Gay Couple Gets Marriage License From Kim Davis Deputy

Sep 4, 2015

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

By Richard Fausset

A same-sex couple received a marriage license here on Friday, the first such couple to get one a day after the county clerk, Kim Davis, was jailed by a federal judge for refusing court orders to issue the licenses.

The couple, James Yates, 41, and William Smith, Jr., 33, entered the Rowan County Courthouse shortly after it opened, walking through throngs of protesters. Supporters of Ms. Davis yelled Bible passages and held up signs, including one briefly held up by Ms. Davis’s husband, Joe Davis, that read, “Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

On Thursday, Ms. Davis, who has become a symbol of religious opposition to same-sex marriage, was jailed for contempt after defying a federal court order to issue licenses to gay couples. She later rejected a proposal to allow her deputies to grant the licenses, which could have led to her release.

After one of Ms. Davis’s lawyers told a federal court on Thursday that she would not retreat from her stand Judge David L. Bunning secured commitments from five of Ms. Davis’s deputies to begin giving out the licenses.

“The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” Judge Bunning said in holding Ms. Davis in contempt. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

On Friday, Mr. Yates and Mr. Smith, with clasped hands and tight smiles, made their way through a dense thicket of reporters and photographers and stood before an employee of the clerk’s office, one of five who had told Judge Bunning the day before that they would issue licenses in Ms. Davis’s absence.


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98 comments on “Gay Couple Gets Marriage License From Kim Davis Deputy

  • @OP – Mr. Smith said he and Mr. Yates, who live here in this small Appalachian city, had tried to obtain a license several times, but were denied each time. They spoke softly as they conducted their business with Deputy Clerk Brian Mason, their voices barely audible in the din.

    Denying people their rightful license because of one person’s religious bigotry is an absolute disgrace.

    Hopefully she will remain in jail until she accepts her oath of duty to uphold the law, or resigns from her post if she is not up to the job!



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  • At this point, I believe charges should be filed against this woman. She had every opportunity to comply with the law.
    She violated the couples constitutional rights.
    I would like to see some jail time or a lawsuit filed for damages against her.



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  • The judge referred to her as an elected official, “swearing an oath”.
    I was looking around to see what sort of oath elected officials swear to in the USA. Here is a New York example:-

    http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/services/oath.shtml

    If you have been elected, appointed, or hired by the City of New York, you must file your Oath of Office with the City Clerk.

    The fee for an Oath of Office is $9 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.

    When you file an Oath of Office, you swear to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of New York, and the Charter of the City of New York.

    You also pledge to faithfully discharge the duties to which you have been elected, appointed, or hired to execute.

    I wonder if she swore this oath on the Bible?



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  • A brave woman! I certainly would not have the courage to beak any US laws given the trigger happy US police force. They should watch this woman closely. We are getting reports all he time in the UK of disgruntled US employees returning to work and gunning down former colleagues. I’m not arguing that she would do it, just that she demonstrates a fanaticism that indicates a few lose wires and given that 11 year olds in the US have access to guns and kill people with them, then it would only be prudent to watch this batshit crazy loon very carefully.



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  • She is typical of the extreme viewpoint the religious are taking now.
    “I believe in _______. You have to believe in _________ or else.”
    I just was having a discussion with a friend when his neighbor started his anti-government nonsense.
    We were discussing weather when he said “you can’t trust the government for anything’.
    I asked him where he gets his weather report if he doesn’t get it from NOAA.
    I guess he just looks up in the sky. I am so sick of listening to these idiots.
    Oh, I forgot to tell you I am an American………..big surprise…………..There seem to be an anti-gov, religious fever in my country.
    They can’t have their way so they are going to break the game.



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  • According to Deuteronomy 24:1-4, her current marriage is “an abomination before the Lord” (Credit: Steve Wells, “The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible”). She’s an olympic-level cherry-picker, or ignorant of her scriptures.

    Steve



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  • The c. p. Philoctetes,

    It’s not possible to watch all the batshit crazy loons in this place. They are ubiquitous. My current client, an elderly woman who obviously watches FOX news all day, got me aside and informed me that Obama hates paper money and is getting rid of it. Also the US dollar is weak because of Obama’s incompetence and won’t be the universal currency anymore (?!) and soon the “Chinese money” will be the universal currency. She probably has a closet full of guns somewhere.



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  • “given that 11 year olds in the US have access to guns”

    That’s quite a generalization; most don’t. On the other hand, I got my first gun on my 8th birthday.



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  • She’s in jail right now, having been found in contempt of court. The judge has ruled that she remain in jail until she agrees to issue marriage licenses to all, or she resigns…or until she rots, whichever comes first.

    Her deputy clerks, whom she forced to comply with her bigoted refusal to issue licenses, ought to file suit against her for creating an adversarial work environment and threatening their jobs and freedom as well.



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  • I agree entirely. (Sorry about my post about Glenn. That was asinine.) The rub is is that the Republicans (people like Cruz and Paul and Huckabee) will use that to their advantage (obviously), make a kind of martyr out of her. Awful and disturbing the way people distort things. (“Religious freedom.”)
    But I think she should, as you say, be prosecuted to the full extent of the law – regardless of how that will be used by the asshole Republicans.



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  • ubiquitous

    It is ubiquitous. (It’s been a while. How’s your garden?) What “place” are you talking about? where you work? the U.S.?
    But it is ubiquitous. Every other person I meet is a fanatic – and I live on the upper east side of Manhattan, where people are supposed to be “sophisticated.” I used to live on the west side, which is supposed to be more artsy, progressive. No different there.
    It’s a scary time. There’s madness in the air. Unreason and thinly veiled rage is ubiquitous.
    Perhaps Yeats’ Second Coming is at hand. I hope not.
    Without hope we die, as MLK said. But hope should not be at the expense of reason either. Is hope a form of faith, of unreason? I hope not.
    (Just thinking aloud, as it were.)



