Jim Nelson

  • September 10, 2015
    Guest Post

    by James C. Nelson, Justice, Montana Supreme Court (Retired)

    The swings in public perception are amazing. Case in point: Kim Davis, the Kentucky Clerk who thumbed her official nose at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that marriage is a fundamental right of all persons, not just heterosexuals. Not on Davis’ watch, that is.

    No marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples would be issued over her official title, because to do so would violate her personal religious beliefs. That, apparently, is the belief that the Bible and the “loving” God who inspired it and who created all people in his own image, condemns marriages which are not between one man and one woman.

    Davis can believe what she wants, but the fact is that in Kentucky, as is the case elsewhere, public officials like her swear an oath (which my recollection is a promise to God) to support and uphold the Constitution. That is the same Constitution that the U.S. Supreme Court has decreed guarantees equal protection of the marriage laws to all people.