, I'd be happy to answer them for you. In the meantime, you can reread what I wrote and see if that clears up anything for you.

"I think it was an incredibly dumb move to meet with a person who is celebrated only for defying the US Constitution if you do not, in fact, have contempt for US Constitution, but maybe the Pope really is that inept."

As noted elsewhere, the nunciatures (essentially the embassies of the Vatican) arrange the local visits. As far as "defying the US Constitution," that's a bit hyperbolic — it's easy to imagine the Pope meeting with someone who refused to administer the death penalty or refused selective service. It wasn't a good look for the Pope, but Benedict met with President Bush II, who was certainly more in general defiance of the constitution and its war powers and treaty clauses than Kim Davis. Elevating her to someone defying the Constitution is playing into her megalomania.

"He's a major world leader. He has a very large diplomatic staff whose job it is to help him not make major diplomatic gaffes. I don't think he gets a pass just because they either spectacularly messed up or deceived him."

It's not a pass to say that this is at most a minor gaffe.

"Does he meet with murderers whose act of murder is being celebrated by lots of people who think that other people should follow the murderer's lead and commit more murders, because people like the victim deserve to die? Because that seems like it would be a better analogy."

Well, how do you feel about Obama's unmanned drone strikes? Because he met with Obama, and under a literal interpretation, Obama's extrajudicial drone strikes are both murders and celebrated by lots of people who think that other people should follow the murderer's lead and commit more murders because people like the victim deserve to die.

It's almost like working up to a high dudgeon actually reduces the meaningfulness of claims like that.

"The sad thing is that I really do like Pope Francis. He seems like someone who really does take Jesus' messages of compassion and caring for all seriously."

There's also a serious, longstanding argument to be made that the Jesus he seeks to emulate would condemn marriages for same-sex couples — not least because he lived 2000 years ago and while he was a pretty extreme reformer of the codified desert tribe morality, he likely had a whole ton of views that would be pretty repugnant to liberals now. The magical thinking around procreation is a central tenet of Catholic theology, and while Pope Frank has deemphasized and deprioritized the reactionary exclusion that has become the dominant mode of American Catholic institutional rhetoric, he's neither going to repudiate Persona Humana nor overturn the Council of Ancyra, just like he's not going to finally recognize that birth control is a vital human right across the globe. At best, those kinds of decisions are a hundred years or so off, depending on how quickly the rest of the world catches up with the Western protections for LGBT civil rights.

"I'm sorry, what part of the Kim Davis situation is subtle?"

That she's not just a conscientious objector defending her beliefs in the face of a compelling force? That rather than being a martyr in the rich tradition of the Church, she's just kind of an asshole who thinks paperwork is magic?

"I just love the idea that somehow Pope Francis is some complete rube, totally hoodwinked by a Kentucky clerk and her lyin' lawyers who've outwitted one of the oldest political institutions in the world with an elaborate support and information network in virtually every country. Yep, the Vatican is just some loosey-goose organization that just randomly meets with whomever might come their way because they're just so desperate for supporters."

It's wonderful to love your own ideas, but you might consider whether that accurately reflects what anyone here is saying.

"And perhaps it would be nice if you also made an effort to understand why his taking that meeting was an ugly act, when requested meetings by the group(s) that Davis targeted with her bigotry, and that the Pope and his Church have disparaged in statements and policies, were denied. "

Well, guess you should renounce Catholicism then. Not sure why it took you so long, but they'll no doubt miss you at mass.
posted by klangklangston at 11:31 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Make of it what you will, but the V is now talking about how Franky met a same-sex couple the day before Davis.