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  • I noticed you live on the Ol Pen.
    I live in OS. I am hearing this anti-gov nonsense everyday. And a “Obama is a muslim” thrown in for good measure.
    I had a nurse go off on me several weeks ago about the same crap. I had a nice talk with her supervisor. And it seems like everyday some ignorant idiot wants to argue about something. Today a person stated “I wouldn’t trust the government for a weather report”.
    I guess Don Trump now has a weather sat he can look at.
    (abbreviations for privacy)



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  • 16
    Miserablegit says:

    Good to the couple get their marriage license, now the focus will be on the old witch in the slammer and the right wing republican candidates who will attempt to turn her into a religious martyr.



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  • Christians love to play the victim and the oppressed. They feel that they get extra Jesus points for their “suffering”. However, in Ms. Davis’ case, all her suffering is self-inflicted. She could have stepped aside like any reasonable person would do once they realized that they could no longer fulfill the requirements of the job. But she chose to use her position as a platform to force her religious agenda on others by denying them their lawful rights.

    Now that she is in jail I’m sure she imagines that she’s racking up the Jesus points by being there and “suffering”. I have no sympathy whatsoever.



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  • “Christians love to play the victim and the oppressed. They feel that they get extra Jesus points for their “suffering”. However, in Ms. Davis’ case, all her suffering is self-inflicted. ”

    They’ve been doing this since the Roman Empire. Their preference for death rather than token words to the deity of the Emperor which was the cause of most of the (vastly overstated) ancient persecutions. Christianity flourished on “martyrdom” Islam flourishes on “martyrdom” . Christians “martyr” other christians and so do moslems. Both are disgusting cults of death and human sacrifice, its time the anthropologists turned their attention to the major religions in the developed world rather than copping out with “Cargo Cultures” of the Pacific and the 1001 varieties in the Amazon Jungle. I remember Richard Dawkins being asked how he felt about having to formally mumble a prayer in Latin at High Table. No problem he said, just meaningless words not meant.

    For a superb account of the fascinating era of transition in the Roman Empire to Christianity try:

    Robin Lane-Fox: “Pagans and Christians” – Viking ISBN 0670808482



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  • LaurieB
    Sep 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    My current client, an elderly woman who obviously watches FOX news all day, got me aside and informed me that Obama hates paper money and is getting rid of it.

    She has probably picked this up from some illiterate Faux-News report – which was attempting a sensationalised spun-version version of something like this!

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/news/2013/189.aspx
    The Bank of England is today announcing that the next £5 and £10 banknotes will be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic film, rather than on the cotton paper used for notes currently in issue.



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  • You’re absolutely correct. Remarriage to the same man, after divorce, remarriage to another man and subsequently divorcing him, is a full-on abomination. Perhaps her gaoling is the Lord’s revenge for her sin.



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  • eejit
    Sep 5, 2015 at 6:00 am

    You’re absolutely correct. Remarriage to the same man, after divorce, remarriage to another man and subsequently divorcing him, is a full-on abomination.

    This is according to the Bible on which she swore an oath to uphold the constitution and the law!

    What the rest of us fail to accept, is that read with faith-interpretation blinkers, and “faith-god-delusion-logic”, this qualifies her as an expert authority, dictating the requirements of marriage and the law to everyone else!
    Her god-delusion AND her evangelically deluded new husband told her so – so what do court judges know about laws???

    Not only that, but she also has supporting noises from a cheer-leading chorus of religious right politicians. (I wonder which oaths of office they swore on Bibles, when elected?)

    In England this script, would be in a theatrical presentation of a farce, or a comedy sketch show!



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  • One wonders if this woman’s aim has been to disrupt the issue of marriage licenses all along. She only got elected to her current position last November when same sex marriage was already legal in several states and had been ruled legal in Kentucky itself in Feb 2014 although this decision was appealed and reversed. Legal challenges were already heading to the Supreme Court and they didn’t rule until this June but the writing was on the wall. So why did she run for election to an office she knew she wouldn’t uphold in the near future? Also why did she also stop issuing heterosexual marriage licenses if the issue was with gays? It can only be an attempt to draw attention to the issue by causing as much disruption as possible regardless of her oath of office.

    She might have retained just the tiniest shred of credibility but for this last point but one has to say that continuing to take a salary for issuing no licenses at all is so despicable that I’m not surprised the judge ignored pleas to just fine her and locked her up straightaway. Theoretically she could stay in prison for ever. Contempt of court has no time limit. She will get opportunities to apologise to the court and purge her contempt but if she chooses not to she will stay in jail indefinitely. I have no problem with that. It keeps one more nutter off the streets.

    I suspect she has done irreparable damage to the theist cause which I’m also quite happy about. Middle of the road religious types must look at this and see the crazy leaking out everywhere. Only those already batshit can support this flagrant refusal to uphold the law and her oath of office.



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  • Vicki
    Sep 5, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Indeed. The willful stubbornness would be laughable if it weren’t so pervasive.

    It does seem on your link, that straightforward interpretations of the law are being refused by incompetent prevaricating lower courts, so that the supreme court has to make judgements on any matter religiously deluded judges don’t like, while those lower court judges babble rebellious nonsense as expressions of their resentment at being corrected!



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  • Hi Dan,

    Welcome back. I did notice that you were MIA for a while. I live in a suburb of Boston where we would also expect people to be more progressive but we have the strong effect of the Catholic church here and also the remnants of some old New England yankee puritan mentality holding on too.

    I really wish I could say that if we mind our business and don’t discuss religion or politics then we won’t have these uncomfortable encounters but this is wishful thinking from my experience. I’ve mentioned before that my parents and most of the extended family are a bunch of Tea Party Republican nuts so I have no way to avoid them and I try to take their browbeating with an air of detachment and if they gang up on me I inflict guilt on them for selfishness and cruelty.

    But it’s not just happening in the family as you pointed out above. It’s happening in every other interaction outside the home too. When I’m at the hairdresser at least one woman in that room will initiate a discussion where Obama is the evil devil. At work or standing in line at the bank it happens too. I can’t even pull weeds in my garden out front without that deluded weirdo evangelical woman down the street coming over to blame the latest incident of violence on the fact that they got rid of prayer in schools.

