On Tuesday Kim Davis moved to dismiss her appeal of a Kentucky federal court’s ruling that she must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite her argument that it was against her religious beliefs. She was thrown in jail for 5 days for contempt when she refused to follow the court’s order.
Davis appealed the court’s decision and the hearing was scheduled for next month. But Davis wants to dismiss the appeal – not because she had a change of heart. She wants to dismiss the appeal because she believes it now to be moot given a law that was approved in April that removed the county clerks’ names and authorizations from Kentucky marriage licenses. Her refusal to authorize marriage licenses to same-sex couples is not an issue if her authorization is no longer required on any marriage license.
Davis’ seeking to dismiss her own appeal may provide insight into the rationale driving individual opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States, particularly those occupying positions of government authority. Ms. Davis appears to consider her issuing of marriage licenses acceptable insofar as her identity is not disclosed along with the certificate, affording her the ability to distance herself, individually, from an act that violates her religious principles. Perhaps future laws in the United States will follow the Kentucky law removing clerks’ names from certificates in order to diminish the likelihood of situations paralleling that of Kim Davis from arising elsewhere.