By June Wise
September 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- A Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, has stirred controversy for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court declared marriage a constitutional right for same-sex couples. She claims giving gay couples licenses to wed would violate her religious beliefs, yet she has refused to resign. Today, a judge ordered her jailed for contempt of court.
If government workers could refuse to serve the public anytime a law conflicts with their private religious views, that would be a dangerous and trouble-prone path. Divorce, birth control, war, and blood transfusions are all prohibited in some religions. Some faiths ban immodest dress, adultery, consumption of caffeine or alcohol, musical instruments, celebrating birthdays, serving certain foods, and seeking psychiatric care.
Should public employees in jobs with responsibilities for such matters be able to refuse to follow laws governing all of these issues and more?