    It’s very difficult to be patient but luckily I have some decades of practice. This is me putting a positive spin on this situation and I want full credit for that. 🙂



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  • Alan4discussion,

    Oh yes. It’s definitely straight out of Faux-news. There’s a behavioral tip-off I can count on for this conspiracy bullshit – it’s that long-faced victimhood expression they love to make while mentioning some sort of outrageous policy that Obama is doing or imminently going to do. If you’ve never seen it done then watch Bill Maher as he imitates it on every show. I’m now in the habit of automatically laughing at his imitation and can’t restrain myself from laughing when I see it done in all seriousness by the Foxers in real life. Pavlovian response I suppose.



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  • madengr

    I grew up with guns in our home and in my grandparents home as well. There is a big rack of rifles in that house even today. Not only that, my dad and grandfather modeled behavior that I now find to be questionable but at the time nobody gave it a second thought. In front of kids in their family they sometimes looked out at their vegetable gardens, saw groundhogs eating their plants, loaded their guns and shot the critter dead right out through the open window. My grandfather once grabbed a pellet gun, shot at a red squirrel and dinged my younger brother in the head (thankfully it was only the pellet gun and from a long distance) where he was playing with our cousins. He only suffered a surface wound. Don’t feel bad about it. It’s the American way!

    Something annoying you? Grab your gun and shoot it! Just shoot the bastard. Who cares if kids are watching. o_O



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  • 35
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Theoretically she could stay in prison for ever. Contempt of court has no time limit. She will get opportunities to apologise to the court and purge her contempt but if she chooses not to she will stay in jail indefinitely. I have no problem with that.

    I don’t either but in fact, I can’t wait till she comes out… because there is no doubt in my mind that she will. Right now she is filled with self-righteous “holier-than-thou” pride and sees herself as a heroic martyr for God (insert Wagnerian music passage here). But in a few weeks, a few months from now, the reality of life in prison will eventually sink in.

    This woman is no hardcore criminal and she has no previous experience of the prison environment. I think she will fold very quickly. My money is on one month at the most.

    The other aspect of this story that strikes me is the utter hypocrisy of this foolish, hateful woman with regard to her pretenses of “upholding the sacred institution of marriage” and the comical irony of her own marital history. She has been married four times, divorced three times and had twins out of wedlock from a boyfriend she was having an affair with while still married with husband no. 1… and there’s more (as the TYT video below attests). I guess she skipped the parts in the Bible about how divorce and adultery are supposed to be mortal sins.

    Looks like Ms. Davis “ain’t gwinne up to hibbin” after all despite all those Jeeesus brownie points she’s racking up…

    The one consistent thing I’ve noticed with Christian fundamentalists in all these years is that the more righteous they pretend to be, the more skeletons they have in their closet. Their pathetic attempts to attract attention to their so-called sacred cause only serves in the end to attract attention on how fucked up and ugly they really are.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=128zynNK2KQ



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  • Olgun,

    Ha. When I say that something is “sick” it’s a bad thing. When the 20-somethings say “sick” it’s a good thing. Now when they say that such and such is “sick” I respond with, “Is that sick-good or sick-bad?” Then I get the look that means, “You are an archaic object worthy of pity.”



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  • Perhaps her gaoling is the Lord’s revenge for her sin.

    According to the Bible, the Lord likes and requires a good human sacrifice from time to time. She should get down on her knees and show a little appreciation, don’t you think so?



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  • I have been following this on our local news down under and on this site. I can understand the contempt of court issue but why was it allowed to get to that stage. Why was she not stood down or dismissed from her public office for failing to carry out her duties.

    Like most people on this site she and her ilk piss me off but I still feel sorry for her, she is just a poor silly who has been indoctrinated since birth.



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  • Martyn
    Sep 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Why was she not stood down or dismissed from her public office for failing to carry out her duties.

    I’m guessing, but it is probably because the faith-head muppets who would sack her, are the same faith-head muppets who appointed her. They don’t like complying with the law either, and use the similar faith-thinking, which says those in authority can just make up administration to suit themselves providing they share the same biases! (they KNOW by faith, “the right way” from “the wrong way”, without any need for study of the law or training!)

    I would find it interesting, as to how her son (Backing his mum in her stupidity), came to be one of her deputies in a public office?



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  • Martyn,

    she is just a poor silly who has been indoctrinated since birth.

    There are plenty of poor sillies who have been indoctrinated as children. If they keep their delusional thinking to themselves then I have no problem with them. I do have some sympathy for those people but then there are those who feel it is their duty to inflict their beliefs on everyone around them and cause a good deal of harm. Their brains have been hijacked and I have no guilt whatsoever for pushing them back to a neutral position with the minimal amount of force that it would require. Remember that there is a large victim class that we’re talking about here and many of them have no way to fight for their own rights. Those of us who have the ability and enough safety and security in this life should do what’s ethically correct and speak out and contribute to those who are already doing so.

    Helping those who are suffering is an ethical obligation not to be taken lightly. I only learned about ethics as an adult, much later than I should have, but here’s my quick way of deciding whether I’m dealing with the first type of silly or the second type:

    Is there harm being done here? Can I reasonably do anything to eliminate or mitigate the harm? If yes then I’m obligated to do so. Walking away at that point is an ethical fail.



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  • I’m positive too: if the human species is annihilated we will most likely be replaced by some other species, and life will continue. Moreover, there is Justice.—Nature, as Ibsen said (in The Wild Duck), will get her (its) revenge. (I was watching YouTube videos of Tsunamis last night with my sister. Sad, yes – but I also felt a certain gratification; we are powerless against nature. I thought of all those Republicans as I watched the footage. My point? Not sure. Something like la politique du pire: let things get worse. Let the worst case scenario unfold. Then things might get better, people’s armor will be be penetrated, and we will be made made stronger (less arrogant, more humane, and more respectful of science and reason) or killed in the process.
    That bleak and final scenario aside, I do think there is reason to be hopeful about the future of American life and life on this crazy planet: we are, fortunately, not the only ones who are up in arms about these “loons” I do hope that there are people who (unlike myself) do a bit more than belly-aching. (Then again, we can’t all be activists, and there is more than one way to…er, skin a cat. (Sorry. I love all animals, but I couldn’t think of another expression.)

