Kim Davis, County Clerk of Rowan County, KY, unless Kentucky is different that any other state in which I have lived, took an oath of office that included adhering to the Constitution.
By refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, she is failing to follow the Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It might be argued that The Supremes should not be mucking around with the U.S. Constitution, but the justices have been making the laws for many years and the laws are generally accepted by the citizens.
When an official, who has sworn to uphold the Constitution fails the oath, that official - at least where I have lived - is removed from office by the state's governor; the official is impeached. I've seen it happen to District Attorneys, mayors and council/commission members, and both city and country elected officials.
So why hasn't Kentucky Gov. Steven Lynn "Steve" Beshear removed Ms. Davis from office?
BOTH GOV. BASHEAR AND MS. DAVIS are Democrats and that might have some clue. Most removals from office I have witnessed were by governors of Party A removing elected officials from Party B (who were replaced by appointees from the governor's party).
Perhaps Kentucky has decided to ignore the U.S. Constitution, but given all the other issues the state has implemented, probably Kentucky follows, perhaps grudgingly, the U.S. Constitution as do the other 49 states.
So why is Ms. Davis still in office?
She was jailed for contempt of court on the order of U.S. District Judge David Bunning. (Why only Ms. Davis? She is just one of three Kentucky county clerks who refuse to comply with their oath of office; Casey Davis of Casey County and Kay Schwartz of Whitley County, were, as of September 3, also still refusing to perform same-sex marriages.) Judge Bunning noted that "I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs but I took an oath."
Gov. Beshear emphasizes that clerks do not have to agree with the Supreme Court ruling, but reminds clerks that they took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
"Our county clerks took an oath, as elected officials, to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Kentucky. This oath does not dictate what our clerks must believe, but it certainly prescribes how they must act in carrying out their duties as elected officials," the governor wrote.
MS. DAVIS AND THE POPE
Ms. Davis issued a statement following Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. that she had a meeting with the pontiff and that he supported her stand.
The Vatican admitted Ms. Davis was received by the pope and had about 15 minutes with the visitor - as part of a large group who met with the pope at the same time - in other words, it was NOT a private tête-à-tête according to a Sylvia Poggioli-NPR report from Rome on Oct. 2 2015.
The U.S. Constitution prohibits a "state religion," and this has repeatedly been construed to mean that government agencies and employees - elected or appointed - will NOT let their personal beliefs interfere with the duties of the office - Ms. Davis' personal beliefs must be set aside during her hours as a government official. Let her, if she wishes, protest the Supreme's ruling on her own time while following the law - however personally repugnant to the government official - during "office hours."
If Ms. Davis cannot separate her personal views from her Constitutional; obligations - obligations she swore to perform with her oath of office - then she should resign, or the governor should remove her. There are no other options.
MEANWHILE, there are several deputy clerks in Ms. Davis' office that told Judge Bunning that they would - albeit reluctantly - issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
My opinion: grant sesame-sex couples all the rights and privileges of a heterosexual couple - just don't call it "marriage" - call it "civil union" or some other term, just not "marriage." Save that for a union between a man and a woman.