This week, an elected county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis is owning the news cycle with a ridiculous George Wallace act, where she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Even though the Supreme Court has ordered Davis to grow up and do her job, she’s continuing to refuse, putting herself in real danger of being held in contempt and possibly jailed.
If Davis thinks her martyr-for-bigotry act will make her a right-wing hero, however, she might want to think again. Instead of being a sign that conservatives will never give up on this issue, it’s starting to seem instead that Davis’s last stand is evidence that mainstream conservatives have decided to let this one go (for now, anyway), leaving hysterical opposition to same-sex marriage to a right-wing fringe.
The support for Davis amongst more mainstream conservatives has been, at best, muted, even from those who built their career on hating gay people. Maggie Gallagher, whose life’s work has been opposing same-sex marriage, limply wrote in the National Review, “There is no way to maintain the rule of law if public officials can ignore direct court orders.”
The most belligerently anti-gay writer at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson, wrote, “The citizens of Rowan County have a right to receive in a timely and efficient manner the various government provisions—including licenses—to which they are entitled.” If you peruse conservative media, it becomes clear that they’re more bent out of shape about Obama letting Alaska name its own mountain than they are about this woman’s supposed martyrdom. - TPM, 9/2/15
So it sounds like Davis isn't even that big of a deal in the conservative movement right now. While I'm sure Kentucky voters aren't exactly thrilled about same-sex marriage, it seems like it's not really a big issue in this election. But Matt Bevin (R. KY) seems to be making it a big issue in this race:
"I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights," said GOP Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin on a national conference call, according to The Courier-Journal. "Without any question I support her."
He also used the controversy surrounding Rowan County Kim Davis -- who will appear in front of a federal judge Thursday for her continued refusal to grant the licenses -- to criticize the Democratic nominee for governor, Jack Conway, who as state attorney general refused to appeal a federal court decision that struck down the Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.
“There are stark, stark contrasts between myself and Jack Conway,” Bevin said. "His hypocrisy on this issue to say his conscience, not his constitutional right, prevented him from doing his job but he has come out and been on the record as stating these clerks need to do their job or quit." - TPM, 9/2/15
Can't say I'm surprised. Bevin has always been an ignorant and arrogant jerk and he's just trying to play up the social issues to win over socially conservative voters from both parties. It remains to be seen if it will actually pay off.
While we're on this issue, I'm becoming more and more convinced that Presidential candidate, Tea Party Senator Rand Paul (R. KY), will end up running for re-election because he can't secure his own billionaire sugar daddy to back his campaign and has been trailing in the GOP primary polls. He also chimed in on this issue:
"I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they believe in something is an important part of the American way," Paul told Boston Herald Radio, according to The Washington Post.
He made the statement after he laid out his broader theory on how to deal with those with religious objections to same-sex marriage.
"I think one way to get around the whole idea of what the Supreme Court is forcing on the states is for states just to get out of the business of giving out licenses," Paul said. "Alabama has already voted to do this, they’re just no longer going to give out licenses. And anybody can make a contract. And then if you want a marriage contract you go to a church. And so I’ve often said we could have gotten around all of this also in the sense that I do believe everybody has a right to a contract." - TPM, 9/2/15
While Kentucky voters aren't completely sold on Bevin it's likely Paul will get another six years in the U.S. Senate. Right now, the race is really heating up and while Bevin is trying to attack Conway on this issue, the Koch Brothers are trying to defeat Conway be attacking him on this issue:
The political 501(c )(4) group Americans for Prosperity is jumping into the fall election cycle with an ad attempting to tie Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway to President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act.
The ad, first reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, launched Monday in what AFP told the newspaper is a “hefty” six-figure ad buy. AFP is supported by the billionaire ultra-conservative Koch brothers.
“Jack Conway chose Washington insiders over Kentucky families when he decided not to take Obamacare to court — now we are yolked with double-digit premium increases and thousands of lost jobs,” Julia Crigler, state director of Americans for Prosperity Kentucky, said in a press release. “Kentuckians want affordable, accessible healthcare and rather than listen to our families career-politicians have doubled-down on government-controlled healthcare.” - CN|2, 8/31/15
Bevin has called for dismantling the successful Kynect program that has helped expand Medicaid in Kentucky. Dismantling Kynect would hurt thousands of Kentuckians and cost the state millions of dollars. This is a race we cannot afford to let the Koch Brothers buy. Click here to donate and get involved with Conway's campaign: