Kentucky County Clerk Jailed for Dissenting from New Marriage Orthodoxy
September 4, 2015
Really, guys? You’re going to start putting people in jail for disagreeing with you?
“Kentucky clerk ordered to jail for refusing to issue gay marriage license”
U.S. District Judge David Bunning said he had no choice but to jail Kim Davis for contempt after she insisted that her “conscience will not allow” her to follow federal court rulings on gay marriage.
I could at least understand firing her; her view is different from the government’s new view—though it’s not as if federal bureaucrats in, say, the IRS or the EPA, could be fired even for abuse of power—but jail? Really?
So much for tolerance.
Speaking of actors from across the pond, I had the good fortune of meeting at the end of his life Hilton Edwards, the founder of Ireland’s Gate Theatre. Hilton and the love of his life, Micháel MacLiammóir, were for many years the most famously gay couple in Dublin. At MacLiammóir’s funeral in 1978, the Taoiseach and half the Irish cabinet attended, and at the end they went up to Edwards, shook hands, and expressed their condolences — in other words, publicly acknowledging him as “the widow.” This in a state where homosexuality was illegal, and where few people suggested that it should be otherwise. The Irish officials at the funeral treated MacLiammóir’s relict humanely and decently, not because they had to but because they wished to. I miss that kind of civilized tolerance of the other, and I wish, a mere four decades on, the victors in the culture wars might consider extending it to the losers.
Update (September 4, 2015): David French at NRO adds,
Here’s Judge Bunning justifying his decision:
“The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” Judge Bunning said. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”
Don’t make me laugh. Some people will call this ruling a triumph for the rule of law, a matter of harsh but necessary justice. It is no such thing. . . . There were many options short of imprisonment for Davis (how many leftist legislators are in jail for lawless “sanctuary city” policies that actually cost lives?), but the court was apparently in no mood for moderation. So off she goes to prison. Judge Bunning’s decision is a means of control[.]