Kim Davis is a nominee for Time Magazine‘s “Person of the Year,” and her attorneys seem to feel it’s a grand honor. They’re calling for like-minded followers to add to the vote, and help Davis “win” — but they may not realize that being picked as “person of the year” isn’t an endorsement, and may not even be a positive statement.
Kim Davis made headlines and controversy with her refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling that laws denying marriage to same-sex couples are unconstitutional and invalid. Though the ruling essentially invalidated all such laws, not all states, and not all government employees, were quick to extend marriage rights to all couples.
In Rowan County, Kentucky, one such clerk was Kim Davis. She had started the process, seeking the right to deny marriage certificates according to her beliefs, well before the Supreme Court made its ruling. Once the ruling came down, Davis continued to refuse, and to forbid other clerks in her office, to issue the licenses, until at last a judge denied her claim and ordered her to fulfill the duties of her office. It was for defying a court order that Davis was charged and jailed — for less than a week.
Upon her release, Davis and her attorneys with the Liberty Counsel continued to make waves — she altered legal documents, and the Liberty Counsel publicized a meeting between Kim Davis and the Pope, though the Vatican released statements indicating that the meeting was misrepresented.
The controversy at last came, more or less, to an end, when, as Reuters reports, Kentucky’s newly elected governor promised to approve the removal of the clerk’s name from marriage licenses.
The magazine has chosen some quite controversial, and not necessarily positive, figures before.
“TIME’s choices for Person of the Year are often controversial. Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill — guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy — not necessarily praiseworthy — cover subject.”
Hitler and Stalin have both made the cut in past years.
This year, the choices include people who have made headlines as entertainers, political figures, or activists — Caitlyn Jenner, Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, J.K. Rowling, and Nicki Minaj all also are among the contenders.
It’s also not a matter of popular vote — the publication has made clear that, while they are asking for readers’ opinions, the editors will ultimately make the decision.
As of now, with only hours until the reader polls close, Bernie Sanders has the popular vote, followed by Malala Yousafsai and Pope Francis. Kim Davis trails at the end of the poll, with only five others behind her: Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Koch Brothers (named together as a single choice), and Michael Dell.
Whether or not she’s the winner, the consideration of Kim Davis as “Person of the Year” is a reasonable acknowledgment of her high levels of publicity, and is no statement of support for her positions or actions.
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]