Kim Davis Released, What Now?

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Published September 17, 2015
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The Montclarion
Danielle DeSisto

After weeks of swarming media coverage, the judge reached a verdict on
the woman who sparked countless Facebook debates. Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky who chose not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex and opposite couples alike, was released from jail September 10. Though I strongly support same-sex marriage and equality and feel what she did was intolerable, I wouldn’t be so quick to throw her back in the clink.
Davis deliberately broke the law because of her religious beliefs. I could go on an indefinite rant about how those in government must learn to practice the separation of church and state or how religious beliefs far too often lead to ignorance and prejudice. But, we’ve moved past that stage of the game. Everyone has formed their opinion. We need to decide what happens to this woman now.
Though the judge granted Davis her freedom, this story is still developing rapidly. Davis returned to work Monday, Sept. 13 and wants her name to be removed from the marriage licenses of same-sex couples, instead indicating that they were issued by the federal government. If she is this uncomfortable with this part of her job, she needs to be removed from it.
Davis broke the law and needs to be punished for it. A week in jail isn’t enough of a penalty for her actions and the amount of stress and fury she caused for some people. But, I fear that Davis will once again challenge the law and be thrown back in jail and it may not be the most effective way to handle the situation.
Sitting in a cinderblock cell won’t change Davis’ beliefs. She will continue to be disgruntled against same-sex couples and cite the Lord as the reason. Jail, prison and correctional facilities should be reserved for people who need to be locked away for the safety of everyone else. As far as we know, Davis isn’t planning on phyically harming anyone and clearly her brief time in jail didn’t prompt her to perform her job properly.
Termination from her position as county clerk of Rowan County, Ky., would be a devastating loss for her. Not only would not having a job affect her life for obvious financial reasons, but bring shame to her family. After being elected last fall, Davis took office in January after her mother, Jean Bailey, retired from the same position after 37 years of service.
Davis had previously served as deputy clerk under her mother for 14 years. As county clerk, Davis makes an annual salary of 80,000 dollars a year. A respected job title and a high salary deserves to go to a law-abiding citizen, not one that refuses to perform a key aspect of their job.
Davis committed a crime by not honoring the law it took so long for America to build and instate. Now that the law is in place, it shouldn’t be okay to let those who break it go free. By doing so, we are setting an awful standard that the State Marriage Defense Act isn’t a “real” law that needs to be followed. While everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, everyone should be expected to obey the law, including Davis.

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