It’s also the day that former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, acting on behalf of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in federal court to enjoin the enforcement of HB 1523, known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” The impetus to the law was to allow state government officials and local businesses to refuse to provide services to LGBT individuals if to do so would violate “sincerely held religious beliefs” about marriage and gender.
That reasoning reminds me of the Rowan County Kentucky Clerk, Kim Davis, whose religious convictions cased her to deny marriage licenses to same sex couples following the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. She defied the US Supreme Court as well as the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky which issued an order directing Davis to issue licenses as required by law. See, Miller v. Davis.
Davis said she would continue to defy the court order because she acted “under God’s authority” according to the New York Times.
This woman of what we would call, in Mississippi “sincerely held religious beliefs” about marriage and gender, who was born in 1965 (I insert that for the proposition that she is not “ancient”) has been married four (4) times to three (3) different men, each marriage ending in divorce save the most recent one. Obviously she does not apply her sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage sanctity to herself. And her marriage history is so convoluted that you simply can’t make this stuff up. (for reference see, CBS news, 9/2/15; Buzz Feed, 9/1/15) For example, Davis’ twin sons were born five (5) months after her divorce from her first husband. The twins’ biological father is Davis’ third husband. After she had the twins, she married her second husband (also her fourth husband) Joe Davis. He adopted the twins. They divorced in 2006 and she married someone else, then divorced him and remarried Joe Davis.
But I digress. Mississippi lawmakers have chosen to protect Mississippians who hold beliefs similar to Kim Davis while the rest of us wonder about the transmission of God’s “authority” and sanction of their actions and how it is delivered. You see, my God doesn’t speak that language.
So I am proud of Oliver Diaz and the Mississippi Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. This blog will be following the case, so stay tuned…