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Religious Tolerance logo

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage (aka gay
marriage) across the U.S. in its ruling of The Obergefell v. Hodges
case from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.

Part 63:
Ominous development in Rowan Cty. (Cont'd).
Clerk Davis returns to work.
Review of the root cause of the conflict.
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We use the term "gay marriage."to represent the marriage of two persons of
the same sex. We prefer "Same-sex marriage," a more inclusive term that
includes spouses with a bisexual sexual orientation, but it would make this web
site harder to find because most search engines cannot handle synonyms.
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals.
"LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2015-SEP-13: Ominous development in Rowan County, KY (Continued):

Charla Bansley is a spokesperson for Liberty Counsel -- the conservative Christian legal defense group defending Kim Davis and attempting to preserve her religious freedom to discriminate against same-sex couples. She said:

"Neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel heard of Oath Keepers before erroneous reports of their involvement in our case. ... Likewise, neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel supports or condones any form of armed resistance, violence, or force."

Stewart Rhodes, who founded Oath Keepers in 2009, posted a statement on his group's web site. Referring to District Judge David Bunning, Rhodes wrote:

"The judge is violating the Constitution in his anger and desire to punish her for going against his will. We are already being subjected to an unconstitutional imperial presidency, that grew exponentially under both Bush and Obama, expanding the claimed war powers of the president to swallow up our Bill of Rights and circumvent jury trial."

"No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again." 1

There is a certain irony in this situation: A group called Oath Keepers is attempting to uphold their understanding of the U.S. Constitution and has promised to defend the right of Kim Davis to violate her oath of office which included a promise to obey the U.S. Constitution.

Another irony is the "sentence of indefinite detention." Clerk Davis had been able to release herself from jail at any time by simply agreeing to obey the U.S. Constitution and make marriage licenses available to all qualified couples as she had promised to in her oath of office.

As of SEP-13, the situation in Rowan County, KY was uncertain. On Monday, SEP-14, when Clerk Kim Davis is expected to return to work:

  • She could take no action and allow her deputies to continue their policy of issuing marriage licenses to all qualified opposite-sex and same-sex couples. If she elects this option then the conflict should settle down quickly.

  • She could order the deputies in her office resume their discriminatory policies and veto the issuing of marriage licenses to qualified couples -- either by denying them to same-sex couples or to all couples. This would violate the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. It would also violate Jesus' instructions for her as a Christian to follow the Golden Rule. She could be sent back to jail for contempt of court. If the Oath Keepers act on their promise, there could be bloodshed. Only time will tell.

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2015-SEP-14: Clerk Kim Davis returned to work at her Rowan County, KY office.

Ms. Davis held a news conference on Monday morning before reentering her office, saying that she is faced with a:

"... seemingly impossible choice ... my conscience or my freedom. ...I'm no hero."

She announced that she would not be issuing any marriage licenses that go against her religious beliefs. Presumably, she was referring to licenses for same-sex couples. So far, deputy clerks were continuing to issue licenses, without the signature of -- and without interference by -- Clerk Davis. 2

Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license on Monday morning. They were successful. 3 Their license:

  • Lacked Davis' name, but contained the words: "pursuant to federal court order."

  • Lacked a mention of "Rowan County." Instead it said "City of Morehead," which is the county seat. 3

Governor Steve Beshear addressed reporters, saying:

"I'm ... confident and satisfied that the licenses that were issued last week (and) this morning substantially comply with the law in Kentucky. ... they're going to be recognized as valid in the Commonwealth." 3

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2014-SEP-14: Review of beliefs about homosexuality:

These beliefs are are the root cause of the conflicts over gay marriage:

Conservative Christians often interpret six "clobber" passages from the biblical books of Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc. as condemning all same-gender sexual behavior -- whether the activity is by two men or two women. It generally makes no difference to religious conservatives whether the sexual activity is the result of a casual "one night stand" or by a loving, committed, long-term, exclusive, married same-sex couple. Many conservatives regard the Bible as inerrant -- without error; They view it as the "Word of God." They do not view interpretations by other Christians of these same verses as valid.

However, many equally devout, sincere, thoughtful, and intelligent Christians -- who are of a more liberal bent -- interpret the same passages in very different ways. They often view them as condemning same-sex rape, bestiality, same-gender sexual behavior on a woman's bed, temple prostitution, child sexual molestation, etc. Many consider the Bible to be silent on loving, committed same-sex relationships and same-sex marriages.

To further complicate matters, many conservative and liberal Christians have opposing views on the nature of homosexual orientation:

  • Most social and religious conservatives believe it is caused by environmental factors; is chosen, changeable, and unnatural.

  • Most social and religious liberals, secularists, and NOTAs (those whoare NOT Affiliated with a religious group) believe it is caused by genetics or epigenetics. It is discovered, fixed, and natural for a minority of adults.

A major exception among conservative Christian faith groups is seen in the Roman Catholic Church. They regard homosexual orientation as discovered, not chosen; as fixed, not changeable; and as often unwanted.

Some religious conservatives are now accepting the belief that sexual orientation is fixed. This belief received a major boost when Exodus International admitted failure after decades of trying to change clients' sexual orientation. They were the main group promoting sexual orientation change. The leadership of Exodus apologized to the LGBT for the harm they had caused, and closed down operations in mid-2013.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Wilson Dizzard, "Oath Keepers armed group offers to protect Kim Davis from arrest," Aljazeera America, 2015-SEP-1, at:
  2. "Exclusive: Mariam Ibraheem opens up about harrowing ordeal on 'The Kelly File'," Fox News, 2014-SEP-16, at:
  3. Claire Galofaro, "Court again denies Kim Davis' bid to delay marriage licenses," MSN, 2015-SEP-16, at:

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How you may have arrived here:

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-SEP-15
Latest update: 2015-SEP-15
Author: B.A. Robinson
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