- Views & Opinions
A transgender man and his pansexual wife say that embattled anti-gay Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis signed off on their marriage in March after failing to notice that the groom’s birth certificate identified his birth gender as female.
Davis has been in the crosshairs of marriage equality advocates ever since she ordered her staff to stop issuing all marriage licenses following June’s Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality. Davis, who has been married four times, said she objects to having her name appear on same-sex marriage licenses due to her deeply felt religious convictions about the sanctity of marriage.
But on March 2 she signed a marriage certificate for Alexis and Camryn Colen. The couple believes that she was unaware that Camryn is a transgender male, according to BuzzFeed news, which spoke to the couple and was provided with a copy of their marriage certificate.
The certificate reads: “I, Kim Davis, Clerk of the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Marriage Certificate as recorded.”
Camryn told BuzzFeed that he and his wife went public with their gender and sexual identities in order to push Davis to begin recognizing same-sex marriages.
That’s something Davis has vowed she will never do, despite multiple court rulings against her stance. Most recently, she filed an “emergency” appeal directly to Supreme Court Justice Elana Kagan, who has jurisdiction over her region and voted to strike down laws banning same-sex marriage. Kagan is expected to turn down Davis’ appeal on Monday.
After that, it’s unclear what Davis will do.
Davis’ attorney Jonathan D. Christman, with the Christian-right law firm Liberty Counsel, wrote the court that forcing Davis to abandon what she claims to be her “Christian principles” by issuing “licenses could never be undone” and would “would forever, and irreversibly, echo in her conscience — and, “if it happened, there is no absolution or correction that any earthly court can provide to rectify it.”
It’s unknown whether Jesus will provide her with absolution for the license she signed marrying a transgender man and pansexual woman, although opinions from clerics who regularly communicate with the Almighty are certain to surface in the coming days.
Christman compared Davis’ situation to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield or forcing a person who opposes capital punishment to carry out an execution.
The Rowan County Clerk’s office is somewhat of a hotbed of nepotism. Davis’ mother previously held her position as clerk, and several family members, including her son and a cousin, work — or have worked — there.
Davis contends that if gay couples want to get married, they could easily drive to a nearby county to get a marriage license. But the couples counter that they have a right to get a marriage license in the county where they live, work and pay taxes.
Davis has said she will not resign from her $80,000-a-year job nor will she ever license a same-sex marriage.
Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official. The Legislature could impeach her, but that is unlikely given that many state lawmakers in the largely fundamentalist Christian state share her belief that Jesus will forgive anything except issuing a same-sex marriage license.
The Republican president of the state Senate spoke at a rally last week in support of Davis, whose case is increasingly becoming a cause celebre on Fox News and among religious and anti-government fanatics. They claim that the federal government has degenerated into fascism by ordering government officials to carry out laws they don’t like. Many compare Davis’ plight to that of Jews living in Nazi Germany, only without the concentration camps and genocide.