Via @EsotericCD comes this latest action in the same-sex marriage wars:
BREAKING: Kentucky clerk’s office denies marriage license to gay couple despite US Supreme Court ruling.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 1, 2015
Speaking as a same-sex marriage supporter: I was and am adamantly opposed to using the courts to force Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue the licenses in the first place. I therefore feel that her continuing defiance is a matter for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and does not really require my personal input. But it does require the personal input of both Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) and Kentucky Governor Steve Bershear (D). Spoiler warning: neither man particularly wants to be involved in this issue.
But they will be, because Kim Davis is an elected official. She can’t be fired; she can be impeached, but I suspect that selling that to the Kentucky state legislature would be tricky. A judge, of course, could order her jailed for contempt, and that will just get even more awkward for Attorney General Jack Conway (D). Who, by the way, is running for Governor in Kentucky this year! How do any of you think arresting a defiant elected official is going to play in Paducah? Another spoiler warning: it won’t play well. The public is about evenly split on whether county clerks should be removed from office for refusing to issue gay marriage, with an additional significant percentage wanting marriage licenses to be issued by the state instead. That same poll showed that a comfortable majority of Kentuckians opposed the Supreme Court decision that dictated this mess in the first place.
So I ask, again: what does Attorney General Jack Conway (D) plan to do about all of this? – Because he should have an answer for this. A nice, big, public answer. Unless he’s afraid that the Commonwealth of Kentucky wouldn’t like it…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: What would I do in this situation? I would not try to subvert the legislative process using the judiciary. When it happened anyway, I would take the time to point and laugh at the purblind fools who did subvert the process, and who are now uncomfortably dealing with the aftermath. Which is, hey, what I’m doing now! So I guess there’s your answer.
PPS: Matt Bevin, the Republican running for Governor, wants Kentucky county clerks to get out of the marriage license business altogether. Just have the clerks file them and be done with it. Seems reasonable enough.