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Kim Davis' Attorney Squares Off With Alan Dershowitz

Kim Davis' Attorney Squares Off With Alan Dershowitz
(Getty Images) Kim Davis

By    |   Tuesday, 08 September 2015 10:52 PM

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis "is not going to violate her conscience" and issue marriage licenses to gay couples — even if this means going back to jail, her attorney, Roger Gannam, told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"Kim Davis will not violate her conscience, and as long as she's being asked to have marriage licenses issued under her authority and under her name, she simply cannot do that," Gannam told "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "Whether there's space in this order for Kim Davis to proceed without violating her conscience, that remains to be seen."

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Davis, 49, a Democrat who was elected clerk of Rowan County last November, was ordered released from jail by U.S. District Judge David Bunning after six days in jail. She is an Apostolic Christian and had been deputy clerk for 27 years.

Bunning ruled that Davis "shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples."

When Berliner asked Gannam whether this meant his client going back to jail if he again refused to issue the licenses, he responded: "Kim Davis has shown us that she would rather go to jail than violate her conscience.

"So, the answer there is if Judge Bunning puts it to her in those terms, will you violate your conscience or obey my order, Kim Davis is not going to violate her conscience," he said.

He insisted that Kentucky law provides every person with the right to "a religious accommodation if their religious exercise is substantially burdened and that doesn't exclude elected officials."

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear can appoint someone else to issue the licenses in the county, Gannam said.

But famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz countered that while it was important to "accommodate religious views if they can be reasonably accommodated," he added that "I'm often on the side of religious accommodation, if in fact there's no barrier to gay people getting married."

Not only can the governor designate someone else to issue the licenses, so can Bunning.

"I agree that putting her in jail probably made a martyr and a hero out of her," he told Berliner.

Citing Jesus' teachings on divorce, Dershowitz slammed Davis' position as not one of religious freedom but of bigotry. The clerk was married three times before becoming an Apostolic Christian. She remarried her second husband in 2009.

"Divorce is never ever religiously permitted, and no person who is a true Christian should marry a couple in which one of the parties has been divorced," the professor said. "There'd be nobody supporting her on this.

"So, the issue here is not religious freedom as much as it is bigotry. What explains the widespread support for her is not her religious claim, but the fact that she is not allowing the marriage of gay people.

"If it were not allowing the marriage of divorced people, she'd be ridiculed, laughed at, and condemned," he said. "We can't allow religious claims to mask what often is a cover for bigotry."

In response, Gannam called Dershowitz's example "an interesting hypothetical, but Kim Davis has worked in that office for almost 30 years — and that's never come up and that's not this case."

"Wasn't she herself divorced?" Dershowitz asked.

"So what if she is?" Gannam shot back. "She's not trying to prohibit anyone...."

"But she got remarried after being divorced, in clear violation of Jesus's command," Dershowitz retorted, "so how can we take seriously her strong feelings about gays being married, when she herself violated the strongest principle of Christianity against multiple marriage?"

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Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis "is not going to violate her conscience" and issue marriage licenses to gay couples — even if this means going back to jail, her attorney, Roger Gannam, told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
kim davis, attorney, alan dershowitz, gay, marriage, law
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2015-52-08
Tuesday, 08 September 2015 10:52 PM
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