Kentucky clerk defies gay marriage court order again 'under God's authority'

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#1  Edited By deactivated-5b1e62582e305
Member since 2004 • 30778 Posts

A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, risking jail time or fines as she continues to ignore orders by courts and the governor.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s office denied licenses to several couples on Tuesday morning in spite of a supreme court order on Monday night that meant she had to comply with a lower court decision ordering her to issue marriage licenses.

A federal judge has ordered her to appear on Thursday morning to explain why she should not be jailed for contempt.

One of the couples who attempted to apply for a license on Tuesday confronted Davis inside the office.

“Under whose authority are you not issuing marriage licenses today?” he asked.

“Under God’s authority,” Davis said.

She then returned to her office, with the doors and blinds closed, and issued a statement refusing to resign:

“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision,” her statement said. “I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.”

Davis has said that recognizing such marriages is against her Apostolic Christian faith and decided to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and straight couples in an effort to avoid the June supreme court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

Last month, a federal judge ordered Davis to abide by the supreme court’s June decision in response to a suit filed by two same-sex couples and two straight couples. Kentucky governor Steven Beshear has also ordered all county clerks to comply with the ruling.

The ACLU of Kentucky, which represents the four couples who filed the initial lawsuit, filed a contempt motion with US district judge David Bunning on Tuesday morning.

The request, filed on behalf of a couple that was refused a marriage license on Tuesday, asks for the court to impose financial penalties on Davis.

The Rowan County attorney’s office said that a contempt of court hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 11am. Davis and her entire staff have been ordered to appear.

By continuing to refuse to issue licenses, Davis risks being held in contempt of court by a federal judge, a charge that can come with fines or jail time.

moar

This seems to be making the rounds in the media and lol. Lady should get fired for not doing her job then likely sued to oblivion. Jail time is a little too harsh.

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#3 deactivated-5b1e62582e305
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@thegerg said:

She's a bigoted criminal scumbag. I hope she's charged and convicted.

Well... damn.

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#4 Byshop  Moderator
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God doesn't sign her paychecks...

-Byshop

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#5  Edited By Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 20490 Posts

If she's willing to lay it on the line then lay it on as long as you are willing to face the consequences. Seems this lady is hell bent on facing them. That's that.

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#6 whipassmt
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I'm not really sure what the legal grounds are for forcing her to issue the licenses. I guess the issue is because the Governor is forcing her to do so, if a different Governor allowed the clerks to opt out on religious grounds than I don't think there would be a basis for forcing her to do so, unless Kentucky prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which in any case she could bypass by not issuing licenses at all).

Jail time is indeed too harsh.

But I think at this point, is it even necessary for clerks to issue marriage licenses? To me it would make more sense to have marriage licenses be automated, so that people can just go to a state website and get their license online, it's more convenient for them and it would avoid this whole issue of conflicting with clerks who can't issue such licenses in good conscience.

There is one state I think that has done away with marriage licenses entirely, and replaced them with contracts that the couple would draw up (and presumably any notary can sign). I don't see why a couple has to have a "license" in order to marry, it's not marriage is driving a car or carrying a firearm in public. It can be just like any other contract, like a business partnership for example.

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#7 raugutcon
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Fined, jailed, fired, striped from her authority, sounds appropriate to me.

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#8 Micha_93
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She's an absolute embarrasament.

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#9 alim298
Member since 2012 • 2747 Posts

'under God's authority'

Aaaand I lol'ed

And who appointed him to the position of implementing the divine decree?

Someone please wake this woman up. You're working for the government not for "Jesus" please stop the hypocrisy. If it's so hard for you just quit everything then.

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#11 deactivated-5b1e62582e305
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@whipassmt said:

I'm not really sure what the legal grounds are for forcing her to issue the licenses. I guess the issue is because the Governor is forcing her to do so, if a different Governor allowed the clerks to opt out on religious grounds than I don't think there would be a basis for forcing her to do so, unless Kentucky prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which in any case she could bypass by not issuing licenses at all).

Jail time is indeed too harsh.

The government isn't "forcing" her, it's her damn job. Something she voluntarily agrees to do. If I went up to my boss and told him "I won't be doing work today because it's against my religion" I'd be fired faster than it took to me to say that. She didn't even try to opt out or let someone else do it instead is using this to try and take a political stand against same-sex marriage. It's abhorrent and the fact you seem to be defending her is disgusting but typical.

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#12 deactivated-57d8401f17c55
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@Aljosa23 said:
@thegerg said:

She's a bigoted criminal scumbag. I hope she's charged and convicted.

Well... damn.

thegerg's labeling isn't wrong, this world needs idiots like these to go away. Personally I would just give her a fine and fire her, but I also wouldn't feel sorry for her if she's jailed.

