The Next Kim Davis could be one of many state judges looking to exercise what they believe to be their religious rights. Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her Christian faith as the reason behind the decision.
After the District Court declared her actions illegal, Kim Davis was arrested and then released five days later. Now back at work, Kim Davis still refuses to issue licenses but is allowing her deputy clerks to issue them in her stead.
While Kim Davis seems to have had her 15 minutes of fame, other state judges are looking to build on her momentum and essentially become the next Kim Davis. The Huffington Post has reported on Washington County, Alabama Probate Judge Nick Williams, who has taken measures to protect himself and other colleagues in the event they decide to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples as Kim Davis had. Williams, too, bases his reasons for refusal on religious grounds.
“The jailing of Kentucky clerk Kimberly B. Davis put at immediate risk the liberty interest of all faithful and religiously sincere public officials in Alabama whose office has responsibility for making decisions as to whether to give sanction and honor to homosexual relationships to include the issuance of a license to engage in sodomy.”
If Nick Williams were to become the next Kim Davis, the judge has a history of anti-gay sentiments, and his actions include being involved with the Sanctity of Marriage Alabama organization. The judge’s views have garnered support and praise, particularly from local religious groups.
Other contenders for becoming the next Kim Davis live nearly 2,000 miles away from the Kentucky clerk. The first candidate for the next Kim Davis, according to PJ Media, is Marion County (Oregon) Court Judge Vance Day. While Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses, Vance Day has instead referred same-sex couples to other judges to perform marriage ceremonies. Vance Day’s lawyer explained his rationale.
“For him as a religious matter it’s not something that he wished to participate in, and he doesn’t have to. He has First Amendment rights, just like everybody else.”
Another candidate from Oregon to become the next Kim Davis is Judge Thomas Kohl. He is taking a more extreme measure and has decided to stop performing all weddings, regardless of sexual orientation. In this way, Thomas Kohl can avoid any legal investigations, Talking Points Memo reported.
While all of these judges have begun to voice their beliefs about same-sex marriage, who will gain enough media traction to truly become the next Kim Davis remains to be seen.
[Nick Williams’ Image Credit Sanctity of Marriage Alabama/YouTube]