Davis’ lawyers are on SPLC’s Hate Watch list
Kim Davis has been freed from county jail this morning, as her judge decided to lift the contempt order because the clerk’s deputies were fulfilling her duties to issue marriage licenses. The order will stay lifted so long as she doesn’t interfere with the issuing of the licenses.
This most likely isn’t the end, while in jail Davis and her counsel repeatedly stated that any marriage licenses with her name would be invalid and her lawyers stated she will most likely interfere again.
The ordeal has ripped the country in two, with Christian Fundamentalists and small government folks on one side, and people who have even the most basic understanding of laws on the other. Even Fox News was on the latter side yesterday (more on that later).
Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, must be so proud.
See, Staver isn’t just some public defender assigned to a stubborn clerk. He’s an expert on keeping bigotry legal and discrimination alive and crying “RELIGIOUS FREEDUMB” every time a (Christian) religious person has an issue in the secular world.
When Davis refused to sign marriage licenses and ignored orders from several levels within the judicial system, Staver found his latest mark. It’s unclear how the two came in contact with each other, but what is clear is that Davis is his perfect pawn.
Staver is basically a follower in the Christian Reconstruction (CR) movement, a Dominionism movement that tries to insert Christian religion into U.S. federal and state law, asserting that God’s law is the only law and is at odds with democracy. Davis herself has repeatedly stated that she only follows God’s law.
Liberty Counsel has been dedicated to fighting to keep religion in the public arena since 1989, and currently sit on Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Hate and Extremism list since 2014 for their discrimination of the LGBT community. It’s important to note, groups aren’t listed because they believe homosexuality is immoral, a group makes the list because of harmful, false claims against homosexuality, as well as divisive language and unfounded name-calling. Liberty Counsel definitely fits the bill.
Liberty Counsel is best known for their part in the annual War on Christmas circus. Whenever public, often government buildings, put up religious displays during the holidays and people get angry because it crosses the line of the First Amendment, there is Liberty Counsel, ready to argue that religion deserves its place smashed into Americans faces.
The law group have also represented clients who run homosexual therapy camps/clinics, places that try to convert homosexual individuals by means of religious and often times cruel methods.
In fact Liberty Counsel argued for YEARS that laws against “Reparative” Therapy for homosexuals was “religious discrimination” and were “an attempt to censor any viewpoint concerning scriptural teaching on human sexuality,” without any regard for the lives Reparative Therapy was repeatedly shown to have ruined.
Staver’s law group also represented Scott Lively, who fully supported Uganda’s anti-gay movement which made homosexuality punishable by death. One of the beliefs of Christian Reconstructionists is to allow the stoning of homosexuals just as the Bible orders, and while Staver isn’t exactly arguing that homosexuals should be stoned, he is representing the bigots who do say these things in order to protect their hateful speech. He’s one of the worst bigots by-proxy.
The law team at Liberty Counsel are no stranger to using hyperbole to get their way.
While arguing for Davis, Staver actually compared Davis’ plight to the Jews under Nazi rule, saying:
What happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment. Then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses. Then they continued to stigmatize them. Then they were the ‘problems.’ Then they killed them.
Funny, I don’t remember the Nazis giving the Jews options to stay out of concentration camps, as the judge did in Davis’s case when he gave her three options, two of which led to no jail time and she willingly took the third option that led to jail.
Staver has also stated:
A clerk provides licenses to do something. A license to operate a motor vehicle on the road, a license to build a particular facility or a license to do this or a license to do that or a license to operate a business. So that person is licensing someone to do something and in this case, they’re licensing what? They’re licensing something that is directly contrary to the core of their religious convictions, to engage in sinful activity among same-sex relations and sanction something that is contrary to the Scriptures and that is marriage of two people of the same sex.
To force someone like that to give a license for something that will legalize, that will put a stamp of approval on something that is absolute rebellion against God, sinful, then that is a direct collision of unprecedented magnitude. To grant a license to engage in pornography, to grant a license to sodomize children or something of that nature.
Kim Davis never has to sign a single marriage license for a same-sex couple — if her religious convictions are so strong she can no longer perform her job, she can resign.
No one is arguing Christians can’t be employed in government jobs, but in 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public employees have to accept limitation of the First Amendment if their religious views come into conflict with their job duties. Given that Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses also violates same-sex couples’ Constitutional 14th Amendment rights, it is fair to say that Davis has no case here, although if a reasonable accommodation can be made, then accommodation will be provided in order to protect a religious “belief” when possible. Currently, Davis’s deputies will be issuing marriage licenses, though Davis isn’t expected to accept that accommodation and will most likely go back to jail — she isn’t done being a martyr yet.
Which shows just how insane Staver appears to be: Staver knows the law but he’s putting on the theatrics that the government is akin to the Nazi movement and using emotive analogies in order to bully public office into accepting Christian anarchy. The Davis case is far from the last case, and I’m sure Staver will be happy to represent bigots everywhere in order to continue to whip the religious right into a lather. The bigger the lather, the further the CR movement gets.
And the religious right is lathered; they are taking this CR ploy hook, line and sinker and appeared in droves this morning to support Davis’ release.
What’s funny is, this crowd would never accept a religious argument from a different religion. If Staver wants to use example about issuing licenses as being a direct participation in sin, then what if a Muslim clerk refused to issue a Christian church a building permit, or a Amish DMV employee refused to issue driver’s licenses because they couldn’t morally allow people to drive devil machines? Allowing religion to the extremes Christian Reconstructionists want is just a way of punching themselves in the face, which is fine, but what a mess!
But Staver isn’t likely to care or budge, he’s riding his newest cash cow as far as it will go. He’s gotten presidential candidate Mike Huckabee repeating utter nonsense about the SCOTUS “having written no laws allowing gay marriage” that has caught on like fire in the conservative conspiracy world.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, watch Fox News call Liberty Counsel “ridiculously stupid” via The Raw Story:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEE_ZgcPR-k?rel=0]
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