Equality no special right
I disagree completely with Kent Ostrander's commentary regarding Gov. Steve Beshear. The message to Kim Davis of "Do your job or resign" is exactly what an employer would say to me should I refuse to do my job based on my religious convictions.
Ostrander indicates the governor did nothing to accommodate the clerks' deeply held religious convictions. And why should he? Why would anyone seek special rights when they already have religious rights under the Constitution? If every employer was required to hire additional staff so employees can decline to do their work based on religious conviction, do you know what that would do to our economy?
Jack Conway was absolutely correct not to pursue an appeal regarding the state's marriage amendment as he knew it would be a waste of state dollars. This is where I disagreed with Beshear for continuing to hire outside lawyers and he, himself, is to blame for wasting state dollars.
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Equality is not a special right. Fighting to deny people their human rights is inhumane and un- Christian, no matter what their personal beliefs.
Accept that gays are born as God created them and they have a purpose.
John B. Smith
Davis violated the law
The Family Foundation purports to believe that by declining to provide special support for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to issue standard marriage licenses, Gov. Steve Beshear has violated Kentucky's religious freedom law.
Let's look at it another way. There must be unmarried people in Rowan County who are engaging in or contemplating cohabitation, and some might have a sincerely held religious belief that they should be married. It seems to me that the withholding, compromising or stigmatizing of their licenses is a violation of that same mandate, "Government shall not substantially burden a person's freedom of religion."
We'll leave it to the courts, but possibly there's a better argument that the rights of license applicants have been violated than that those of Davis have been. In addition to the Kentucky law, of course, the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom. Also, it forbids government to establish any particular religion — in other words, to force one on the public.
And in Rowan County, Davis is government.
Conservatives play the victim
The "governor is violating the law" commentary by Kent Ostrander is illogical, poorly argued and the usual blather. Ostrander well knows the governor has no power to prevent the ACLU or any other party from filing a lawsuit. Separation of powers is part of our Constitution.
Then he goes on to argue that the governor did not use the "least restrictive means" of enforcing the law, which led to Kim Davis being in jail for a few days.
Not only did Gov. Steve Beshear not put anyone in jail, he has no power to do so. Ostrander then chides the governor for not wasting taxpayer funds on a special session to address the actions of one person. And the final absurd argument is that Beshear "tries to force his beliefs on everyone else."
To the contrary, it is the Family Foundation and their puppet, Davis, who are trying to force their beliefs on those marriage-license applicants who do not fit into their narrow world view.
The Davis story is fading from the limelight, and Ostrander is beating a dead horse for all its worth. The religious right continually insists it is the discriminated-against majority, an absurdity on its face.
Assertions with no basis in fact
"Governor is violating the law," the headline of the Oct. 19 commentary said. These words are an assertion, not necessarily a fact.
Much of the misery in American politics is due to media obliteration of the line between assertion and opinion on one side, and truth and fact on the other. And, as the public abandons reasoning in favor of gut passion, statements such as this one are too often taken as fact. News media used to warn that "statements presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the station or newspaper."
Note the frequent assertion that Kim Davis was "sent to jail for her religious beliefs." In fact, she was sent up for failing to perform her sworn public duty. The actions or inactions of our governor and attorney general relate only to that; in no way has Davis been denied the right to her religious beliefs.
Kentuckians should thank Gov. Steve Beshear and attorney general Jack Conway for not pursuing a phony cause at public expense. The entire Family Foundation argument is so full of baloney that the Herald-Leader editorial staff must be getting chiropractic treatment for bending over backward to publish it. And that's my assertion.