Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Matter of Conscience

The "outrage du jour" or of the last several jours has been the jailing of Kim Davis, the democratically elected (and Democrat, though you would never know from the MSM coverage) Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Gay marriage isn't one of my issues. While I don't think gay couples are biologically equivalent to heterosexual couples, I don't think it's a hill to die on politically. The damage to marriage in the United States has been done primarily by the welfare state. Any problems caused by gay marriage are like toe nail fungus on an HIV ridden patient.

However, the law does allow for accommodations:
Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, both public and private employers have a duty to exempt religious employees from generally applicable work rules, so long as this won’t create an “undue hardship,” meaning more than a modest cost, on the employer. If the employees can be accommodated in a way that would let the job still get done without much burden on the employer, coworkers, and customers — for instance by switching the employee’s assignments with another employee or by otherwise slightly changing the job duties — then the employer must accommodate them. 
Some cases where accommodations were made:
  1. Nurses who had religious objections to being involved in abortions (even just to washing instruments that would be used in abortions);
  2. Pacifist postal workers who had religious objections to processing draft registration forms;
  3. A Jehovah’s Witness employee who had religious objections to raising a flag, which was a task assigned to him;
  4. An IRS employee who had religious objections to working on tax exemption applications for organizations that promote “abortion, … homosexuality, worship of the devil, euthanasia, atheism, legalization of marijuana, immoral sexual experiments, sterilization or vasectomies, artificial contraception, and witchcraft”;
  5. a philosophically vegetarian bus driver who refused to hand out hamburger coupons as part of an agency’s promotion aimed at boosting ridership;
  6. and more.
If they can accommodate the "philosophically vegetarian bus driver", I would expect that a reasonable accommodation could be found where an underclerk, or even a judge in the county could sign the forms instead.

We can think of several recent instances of the government failing to enforce the law without any repercussions. it's only my bias that brings immigration law and the IRS handling of non-profits leap to mind. However Remember, The Law Is Only Sacred When It Furthers a Liberal Value
Let’s start with the prevailing hypocrisy surrounding the liberal attacks on Davis, and what it tells us about the state of American political debate and policymaking. Because, as you may have noticed, the rule of law only seems to be sacred when it happens to comport with liberal values.

As far as I can tell, there are only three unassailable Constitutional rights left in United States: The right not to be “discriminated” against. The right to have an abortion. The right to have a gay marriage. In the eyes of a liberals, nothing—not the freedom of association or religion or anything else mentioned in the First or Second Amendment—will ever supersede these consecrated rights. The rest? Well, it’s malleable, depending on the situation.
Back when the Proposition 8 in California outlawed gay marriage was upheld by the state court, several county clerks continued to issue licenses to gay couples. I don't recall liberal opposition to these clerks, let alone agitating for them to be jailed for contempt of court.

Picked up and linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Thanks, Teach!

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