Last night a breathless Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, informed supporters by email that there are hundreds of people laying in wait to frustrate the nuptials of gay couples:
From small counties in Arkansas to busy towns in Texas, there are
hundreds of people ready to defend the ground five unelected justices
took from voters. The Court may have changed their definition of
marriage, Kentucky clerk Chris Cockrell explained, but he isn’t prepared
to change his. If that means going to jail, so be it. And according to
the state’s ACLU, that’s no empty threat. “Two things can happen if a
Kentucky clerk won’t issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple,”
warned one [unnamed] law professor. “They can resign or go to jail.”
The resign or jail option sounds about right. These are civil servants after all. Mr. Perkins, with an assist from Todd Starnes, goes on to make similar observations in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. What Perkins makes sound like turmoil is more likely to be the grumblings of a few ignoramuses.
Hopefully our people on the ground in these locales are pointing out that these people are unlikely to have a legitimate religious concern. Rather, they are exploiting this opportunity to demonstrate their disapproval of gay people disingenuously cloaked in platitudes of religious freedom. Would this be clearer if these Christian government workers demonstrated their distaste for Jewish couples? It’s an action that is as petty as putting the word marriage within defensive quotes.
What Mr. Perkins has not considered is the fact that every gay couple who wants to get married is going to find a way to get married. We have been successfully working our way around bigots for decades. A few misguided county clerks are not going to ruin the party. Meanwhile those civil servants face ruined careers and possibly years of inquiry and litigation. History will not be kind to these people. Mr. Perkins is David Duke with a better tailor.