I am really getting tired of people talking about Kim Davis and her religious freedom. I know I add fuel to the fire by writing about her and I am giving her the attention she wants, but it has just gone too far. She is in jail because she won’t do her job. She chose to work for the government and took an oath to fulfill her responsibilities as a county clerk, which means issuing marriage licenses. Now maybe she wasn’t keeping current with the current political arena and gay marriage, or maybe she just thought it would never happen, but it did. She spent two months arguing her case and she lost. The Supreme Court will not intervene and the governor of her state will not call a special session to change the law. I believe there are two other county clerks who state that they will not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, but they have not been sued…yet.
I watched the preview for the movie “Suffragette” and I realized that groups of people have been fighting for equal rights for a VERY long time. It was only in 1919, which is just about 100 years ago that women in America were allowed to vote. “Suffragette” is about the struggle for women to vote in England, but it doesn’t matter where the movie is set, it is about the struggle of a group to have the right to be treated fairly and equally as the majority group. Women were hit by men, thrown in jail, and had their children taken away from them. I cannot imagine how hard this fight was for them. It was not easy, and yet women today have more rights because of this struggle and women are still not always treated equally in the workforce, but they now at least have the right to sue if they can prove it.
In the 1950s and 1960s African-American fought for equal rights. They were also beaten, spit upon, threatened, killed and harassed, yet they prevailed. It was not easy and yet they did it, because it was right and our Constitution says, “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”. Is it all fair in America now…no, but it is better than it used to be and all minority groups stand together to ensure that all groups are treated equally, no matter their color or gender.
We then move to the 1990s and the passage of the American’s with Disabilities Act that protects disabled people from discrimination and ensures equal access for all. We now have buildings that must meet requirements for access to buildings with ramps and elevators and I am sure LOTS of other things, but they are there. Interpreters are required for the deaf, but many still have to fight for this right. There are rules about hotels having handicap accessible rooms and so on. This didn’t just happen because the government thought it was the right thing to do, it happened because this group fought for their rights. It happened because “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”. Some would say that it isn’t fair that people with disabilities get “special” treatment, but it isn’t. It is about leveling the playing field for all.
Now we have same sex marriage and this just didn’t happen overnight. This has been a long hard battle, and I am not one to try to go back and discuss what all has happened. I have only known my true self for five years, so I don’t pretend to know what it is like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation. I do know that I will not be treated differently because I am gay. I will not let someone hide behind their religions freedom and take away MY CIVIL RIGHTS. People in this country are allowed to practice whatever religion they like, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others most basic civil rights. Would the Christians in this country be as apt to stand behind Kim Davis if she were a Muslim crying religious freedom, a Jew, a Buddhist?? I doubt it.
I don’t pretend to be an activist. I don’t pretend to know how to write eloquently. However, I do know that the Founding Fathers wrote the US Constitutions and it has stood for over 200 years as the law of this land with only 28 amendments (I think that is right!). The Constitution has not changed much since it was written, but the interpretation of it has changed because TIMES have changed. My sons’ generation will not tolerate those who seek to discriminate based on sexual orientation….because they are growing up with it. Times change, beliefs change and that is not a bad thing……Those who don’t like change would still like to see segregated communities, no interracial marriage, and women the property of their husbands or fathers.
I don’t think Kim Davis is a bad person, but I think she has chosen to fight for a cause that has no merit in the law….and too many people just can’t see that.