This was covered in the NY Times article linked above. One of them is a former student of the Pope, who knew him in his pre-Papal life and had previously visited him at the Vatican.
posted by zarq at 11:33 AM on October 2, 2015


Ah, so an even more significant connection than Kim Davis'!
posted by rhizome at 11:42 AM on October 2, 2015


> There's also a serious, longstanding argument to be made that the Jesus he seeks to emulate would condemn marriages for same-sex couples

Yep, that's why I'm not for everything Jesus advocated, but for people who advocate for compassion and caring for the weak. It's just been one of the more glaring problems with the Vatican when a Pope du jour seems to care more about a powerful and obedient church than compassion. I believe in showing appreciation when they make a step in the right direction. And while we're all, I hope, moving towards greater and greater acceptance of full human rights for all genders, there are still going to be a big hunk of people who stay in the church. (Remember, I live in Boston.) I'd like it if they get as little support for anti-gay bigotry from their church as possible.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:44 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, guess you should renounce Catholicism then. Not sure why it took you so long, but they'll no doubt miss you at mass.

Sure, because what the Pope does and says doesn't affect Church policies at all. Or the attitudes of Catholics. He obviously has zero influence on how any of the 1.1 billion Catholics feel about human rights issues. And none of those people have the slightest urge to impose their beliefs on the rest of us non-Catholics. Church officials and their followers would never, ever lobby for legislation that affects the rest of us, after all. Oh yeah, and the Pope's Church obviously has no influence (zero! nada!) at all on whether or not gay people across the planet are mistreated in the name of Catholicism. It's not like the Catholic Medical Association (with 900 member physicians, dentists and health care professionals) are pro-conversion therapy or anything.

*eyeroll*
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on October 2, 2015


Well, guess you should renounce Catholicism then. Not sure why it took you so long, but they'll no doubt miss you at mass.

Seriously?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:54 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Pope is, in fact, Catholic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


klang, zarq, I respect each of you, but you're both getting deep into the sarcasm and there's a serious risk of it putting a bitter edge to the start of your weekends. Can a friend suggest it's not the best way to have this argument?
posted by benito.strauss at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


*quietly deletes next smartass, blasphemous comment*

Okay. Thanks benito.
posted by zarq at 12:06 PM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think the Davis team is going to get traction from press statements based on fantasy.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2015


"It's not like the Catholic Medical Association (with 900 member physicians, dentists and health care professionals) are pro-conversion therapy or anything. "

You know I worked on SB 1172, right? Actual legislation to curtail straight-washing? Which got passed and then defended through both a state and federal lawsuit? That I routinely met with faith leaders on issues like that and marriage for same-sex couples, working to build support in the laity? That maybe, just maybe, that perspective is why the sturm und drang over Kim Davis seems a little ridiculous while Cordileone is still archbishop in San Francisco?
posted by klangklangston at 12:44 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


That maybe, just maybe, that perspective is why the sturm und drang over Kim Davis seems a little ridiculous while Cordileone is still archbishop in San Francisco?

The fact that shittier things are happening in the world, or even in the country, does not mean that people who are upset about merely shitty things in the same field deserve to be ridiculed.
posted by Etrigan at 12:46 PM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


You know I worked on SB 1172, right? Actual legislation to curtail straight-washing?

I gave your comment the response it deserved.

Not really interested in taking this further, Klang.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2015


The Vatican should send out a press releasing saying they're glad to finally see a protestant accept the Pope as a religious authority.
posted by drezdn at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


So the plot thickens: you know how the statement said that the Pope only granted an official audience to one person, a former student of his, and that person's family? Apparently, the former student is gay, and the family is his partner of 19 years. I assume that was an intentional leak to try to counteract the Kim Davis damage. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the Vatican right now!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Urgh. Shouldn't post before reading. You guys knew that already.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:11 PM on October 2, 2015


...you might consider whether that accurately reflects what anyone here is saying.

You mean like "Sounds to me like some rich Catholic wacko from Liberty Counsel slipped her into a group of donors and it got by the pope's vetting people... it sure don't sound like the pope knew he was meeting with her."

Or "...plays into the Esquire article theorizing that perhaps the Vatican's American embassy purposefully was trying to spoil the Pope's visit."

Or "...maybe the Pope actually wasn't completely aware of who she is."

So some people here were certainly expressing an idea (not necessarily their own, but reflecting the opinions of third parties) that the Pope got tricked into this meeting. I find that hilarious.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:37 PM on October 2, 2015


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