The Republican Presidential candidates are taking sides on the issue of Kim Davis, the Rowan County (Kentucky) clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses, citing her Christian belief that gay marriage is immoral. Davis was found in contempt of court over the matter and is currently in jail.
The GOP candidates seem split on the matter, with some citing that Davis is correct to defy a law that violates her religious beliefs, while others cite her duty to obey the law of the land. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are among those defending Davis, while Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina believe Davis should follow the law.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio believed Davis has a right to dissent. “While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office,” Rubio told The New York Times.
On Mark Levin’s radio show, Ted Cruz said Davis’ jailing was “judicial tyranny” and he calls on “every believer, every constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.”
While appearing on MSNBC, Donald Trump believed Davis should have followed the law and issued the gay marriage licenses, or allowed someone else to do it. “I’m a believer in both sides of the picture. The simple answer is let her clerks do it…from what I understand, she doesn’t let her clerks do it either. You have to go with it (the Supreme Court decision), and that is the law of the land.”
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina thinks that while religious liberty is important, Davis should follow the law. “I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion…because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways,” she said. “Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role. When you are a government employee…you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government. And, while I disagree with this court’s decision, their actions are clear.”
Fiorina thinks Davis needs to either follow the law or quit her position. “Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government, in which case she needs to execute the government’s will…or sever her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount.”
Trump’s stand does not sit well with many conservatives. TheRightScoop.com took aim at the billionaire: “While Trump doesn’t want to see her in jail, he’s clearly siding with a lawless decision over the first amendment rights of Kim Davis, and I don’t think many of you are going to like that. I sure don’t,” the website proclaimed.
TheConservatarianReview.com also found fault with Fiorina and Trump. “While the two businesspeople were gaining traction for being outsiders, their views on Kim Davis and judicial supremacy may ultimately cost them votes,” the website said.