The Kim Davis saga has been unfolding over weeks but it burst into the limelight when a federal judge tossed her in jail for the crime of refusing to put her name to gay marriage licenses.
These candidates, when asked about Kim Davis, dodged the question:
Scott Walker has a modus operandi for dealing with religious liberty conflicts with gay rights. He perfected this in his non-response to the Indiana debacle, and he’s sticking to his game plan: Talk about history, talk about the Constitution, talk about the Founding Fathers, talk about how great Wisconsin Constitution is. Talk about anything except what you are going to do to keep gay marriage dissenters out of jail. There’s a balance see. Religious liberty is important. But not important enough to say you will support any piece of legislation to defend it. Because the First Amendment is great, man. That’s what he’s gonna run on.
LAURA INGRAHAM: … The other issue that I haven’t heard you discuss is this Kentucky clerk. Religious liberty is an issue I know you’ve spoken about before, but it’s in sharp conflict right now with the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Huckabee, Jindal have come out saying that religious liberty interests must be respected, and cannot be buried in this new iteration of marriage. What is your take?
SCOTT WALKER: Not only do I believe that the Constitution allows for states to define marriage — I disagreed with that court ruling — but I believe that the next president, one of the most important things I can do as president is uphold the Constitution. It is the most important thing, is to uphold the Constitution overall. Part of the Constitution is the freedom of religion — not freedom from religion, the freedom of religion, which was implicit in our Founders’ setting up the Bill of Rights, making sure we stood up for this religious freedom. We do that every day in our state. We have it very clearly defined in our state’s constitution. It has worked just fine in the past; it can work just fine with the right leadership in America.
INGRAHAM: So the government shouldn’t be able to compel her to issue this license, or put her in jail, or fine her? You think the government should have that power?
WALKER: Well, again, I think in the end, this is the balance you’ve got to have in America between the laws that are out there and ultimately ensuring that the Constitution is upheld, and I believe the Constitution is very clear that people have the freedom of religion. That means you have the freedom to practice your beliefs out there. I just think that’s a fundamental right. It’s why our Founders — it’s why people like — I was in Philadelphia the other day — William Penn came to America because he was being persecuted for his religious beliefs.
This is a textbook case of why people hate politicians. Walker is history.
Gov. John Kasich, who is not yet history, was even worse. When WaPo asked Kasich about Kim Davis, here was Kasich’s response:
Asked about Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who’s refusing to issue marriage licenses, Kasich stopped the question.
“I’ve taken my position on it,” he said. “Glad you didn’t touch on any hot button issues!”
Afterward, a spokesman said that Kasich was referring to his reaction to Obergefell v. Hodges. After saying that the decision ‘disappointed’ him, Kasich ruled out any discussion of countermeasures.
Chris Christie, who refused to strive for conscience protections for New Jersey clerks, continues to fold, but now the famous truth talker also obfuscates.
Every American has the right to free exercise of their religious beliefs. The fact though is, Laura, she has also selected a job where this puts her in a very, very difficult position, and the courts and their decision have put them in a difficult position. … But we’ve got to first look at making sure we protect the constitutional rights, everybody’s constitutional rights, and we have to balance whatever steps we take off of what we have to do to enforce the laws as well. And so this is a very difficult period for people to be going through, but we’ve got to remember that the Constitution comes first.
So you are good with throwing Kim Davis in jail, Gov. Christie? Shame on you.
Fiorina also has her model for dealing with these issues. She likes to point to the hypocrisy of the Left, and on cue she tweeted:
Lois Lerner goes on paid administrative leave from the IRS, but KY clerk #KimDavis goes to jail?
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) September 3, 2015
But Fiorina is on record siding against Kim Davis and implicitly supporting her jailing, in what I called “Fiorina’s Very Bad Interview on Kentucky Marriage Clerk.”
Donald Trump was the most silent of all:
REPORTER: Do you have any comment on what happened this morning [inaudible]?
TRUMP: I don’t know enough about it to comment on it. Was she jailed? I really don’t know much about it.
Christians and other gay marriage dissenters must recognize that on this issue, Trump is not going to stand tall and speak truth.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action.