The Street · Weddings & Receptions

Marriage Equality vs. Kentucky

Maria Blevins of Morehead, Ky., waves her sign at passing cars during a protest on the lawn of the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The rally, held by the Rowan County Rightas Coalition, brought roughly a hundred people to celebrate same sex marriage. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Maria Blevins of Morehead, Ky., waves her sign at passing cars during a protest on the lawn of the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The rally, held by the Rowan County Rightas Coalition, brought roughly a hundred people to celebrate same sex marriage. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Dear Ms. Davis,

I am sorry you have decided to not perform your job with the state of Kentucky and postponed the celebrations of a number of your residents.  I understand you are to process marriage license requests, issuing these to applicants from your state, not first determine who is worthy of being granted a license based on personal views.  You have not been asked or instructed to insert any particular requirements based on religiously held beliefs, have you?  You are paid to do your job with tax dollars, not church donations, right?

The individuals you are refusing to serve are not attacking your religious views, asking for your blessing, or inviting your church to be involved.  They simply are asking you to do your job as a public servant.

The U.S. Constitution is the rule of law in our society; we are not ruled by a collection of religious teachings.  Religious liberty is a guaranteed right in the U.S., and acts of civil disobedience have played an important role in our nation’s history.  But if you truly believe that what you are being asked to do is a violation of your faith, then I do not understand why you would want to stay in a job with clearly defined responsibilities that are in conflict with these cherished beliefs.  This makes me wonder what other motivations you may have.

We remind our son to use words to express his feelings.  In that spirit, know that your actions hurt.  Your decision to not issue marriage licenses is a form of disapproval.  Gay men and women are equally worthy and legally entitled to the rights and protections of a civil marriage license.  That issue has been decided.

I wish I knew how to help you appreciate that I sincerely do not believe same-sex marriages are a threat to your religious teachings or concept of marriage.  I believe quite the opposite.  There are many different meanings and interpretations of marriage and yours and mine do not have to agree for us to coexist.   To me, marriage is a defining ritual in our society, it’s much more than sex.  It includes friendship, child-rearing, companionship, and most importantly – a public declaration of love and commitment.

David and I strive for our business to be an outward expression of our desire to help encourage, inspire and celebrate declarations of love and commitment in all their diversity, including yours.  What are your actions an outward expression of, Ms. Davis?

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