Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis's arrest
on Thursday for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples has sparked a political firestorm – with many GOP hopefuls saying the move is an attack on religious liberty in America, CNN
A federal judge's decision to haul the Rowan County clerk to jail comes on the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriage. But Davis, an Apostolic Christian, told the judge she is exercising her religious rights and believes that "[m]arriage is a union between one man and one woman," CNN reports.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told CNN that he believes the decision is going to receive a lot of blowback and even set the gay rights movement back.
"I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty," Paul said. "I think it's a real mistake and even those on the other side of the issue, I think it sets their movement back."
Paul added, "This is really the problem when we decide to get involved in a situation that has always through the history of our country been a local issue."
According to CNN, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the decision makes Christianity a crime in America.
"Having Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubt of the criminalization of Christianity in our country. We must defend religious liberty and never surrender to judicial tyranny," he said.
"I am proud of Kim for standing strong for her beliefs. Who will be next? Pastors? Photographers? Caterers? Florists? This is a reckless, appalling, out-of-control decision that undermines the Constitution of the United States and our fundamental right to religious liberty."
Sen. Ted Cruz also took a strong stance on the issue, noting that this is the first time the government arrested an individual for making decisions according to her faith.
"Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith — or be sent to jail," he said in statement, CNN reports.
"Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told the Huffington Post
that the same-sex marriage ruling is discriminatory.
"I don't think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions. I think it's wrong to force Christian individuals or business owners," he said. "We are seeing government today discriminate against whether it's clerks, florists, musicians or others. I think that's wrong. I think you should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience."
On the "Laura Ingraham Show" on Thursday Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended the U.S. Constitution.
"I read that the Constitution is very clear that people have freedom of religion – you have the freedom to practice religious beliefs out there, it's a fundamental right," Walker said.
The Wisconsin governor added, that "in the end, this is the balance that you gotta have to have in America, between the laws that are out there, but ultimately ensuring that the Constitution is upheld."
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