    (David Mamet, of all people, is now a born again conservative, I understand. Ubiquitous is right. This poison is infecting everyone. He is also religious. Big surprise.)

    The Republicans rely upon the “stupid majority.” Here’s an excerpt from The Big Empty. Mailer’s son is interviewing his now deceased father ( a most profound critic of American life):

    JBM: My question is, Why is the chain never broken?

    NM: The reason may be that there are too many strong and skilled people who
    spend their lives working to keep the chain intact. They labor at it
    reverently. So they succeed in keeping the majority stupid, even if in a
    democracy it’s just fifty-two percent of the voting populace. They know so well
    that stupidity is their greatest asset, their political mojo. They work,
    systematically, to enhance it. They take pride in generating more and more
    stupidity even as advertising men take pride in selling a piece of crap. After
    all, anyone can market a Rolls Royce. But try palming off sleaze on a big
    scale. Hell, yeah! “Bring ’em on.”



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  • Sue Blue
    Sep 4, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Her deputy clerks, whom she forced to comply with her bigoted refusal to issue licenses, ought to file suit against her

    @OP link:- Kentucky law says that a marriage license must contain “an authorization statement of the county clerk issuing the license,” which same-sex marriage advocates note is standard language, preprinted on the form. State law does not require a clerk’s signature on the license; to be valid, it must have “the signature of the county clerk or deputy clerk issuing the license.

    If it was not so serious , it would be like the old joke!

    “How many Kentucky clerks and deputies does it taker to change a light bulb – err issue a marriage license?
    We might have thought that when taxpayers were paying all seven, they might have been able to manage at least one license and SOME satisfied customers!!!

    @ OP link – Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the conservative legal [homophobic] group representing Ms. Davis, insisted the licenses were void because they were issued under her authority but without her authorization.
    “They are not worth the paper they’re written on,” he said.

    . . . . . . Speaking as a faith-head wearing faith interpretation blinkers, while spouting wish-thinking nonsense to doubt-monger and confuse!

    These deluded clowns, really do think that the world will stop and wait for them, if THEY refuse to function!

    @OP link:- Mr. Staver said that as long as Ms. Davis was the county clerk and the wording of the licenses made it clear that they were issued under the authority of her office, her rights were being violated.

    This is utter nonsense. She is not the personification of her office! In her absence her deputies will take over the responsibilities, – as they would if she was killed in a motor accident!
    In view of her removal for contempt of court and administrative dysfunction, no doubt some faith thinkers will be wilfully unable to see the division between personal views and the legally required state duties and responsibilities of her department.

    The duties associated with her office are secular, and have nothing to do with her personal views or beliefs.
    She may argue that she has a right to step aside and let her deputies issue licences, but she has no right to impose or intrude her personal religious beliefs on the workings of her state office departmental duties or responsibilities.

    If she had a problem with these, she should not have taken the job and sworn an oath to uphold them in the first place.

    The appointment was that of a clerk – not an of absolute monarch!



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  • Maybe its a conspiracy. The loonies seek easy victories in the lower courts forcing the supreme court to overturn them, giving them more publicity for the martyrdom they are so eager to gain. Win-win if it shows the Supreme Court to be run by the antichrist (or normal people in our terms). It all helps to prove that the US establishment is anti-christian.
    The downside of course is that it lowers respect for the law, such that every one now takes it into their own hands and instead of proportional sentences, you get shot for looking askance.
    I appreciate in the UK we are presented with a very selective view of life in the US, but it is uniformly and depressingly negative. Society does seem to be disintegrating giving grist to the christian mill that it is all about the decline in “christian moral values”.
    In other words every time these batshit crazy religious idiots lose, – they win – which means everybody else loses.
    Must listen to some Jazz to revive my faith in the american contribution to the world.



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  • She swore an oath on the bible to uphold the constitution and the laws of the US and the state of Kentucky.

    She either lied to god, or she swore a false oath, that is a criminal offence.

    Produce and publish the signed, notarized oath she swore to take her county clerk job. Point out to her supporters the that she lied on oath, with her hand on the sacred bible. Or, she doesn’t support the constitution of the US of A which makes her a good’ol traitor. Either way, she’s a hypocrite.



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  • Dan,

    Let the worst case scenario unfold

    I laughed when I read this because someone I know once said, “If I was all powerful I’d let those Tea Partiers have their scary dystopia that they are asking for, just to teach them a lesson, as long as I had a magic switch to shut it off when I couldn’t take it anymore.”



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  • There are protesters chanting Jesus, Jesus, Jesus outside the jail and outside the marriage licence office. Christians claim that the only sin worth fretting over is homosexuality. Oddly Jesus had precisely 0 words to say about it or same sex marriage.



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  • Scofflaws

    Particularly in the USA, every once in a while someone openly refuses to obey some law such as:

    refusing to wear a bike helmet.

    drinking and driving.

    driving while chatting on a cellphone.

    refusing to pay taxes.

    refusing to serve blacks or gays. E.g. Kim Davis (marriage licence clerk) and Jack Phillips (wedding cake baker)

    refused to serve gays.

    placing religious symbols on public property.

    indoctrinating non-Christian kids with Christianity in public schools.

    The law does not care why you refuse. They will put you in jail for contempt. However, people offer a variety of excuses that they imagine are valid in law:

    I don’t wanna.

    My personal religion (that I made up by cherry picking) says I should not have to obey the law.

    God told me I should not have to.

    If people could avoid any laws they wanted to that easily, there would be no point to law. These resistors are so totally focused on having things their way, they fail to see the big picture. For example, tax resistors still expect water, police and fire service funded by other people paying taxes.

