Some partings are bittersweet.
But not this one. Radical Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party, who she says “abandoned” her a long time ago, and she is becoming a Republican.
Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who gained national attention after unlawfully refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has long been a Democrat. But, in a move reminiscent of her late-found spiritual rebirth, she apparently saw the light, and realized that her fundamentalist and bigoted views were more suitable for the Republicans. Speaking to Reuters while in Washington, D.C. to attend the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, Davis said: “My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?”
Davis was jailed for five days after refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision guaranteeing marriage equality, and she continues to maintain her defiant position.
Despite being a long-time Democrat, after openly disregarding the ruling of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution, Davis found that it was Republicans who came to her aid. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been an ardent supporter of Davis, and has even said the he is willing to go to jail in her place. “If somebody needs to go to jail, I am willing to go in her place, and I mean that.” (Unfortunately, that’s not how sentencing works.) Ted Cruz wrote that “those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office.
Davis and her Republican allies have tried to turn this into a matter of religious freedom, comparing Davis to those who face religious persecution. At the second-tier Republican CNN debate, Bobby Jindal proclaimed fanatically that “right now, the biggest discrimination going on is against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage.” However, it is hard to take Kim Davis’s commitment to traditional marriage seriously when she herself has been married four times, in addition to having children out of wedlock.
Davis has filed a 40-page court document blaming Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Steve Bashear for her legal troubles. After demanding that Bashear call a special session of the state legislature to fast-track a law exempting clerks from issuing marriage licenses on religious grounds, the governor instead said that such clerks should either issue the licenses or resign. “While there are certainly strongly held views on both sides of this issue, the fact remains that each clerk vowed to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal beliefs,” said the governor in July.
Davis’s previous identification as a Democrat may be a mere “vestige of Democratic loyalty” in the South that is not in keeping with the party’s core values. If that’s the case, then Democrats will be glad to see that this national embarrassment can no longer be found on the party’s roster. Although parting may be “such sweet sorrow,” there’s no sorrow in this farewell.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.