One of the most recent controversies is the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage in June 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges. While many Americans believe it is a step toward creating a more accepting country, there are still many who oppose same-sex marriage and believe it is immoral.
Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Ky, recently made headlines for defying a court order by denying a gay couple a marriage license, a right granted to them by the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Davis then denied giving any couple a marriage license, stating that allowing gay marriage went against her religious beliefs, and that she was acting “under God’s authority.”
Davis also told her staff not to issue marriage licenses, because she wanted no personal or professional ties to any same-sex marriage licenses. She was then arrested, held in jail for contempt of court, only to be released five days later and return to work. Davis’ lawyers filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court asking to hold the lower court’s order while they tried to appeal, but the application was denied. Upon Kim Davis’ release from jail, she was escorted by 2016 Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee, and greeted by a multitude of supporters who also believe marriage should remain “traditional.”
The issue of separation of church and state has been an ongoing battle in our country for decades. Although many people do their best to keep these two equally important ideas separate from one another, the ideas tend to become entangled. In stories such as Davis’, it is hard not to run into a problem of religious beliefs versus federal law.
Davis’ only argument for her actions is that it goes against her religious beliefs. However, the Bible’s book of Matthew states that people are to love one another, no matter who they are. As a person of faith, I am outraged at Davis’ actions, because they only cast a dark light on the religious community. Because of one person’s actions, many people view the Christian community negatively.
In the work environment, especially one that involves government regulated issues, people ought to be unbiased in every aspect. One’s religious beliefs should always remain separate from one’s career, so that problems do not arise.
If you do not personally believe same-sex marriage should be legal, you have the right to hold that opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, as it is written in the Constitution. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where everyone can think for themselves and act freely. Davis has every right to believe what she will about same-sex marriage, but she does not have any right to deprive others of their Constitutional right to marriage and the pursuit of happiness.
Kim Davis is entitled to any opinion she pleases about same-sex marriage. It only becomes an issue when she brings personal beliefs into work. She must approach what she does at work with an unbiased attitude. We as a nation must remember that not everyone shares our own personal religious beliefs. Many are not, and thus just cannot comprehend why someone would deny a couple their Constitutional right to get married.
Anne Hathaway said, “Love is a human experience, not a political statement.”
Who are we to say someone cannot get married just because of who they love? How does destroying someone’s happiness and future make anyone a better Christian? The short answer is it simply does not.
The Bible says to love your neighbor and treat him as yourself. Until conservative Christians such as Kim Davis take this statement to heart and follow it, progress will not be made on the same-sex marriage controversy. In a country founded on freedom, no one, no matter their religious beliefs, should be able to deprive others the right to marry who they love.