    If you don’t like the laws, lobby to change them. Then the police will be helping enforce them the way you want.



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  • Nice post Roedy. They scream. “IT IS MY RIGHT TO DO…” (Insert one of Roedy’s list of some other inane and irrelevant right here.)

    But the “R” word RIGHT, has a twin “R” word, RESPONSIBILITY.

    With every claim of a RIGHT, there goes an implicit RESPONSIBILITY. “It’s my right to refuse to wear a helmet while riding a motor bike.” Fine, but it is your responsibility to pay for your care as a quadriplegic when you break your neck. “It’s my right to refuse to pay taxes.”. Fine, but you forfeit any right to services, paid for by those taxes, and you are responsible for any costs that you incur, that would have been funded by those taxes. “It’s my right to text on my cell phone while I drive.” Absolutely, but it is your responsibility to pay for the deaths and injuries you cause when you crash into my 3 year old grand child.

    It’s my right to refuse to issue marriage licences to gay people because god told me so.” Fine. I support your right to follow your religion, however it is your responsibility as a god / bible sworn holder of public office to fulfill the duties of that position. You have to choose. If your rights are more important to you than your responsibilities, then you forfeit the RIGHT to hold a position in public office, that requires you to behave in a RESPONSIBLY legal manner. Resign.



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  • Google baby moles. You won’t kill one again. My father was like that. “have to keep the animals out of the yard”.
    I learn to live with them. Even the moles. I have bears that wander down the road, deer in my yard and raccoons come to play in my pond.
    I wouldn’t trade it for the world.



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  • Good distinction. Kant himself couldn’t have put it better. He might have said “categorical imperative” instead of “ethical obligation” but he was always a bit wordy. Ex: he used the word synthesis all the time, instead of combination.



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  • NearlyNakedApe
    Sep 5, 2015 at 10:09 am

    The one consistent thing I’ve noticed with Christian fundamentalists in all these years is that the more righteous they pretend to be, the more skeletons they have in their closet.

    It looks this self-important hypocrite, is going to discover to her cost, via the media and the court, the parts of her Bible (which like her oath of office), she did not bother to read or understand, before waving it over her personal bigotry as a badge of authoritative self-righteousness!

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A1-5&version=KJV
    7.1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.



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  • Absolutely, but it is your responsibility to pay for the deaths and injuries you cause when you crash into my 3 year old grand child.

    If it is unlawful, then he does not have the right to text while driving. No sentence or financial payment would be sufficient to compensate for the death of your grandchild?

    Re the taxes – are there any services that can be refused to religious organisations based on their non-payment of taxes?

    Given the current advances in driverless car technology I wonder if/when it will be illegal (except in emergencies) to manually drive a car on a public road.



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  • David R Allen
    Sep 6, 2015 at 6:13 am

    p.s. Alan4D. Do you know what has happened to Phil Rimmer. Miss his comments.

    I miss them too. I think he got fed-up with some of the irrational responses to his posts, and went to post elsewhere.
    I have seen one comment from him back here since.



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  • Another bit the god botherers don’t often quote from their sacred book is John 8:3-11, the Woman Taken in Adultery. Kim D might like to take note of this, while contemplating in the peace of her cell (a word borrowed by Victorian penology from medieval monasticism) He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,followed by …go and sin no more.

    It always beats me how they can be so judgemental about all things gay, but never about things political, military and business, when their guru spent his whole public life preaching against hypocrisy, greed, violence and in support of love.

    They regard the Old Testament as being current, whilst Christ preached that his was the new and eternal covenant Matthew, 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22; 20. They like the Old Testament because it is full of stern rules, rubrics, punishments, capricious violence delivered by God and his angels, vengeance, racism and patriarchy. The New Testament is kinder, gentler and more egalitarian, not pleasing to the Neo Cons and the Tea Party. God seems to have turned soft and liberal, and not the type to support business, social repression and militarism.

    Still, as I said before, it’s not our place to get into scriptural arguments with them.



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  • If some of them were from me then I am sorry Phil, I was learning so much.

    I didn’t catch the format before but people were complaining about this new one when I joined. I wonder if the change had something to do with it also? People don’t like change, no matter how in tune with the phycology they are.



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  • I see the know-it-all yahoo-chorus of deluded, ignorant, wish-thinkers, have gathered to pretend she is a hero, and to pontificate on what is US law!

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kim-davis-supporters-say-kentucky-clerk-isnt-breaking-law-defying-n422376

    Supporters of Jailed Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Rally to Her Defense

    “A Supreme Court decision is the law. Full stop,” said Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford University law professor and expert on Supreme Court practice. “When the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution, the Supreme Court’s words become the law,” he added.

    Steve Vladeck, a professor at the American University Washington College of Law specializing in federal jurisdiction and constitutional law, agreed. But either way, Vladek said, the argument about the Supreme Court is irrelevant.

    “She’s being held in contempt because she’s refusing to follow a district court decision in a suit to which she is a party, holding that same-sex couples have a right to obtain marriage licenses from her,” Vladek said. “It’s hard to think of any way in which she could be more directly violating a judicial judgment by which she is bound.”

    Some traveled from outside Kentucky to support the embattled clerk, held in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Thursday and sent to jail until she agrees to follow the court’s order.

    Later, Davis’ attorney, Mat Staver, said he had spoken with his client, who remains hopeful that a judge, the governor or lawmakers will allow her to be exempt from issuing licenses to gay couples based on her claims of religious freedom.

    Davis is willing to remain in jail until her request is met, Staver said, adding that she is a “prisoner of her conscience.”

    A life sentence perhaps if refusal of recognition of the rule of law persists??? It’s about time some public examples were made of those who are determined to be martyred to their own bigotry and stupidity!
    She could of course be released, if she is impeached and dismissed, as she would no longer be capable of complying with the court order!



