SCOTUS Flatly Denies Kentucky Clerk’s Request to Avoid Issuing Same-sex Marriage Licenses

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Sep 01, 2015 12:00 PM
SCOTUS Flatly Denies Kentucky Clerk’s Request to Avoid Issuing Same-sex Marriage Licenses

Seventeen words was all it took to deny a Kentucky county clerk her religious freedom:  "The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied."

No dissents. No explanation. Just one stone cold sentence.

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage. The state passed a religious freedom law that should have protected such convictions. None of that mattered to Governor Steve Beshear, who kindly told her to acknowledge homosexual couples in matrimony or resign. Under pressure to violate her conscience, Davis sent a request to the Supreme Court for a stay from issuing marriage licenses to unions other than one man and one woman. Their response suggested they didn't care either.

SCOTUSblog pointed out an additional discouraging note to consider:

“[t]he Justices turned her down without even asking for a response from the same-sex couples who had sued her, or from state officials in Kentucky whom Davis has sued over the issue.”

When the Obergefell v. Hodges decision was announced, along with it came a (rather weak) assurance from Justice Kennedy that traditional marriage activists could continue to "advocate" for their religious liberties. Notice he just mentioned advocacy, not the actual practice. Perhaps that should have been a hint that those liberties never stood a chance.

At the "Stand With God" rally in South Carolina over the weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) urged his fellow Christians to be vigilant, for their freedoms are fragile. Decisions like these make his warning all the more real.