Without fail, with the new election of a Republican governor in Kentucky, bigotry and insanity followed. Newly elected Governor Matt Bevin decided he would take matters into his own hands and make it so folks like Kim Davis, who were elected to serve the public in its entirety, even LGBT citizens, can now feel guilt-free with their deity.
“Today, I took action to uphold several commitments I made during my campaign so that we can implement real solutions that will help the people of Kentucky. While I have been a vocal supporter of the restoration of rights, for example, it is an issue that must be addressed through the legislature and by the will of the people. As we move into the New Year and upcoming session, I look forward to working with legislators and stakeholders to build consensus and drive policy that makes a meaningful impact on the lives of all Kentuckians.”
However, “restoration of rights” is apparently for religious zealots to be able to get their way without consequence, because one of the executive orders was to get rid of the County Clerk’s name from marriage licences.
Here’s the executive order as signed by Bevin:
“To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky County Clerks. The name of the County Clerk is no longer required to appear on the form.“
So, at the end of the day, Kim Davis and her temper tantrum that landed her in prison for not doing her job, worked. She got her way.
Instead of simply abiding by the Constitution and making sure all elected officials serve all of the public equally, Bevin decided to write his own loophole for certain religious bigots who don’t want to do their job. Davis and these Republicans hate gay individuals so much that they can’t even allow their names to be on the same document with a same-sex couple. You know, cooties and all.
Bevin just basically endorsed Davis’ bigotry and hatred towards the gay community with a big old stamp of approval, or rather signature.
According to American Civil Liberties Union legal director William Sharp:
“Governor Bevin’s executive action has added to the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over marriage licensing in Kentucky. The requirement that the county clerk’s name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor — conceded by the previous administration in court filings.”
Republicans love to talk about executive overreach, but in truth, they seem to be the ones actually doing it when laws don’t suit their bigoted fancy. In saying he wanted this order to be a “restoration of rights” it is a slap in the face to the gay community. A community that has fought long and hard to just to have equal rights. What this order did was enable religious zealots to be as bigoted as they want to be without consequence. Marriage licences will still be issued to same-sex couples, but now bigots like Kim Davis don’t have to have their names on the licences.
Kim Davis is very proud of her actions, she just said in an interview, as she reflected on her bigoted actions:
“How ironic that God would use a person like me, who failed so miserably at marriage in the world, to defend it now. The Lord picks the unlikely source to convey the message.”
She, quite literally, sees herself as a hero and some sort of religious martyr for her prison time.
And no, this executive order isn’t a compromise. It’s bigoted executive overreach.
Featured image: video screengrab CNN