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  • I see that Santorum has now said she’s heroic, joining Huckabee, Jindal and others in support of her. Huckabee is apparently going to visit her in jail. I am beyond dumbfounded. These candidates for the Presidency are stating that their delusional religious beliefs override one’s oath of office or even an order of the Supreme Court. In any other western country that would be political suicide. It’s tantamount to promising that if elected they wouldn’t obey the rule of law.

    Of course we’ll never know what they really believe because these people are the most flagrant and promiscuous liars on the planet, saying whatever they think their base wants to hear. But the fact that there is a base out there that wants to hear things like this is horrific.

    I watched Mitt Romney change every opinion he’d ever espoused at the last election as he morphed from a pro choice, pro universal healthcare, left of centre moderate when he was pandering to the Massachusetts electorate into a pro life, anti Obamacare right wing fundamentalist when he was pandering to the Tea Party and middle American republicans. I suppose all it really means is that when the electorate change then so will the politicians.



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  • 64
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    She could of course be released, if she is impeached and dismissed, as she would no longer be capable of complying with the court order!

    Sure but the impeachment process is a long and complicated affair so I doubt that will happen. There’s no doubt in my mind that she richly deserves it however so it’s a shame she won’t. I hope they pair her with a lesbian as her cellmate, someone like Big Boo in “Orange is The New Black”. Now that would be a hoot…



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  • 65
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I think what BIll Maher said several years ago pretty much sums it up…

    The Democrats have moved from the center to the right and the Republicans have moved from the right to a mental institution.



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  • alf1200

    I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    I feel the same way. I like to get up early and have coffee outside and watch the bunnies cavorting on the lawn. So adorable. My neighbors on the other hand, cut down a gorgeous huge apple tree that was between our houses but officially on their property. My kids grew up watching that tree bloom in spring. Watched birds building nests and raising chicks from their bedroom windows. Watched squirrels playing in it. Then the tree crew showed up and obliterated the tree one day. I spent the whole day upset and crying over the tree. When I asked them why they would do such a thing their answer was, “It attracted too much nature.” WTF



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  • David R Allen
    Sep 6, 2015 at 6:13 am

    p.s. Alan4D. Do you know what has happened to Phil Rimmer. Miss his comments.

    You could be missing mine, if the over-enthusiastic anti-spam filter does not stop blocking my on-topic comments.



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  • Miserablegit,

    Don’t call that nasty bigot a witch. I live near Salem, MA and have met several women who self-label as witches. They’re very nice. Sort of like spiritual people or other wooists. Those modern day Salem witches aren’t bothering anyone as far as I can see. Not like Kim Davis the psycho who is bothering pretty much everyone at this point.



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  • I really wish Phil would reconsider and come back. It’s not about the format. He got pissed off over some comments on certain threads a while back.

    Phil, come on back. Let’s work this out.



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  • Dan,

    Kant was wordy?!

    I of-all-people, will never accuse anyone of being wordy. Pot-kettle-black!! I need one of those slash and burn type of editors. My friend told me that my emails should be slashed by fifty percent right away and then reorganized for content. She’s right and everyone laughed when she said so because it’s the honest truth. I immediately forgive Kant. Please don’t think I’m putting myself on any level close to Kant. I have previously disclosed that I’m a Philosophy dumbbell of the first order. 🙂

    Ethical *obligation is from a textbook I read once on business ethics (oxymoron?) that my daughter left here from a college course.



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  • Jesus didn’t dig chicks. It’s a damn pity that Jesus wasn’t more “out” with his lifestyle choice. He would have saved us a whole lot of aggravation and suffering and we wouldn’t be all ruffled up by people like Kim Davis and her ilk.



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  • LaurieB

    Laurie (Mind if I leave out the B?),

    I don’t think you’re a philosophical “dumbbell” for what that’s worth, and that distinction you made was a very precise and important ethical distinction.

    I was sort of joking about Kant, although I don’t know why he insists on saying “synthesis” all the time, as opposed to “combination.” That’s just one example.

    Wordiness is not necessarily a quantitative thing. It’s more qualitative. If I use a word superfluously, try to incorporate big words, that don’t really fit, into my sentence, I am being wordy (trying to impress and rendering my thought less meaningful in the process). Example: “You see those birds over there? They’re very…uh, cumbersome and surreal, parenthetical.”

    That aside, “quantity does [or can] change quality”, as Engels said. For better or for worse – or not at all.

    D

    P.S. I’d love to see Dawkins when he gets to NY. Damned expensive, though. Will you pay for my ticket?



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  • What happened to people? I had two crows born in my pine tree this year. They made quite a noisy pair but I enjoyed them. They got used to me and come down to just stare at me. Of course I stared back.
    I like to put it this way, if a crow was bright red with blue stripes, would we not hate them?
    Of course some asked why I didn’t destroy their nest. I would sooner tear down their house.



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  • This was a willfull and deliberate attempt to circumvent the Supreme court. She knew she would have sign the paperwork when she took the job.
    I don’t feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for the victims. And this isn’t JUST about religious rights. This is about the laws
    It is still illegal to rent a room in some states if you are a minority. It is illegal in some states to perform a interracial marriage.
    This is not Christianistan. This is the US.



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  • alf1200

    Those corvids are smarter than the dummies who want to tear down their nest. I’d love to get some crows or especially ravens in my area to observe them. I read the book Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf Birds by Bernt Heinrich. It was really great. I’m pretty sure that if I litter my yard with fresh carcasses they’ll show up. 🙂



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  • Dan,

    Definitely leave off the B. Years ago my daughters set up my profile and screen name on this site and I think it’s a typo that they jammed the B onto the end of my name like that. They were cute little atheists then. Now they’re 20-something atheists who gleefully point out my use of logical fallacies especially when I’m trying to make certain corrections with their attitudes. I’m paying the price for teaching them rules of debate!

    I do see what you mean about wordiness. It’s not easy to judge the extent to which I should employ my vocabulary to the fullest though. What if I’m dumbing it down and someone can perceive it. Won’t they be insulted? A few days ago in conversation with friends I used the phrase “ex-tempore” and they stared at me like I was a lunatic. I’m going to see them on Wednesday evening to discuss the book Parasite Rex by Zimmer and I’ll make sure to use the word parenthetical.

