Imagine for a moment that you have a party coming up, let’s say it’s a Halloween party. You realize that you need snacks, food, and most importantly booze (clearly the most important part of any Halloween party) so you head for the local supermarket.
You get there and you fill your cart with mounds of food and cases of beer and you head for the only open cash register. You get there and the cashier starts to ring up your purchases, she gets past the hamburger meat, the potato chips, the bags of candy, and then reaches the booze. She stops, looks at it in horror and tells you that she can’t ring you up for the alcohol. You ask why, she says that she’s a mormon and that alcohol is against her religion. You explain that you don’t want her to drink it, you just want her to ring it up and let you purchase it. This goes back and forth for a bit, until the argument catches the managers eye and he comes over. He tells the cashier to ring up the purchase, she refuses, he asks why, she explains.
“Yes, but we sell alcohol here. This is your job!”
“But when I took the job we were a dry county, I didn’t have to sell alcohol.” (For those of you who don’t know, a dry county is an inexplicable patch of land that is surrounded by hundreds of liquor stores that spring up just over the county line, surrounding the county like buzzards).
“Well we aren’t a dry county now and your job is to ring up purchases, not approve them morally.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that.”
“Well then I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to fire you.”
This, to me, is reasonable. If you are hired to do a job and something changes and makes it impossible for you do that job, it’s hardly the employers job to keep you employed. You have the option to quite that job and find a new one, or be fired for not doing your job. The option you do not have is to sit back and get payed while someone else does part of your job for you.
This is the case with Kim Davis. She took a job that she wanted to do, but things changed and she couldn’t change with them and so just stopped doing it. The only difference being that she can’t just be fired because she is an elected official, so she has to be impeached. Which means that instead of this issue being handled quickly, as in the above story, it will drawn out through the media for months as a result.
This Democrat County Clerk (yes, she is a Democrat) will expect to keep her job, despite refusing to do her job. She can hate the Supreme Court’s decision as much as she wants, but if that disagreement means she can’t do her job, she’s needs to go and find one she can do.
And before someone asks if I’m violating my own support for businesses to be able to discriminate, let me explain to you why I’m not.
Kim Davis is not a business owner, she’s a government employee. A business owner (not an employee) should be able to decide how to run their own business. If an employee decides to violate that, the owner has the right to fire them.
For instance, if I owned a bakery and one of my employees made the decision to say “we don’t do gay wedding cakes” I would boot their ass out the door, because they don’t decide my business’s policy on anything, I do.
Kim Davis is a government employee. This means she is paid through taxes, taxes that are collected from everyone, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. Which means she doesn’t get to discriminate on who she serves.
Davis was hardly given a mandate by the people. She won by less than 500 votes (won the Democratic primary by only 23 votes) and she certainly wasn’t elected based on promises to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. Her promise when she was elected was that she would “follow the statutes of this office to the letter” and that rings hollow when she refuses to do the job she was elected to do.
If the Supreme Court ruling has made it impossible for her do her job in a way that fits with her religious views, she needs to step aside or have a secondary person there to dispense same sex marriage licenses (and accept a pay cut to pay another employee to do part of her job).
If she wants to open a private business and hang a big “no gays allowed” sign in the window I will defend her right to do so, but I won’t defend her right to discriminate on the taxpayer’s dime.