    Will you pay for my ticket?

    Dan, stop crying poormouth. Everyone knows that you’re from Manhattan and must therefore be filthy rich. Just charge it up Mr. Moneybags!



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  • Dan, I live amongst older and a rural crowd. It seems like every other day some wahoo wants to start an argument.
    Yesterday one climate denier got in my face when I remarked about the storm we just received.
    He came over and glared at me and said” you can’t trust the government for anything”.
    This guy worked for Delta airlines and I would guess they use weather reports.
    Ever other day I listen to this right wing hate.
    I got blasted by a nurse about a month ago. I had a long talk with her supervisor.
    These people are angry and looking for conflict. These are the bullys in the bully party.
    I’m tired of living in a country that is falling apart.



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  • Two months ago I threw out my neighbor and his wife. I tried to be patient but when she came over drunk and calling Obama the “devil’ , I had enough.
    Her husband is an “Christian”. He is the most arrogant rude idiot I have ever tried to be patient with.
    Uneducated, janitor and he thinks people with educations just “know big words”.
    Typical right wing voters.



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  • eejit,

    That sounds like an excellent plot for a dystopia novel. The ending would leave us wondering if our species could manage to reproduce often enough to avoid extinction.



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  • LaurieB
    Sep 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    and we wouldn’t be all ruffled up by people like Kim Davis and her ilk.

    Fundigelicals like Kim Davis don’t read and comprehend, oaths, laws, Bibles etc.
    They wear them as badges of authority for their god-delusions.

    What the documents actually say in the text, is of no consequence to them. – Indeed – if it contradicts their views, it is obviously in need of more “talented interpretation” by people who will tell them what they want to hear!



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  • Alan4discussion,

    Fundigelicals like Kim Davis don’t read and comprehend, oaths, laws, Bibles etc.

    Indeed, I have noticed that quite often. It’s curious how two people can read the same material and come with two completely different interpretations!



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  • According to Sir Karl Popper, Aristotle didn’t get the top job in the Academy because he was not homosexual. In a fit of peek, he went off and set up the Lyceum. Perhaps the idea is not so far fetched!



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  • 88
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Yes It’s called cherry-picking and it’s the fundamentalist’s national sport. Logic, intellectual honesty and consistency is most strongly discouraged in the wonderful world of Bible thumpers and facts don’t matter one bit.

    The only thing they care about is imposing their deluded, ignorant and twisted worldview on everybody else. If these people had the law and the constitution on their side, the USA would be a very ugly place indeed. I think the label “American Taliban” is no exaggeration.

    The worst irony of it all is that it is thanks to secularism that people like Kim Davis isn’t on the Inquisitor’s torture table. In a world ruled by the Bible, her adultery and multiple divorces would probably be painted as “demonic possession” by Scalia and she’d get the death penalty as a result.

    Like the old proverb says… be careful what you wish for…



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  • N.N. Ape

    Check out the plot of a novel that I loved: Christian Nation: A Novel, by Frederic C. Rich.

    The rest of this comment box is from the Amazon page:

    “They said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do.”

    So ends the first chapter of this brilliantly readable counterfactual novel, reminding us that America’s Christian fundamentalists have been consistently clear about their vision for a “Christian Nation” and dead serious about acquiring the political power to achieve it. When President McCain dies and Sarah Palin becomes president, the reader, along with the nation, stumbles down a terrifyingly credible path toward theocracy, realizing too late that the Christian right meant precisely what it said.
    In the spirit of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, one of America’s foremost lawyers lays out in chilling detail what such a future might look like: constitutional protections dismantled; all aspects of life dominated by an authoritarian law called “The Blessing,” enforced by a totally integrated digital world known as the “Purity Web.” Readers will find themselves haunted by the questions the narrator struggles to answer in this fictional memoir: “What happened, why did it happen, how could it have happened?”



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  • I understand that this release is on condition that she does not interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

    This crucial information does not seem to feature prominently in some US media reports!

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-set-released-jail/story?id=33601309
    Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Released From Jail

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stood alongside Davis and her attorney, Mat Staver, outside the jail, calling her “incredibly brave.”

    Staver did not respond when asked if Davis would interfere with her deputy clerks issuing marriage licenses to all couples. Staver said, “Kim Davis cannot and will not violate her conscience,” adding that, “her conscience remains cleared.”

    Apparently in the in the Davis camp any rational brain cells have also been cleared out of the way!!

    At a rally this afternoon outside the jail following Davis’ release, Huckabee and Staver took the stage. Huckabee said, “We gather here today to say we will not surrender to the tyranny of one branch of government.”

    Staver said at the rally that Davis will return to work later this week.

    “God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” Davis told the judge before she was taken away by a U.S. marshal. “You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul.”

    Davis has refused to resign from her post.

    The delusion is strong in this one – just as the understanding of, and commitment to, the legal duty she has sworn to carry out is feeble!



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  • washingtonpost.com
    © 1996-2015 The Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/09/08/judge-orders-kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-released-from-jail/

    Kim Davis released from jail, ordered not to interfere with same-sex marriage licenses

    GRAYSON, Ky. — Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been released from jail, five days after she was held in contempt by a federal judge amid an escalating standoff over marriage licenses.

    Davis was jailed at the Carter County Detention Center on Thursday after she refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples. The following day, her deputies began issuing the documents in her absence.

    As a condition of her release Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses by her office.

    “Kim Davis cannot, will not violate her conscience,” her attorney Mat Staver said outside the jail, with Davis by his side. Asked if that meant she would refuse to issue licenses, he promised that people would “find out in the near future.”

    It remains to see if the defiance continues – egged on by the legally incompetent deluded!


    Kim Davis released from jail, ordered not to interfere with same-sex marriage licenses
    Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis has been released from jail, five days after she was held in contempt by a federal judge amid an escalating standoff over marriage licenses.

    GRAYSON, Ky. — Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been released from jail, five days after she was held in contempt by a federal judge amid an escalating standoff over marriage licenses.

    Davis was jailed at the Carter County Detention Center on Thursday after she refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples. The following day, her deputies began issuing the documents in her absence.

    As a condition of her release Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses by her office.

    “Kim Davis cannot, will not violate her conscience,” her attorney Mat Staver said outside the jail, with Davis by his side. Asked if that meant she would refuse to issue licenses, he promised that people would “find out in the near future.”

    He added, “She loves God, she loves people, she loves her work, and she will not betray any of those three.”

    In Tuesday’s two-page order, Bunning said he is satisfied that the county clerk’s office is now complying with the court’s ruling.

    He also ordered that Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples” in Rowan County. If she does interfere, Bunning wrote, the court will consider “appropriate sanctions.”



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  • The article went on to say Davis’ attorney claims all licenses issued without her endorsement are void. It will be interesting to watch this play out.



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  • Vicki
    Sep 8, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The article went on to say Davis’ attorney claims all licenses issued without her endorsement are void. It will be interesting to watch this play out.

    This faith-thinking lawyer is making up all sorts of wishful babble for the media.

    One of the earlier links on this discussion, https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/09/gay-couple-gets-marriage-license-from-kim-davis-deputy/#li-comment-185492 – made it clear from legal expert advice, that the legal authority rested with the office of clerk, NOT her personally, so any deputy acting in the role of a deputy in her absence or whatever, would be issuing valid documents.



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  • I want to raise an issue that this case has brought to my attention, that of elected officials in the USA. Here in the UK very few officials are directly elected by public vote. Basically the 650 members of parliament, 73 european MEPs and a small handful of mayors including the Mayor of London. Once a general election has decided which political party is to take power then that party appoints all other public officials. The Prime Minister and his deputy are not publicly elected unlike the President and VP in the USA. They are chosen by the party and like Margaret Thatcher was they can be replaced in the same way.

    In the USA the number of publicly elected officials is staggering. Google it – over half a million. They range from judges, police chiefs, coroners, council officials even dog catchers. Theoretically this might promote democracy but in practice it means that in a country where atheism carries a stigma and many people will not vote for an atheist then every elected public official is under pressure to claim religiosity so as to not alienate that vote.

    Dawkins made the point forcefully in his just released conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson that it’s a disgrace that every member of congress claims to be religious when it’s absurd to think that all of them are and that lying like this should preclude them from public office.

    The judge in the Kitzmiller Intelligent Design trial said he was a churchgoer before trashing the ID case and stating that defense witnesses had lied under oath. The judge in this Kentucky case said the same about himself before jailing Davis for contempt of court. In fact I doubt you’ll find an elected judge in the USA who’ll admit to being an atheist although many (most) of them must be.

    These elected officials represent a huge swathe of the actual administrative power in the USA. They are difficult to remove from office other than by impeachment. They must sway the true statistics about religiosity vs atheism by a considerable amount and they foster the continuation of religiosity and the public perception of how much religiosity there really is.

    In essence it means that a substantial part of the entire backbone of federal government, state government and local government power in the USA is composed of liars. They lie to get elected and then continue to lie to get re-elected. I offer no solution but the Davis case has brought home to me how massive a problem this must be to the cause of secularism and reasoned as opposed to faith based thinking.

    There is supposed to be separation of church and state in the USA but it seems the very mechanism of government is unfortunately designed to continue to intertwine them.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich
    Sep 9, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Once a general election has decided which political party is to take power then that party appoints all other public officials.

    A key difference, is that previously appointed UK officials remain in office, so there is a buffer against instant political bias or upheaval.

    In the USA the number of publicly elected officials is staggering. Google it – over half a million. They range from judges, police chiefs, coroners, council officials even dog catchers. Theoretically this might promote democracy but in practice it means that in a country where atheism carries a stigma and many people will not vote for an atheist then every elected public official is under pressure to claim religiosity so as to not alienate that vote.

    It also means that the US selection is by the public, most of whom have no competence in understanding the duties of the officials..
    In the UK politicians make appointments, but are expected to take advice from professionals in doing so – with some posts requiring professional qualifications.

    Also, the UK appointments are often made by committees which have a balance of membership, reflecting proportions of representation in the government or on the council etc.



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  • It also strikes me how radically different government jobs are in the USA compared to the private sector. In the latter there is very little job security, you can be fired on a whim, you get minimal vacation time compared to European countries and many people are afraid to even take what holiday allowance they do get in case it’s seen as reflecting badly on them. I had a friend over here in the 70s in my teens whose mother was American. He had dual citizenship and went to America in his 20s and got a job over there. We met up again after several years when he came to visit his folks. Even on holiday he phoned his office in the states every day to check nothing unusual was happening that might need his attention. I asked what he’d do if there was. He said he’d cut his holiday short and fly back because the company came first. I thought this was the height of madness and no sane way to live.

    Then in the public sector you can’t even be fired for not doing your job it seems as this case has shown us. Truly a bizarre country by our standards.



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  • It seems the remaining issues are:- “Why should she be paid for not doing her job?” and, “What are the various foolish noisy politicians who have illustrated their legal illiteracy, going to do next?”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34247029

    Kim Davis: Kentucky clerk relents in gay marriage dispute

    A Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples has said she will not block the process but her name will not appear on the paperwork.

    However, Kim Davis questioned on Monday whether licences without her signature would be valid.

    Despite Ms Davis’ claims, several Kentucky officials including the governor said the recently issued licences are valid.

    Two federal courts and the US Supreme Court have ruled against Ms Davis after she repeatedly refused to issue marriage licences since June.



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  • Alan4discussion
    Sep 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

    A Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples has said she will not block the process but her name will not appear on the paperwork.

    It seems this was double-talk as she has interfered with the paperwork to replace the official forms with new dubious ones which are probably illegal!

    This is further contempt, in direct violation of her conditions of release!



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