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#13 Serraph105
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@Aljosa23: problem is that she can only be impeached. She has really created a no win situation for marriage equality supporters. On the one hand if jail time is pursued you can bet that people will be crying about the persecuted Christian for following her faith. On the other hand if nothing is done about this it sets a bad precedent of a county clerk defying federal authority. Worse yet it's in a state which generally agrees with the notion that gay marriage should be illegal, and while this doesn't directly affect the issue, it clearly aggravates it.

There's a needle that needs to be threaded, but it's unclear to me how to go about it

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#14 Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 20490 Posts

Fine won't due, they will kickstart or whatever the hell is the thing people use today to raise funds out of this.

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#15 chessmaster1989
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If she's not willing to do her job, perhaps she should find a new occupation.

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#17 whipassmt
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Kentucky governor Steve Beshear is term-limited and the election for his replacement is this year. If the Republican candidate wins - and who knows maybe even the Democratic candidate if he is moderate enough -Davis may no longer find herself required to issue these licenses. So she may very well be playing for time.

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#18 Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 20490 Posts

I bet Raylan Givens could solve this.

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#19 Jacanuk
Member since 2011 • 20281 Posts

@alim298 said:

'under God's authority'

Aaaand I lol'ed

And who appointed him to the position of implementing the divine decree?

Someone please wake this woman up. You're working for the government not for "Jesus" please stop the hypocrisy. If it's so hard for you just quit everything then.

Who appointed you to this high position so you can judge other people's faith?

But as to the women, I have to wonder why her superiors haven't moved her to a position where she would not be facing the public and would have to go against her religion. Since firing would not quite be a option since that would be discrimination and illegal.

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#20  Edited By Micha_93
Member since 2015 • 172 Posts

Let's say I go to work today at Starbucks and I think that fans of Breaking Bad are horrible. A group of Breaking Bad fans comes in to discuss the show and I refuse to serve them. I don't think my boss is going to go "Oh, yeah, well it's your right to deny service to customers because you don't agree with them".

>___>

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#21 Byshop  Moderator
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@whipassmt said:

I'm not really sure what the legal grounds are for forcing her to issue the licenses. I guess the issue is because the Governor is forcing her to do so, if a different Governor allowed the clerks to opt out on religious grounds than I don't think there would be a basis for forcing her to do so, unless Kentucky prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which in any case she could bypass by not issuing licenses at all).

Jail time is indeed too harsh.

But I think at this point, is it even necessary for clerks to issue marriage licenses? To me it would make more sense to have marriage licenses be automated, so that people can just go to a state website and get their license online, it's more convenient for them and it would avoid this whole issue of conflicting with clerks who can't issue such licenses in good conscience.

There is one state I think that has done away with marriage licenses entirely, and replaced them with contracts that the couple would draw up (and presumably any notary can sign). I don't see why a couple has to have a "license" in order to marry, it's not marriage is driving a car or carrying a firearm in public. It can be just like any other contract, like a business partnership for example.

Marriage licenses are a bit more complicated than that. True, it's not like you need to "pass a test" to get one but licenses are still used to restrict marriage types are are illegal (with/between the underaged, polygamy, etc). There also needs to be some matter of public record to gain some of the benefits like joint tax filing status.

That said, there are locations in the US and types of marriages that do not require a license. Also, in some states (like Colorado, where I live) the license is basically as simple as what you describe. It's a piece of paper I signed with my wife. No need for witnesses or a notary. In TV shows and movies it's always some plot point where the couple who wants to get married needs to find an "officiant" at the last minute or it's not legal (Harry officiated weddings in Night Court, Joey became an ordained minister on the internet so officiate Monica and Chandler's wedding in Friends, etc.) but we didn't even require that. We just had to file it with the county clerk and then my wife applied for the name change.

Yeah, while I'm not a fan of this lady what she's really guilty of is not doing her job. However, when you're a public employee not doing your job -can- potentially be criminal depending on what your job is and what you are or aren't doing. Also, she's doing it for reasons of discrimination. I don't know if jailtime is appropriate or not but she absolutely should have been fired by now.

-Byshop

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#22 deactivated-57d8401f17c55
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@thegerg said:

@Chozofication:

To me this is little different than government officials refusing services to black residents and citizens under Jim Crow laws or earlier, more restrictive policies. She's a disgusting fucking person and deserves to be convicted of the civil rights violations she's committing and locked in a fucking cage like the inhuman piece of shit that she is. As I see it, simply issuing fines to people who use the power of the state to dehumanize groups that they don't like just isn't enough.

Yeah, you're right.

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#23 deactivated-5b1e62582e305
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@Jacanuk said:
@alim298 said:

'under God's authority'

Aaaand I lol'ed

And who appointed him to the position of implementing the divine decree?

Someone please wake this woman up. You're working for the government not for "Jesus" please stop the hypocrisy. If it's so hard for you just quit everything then.

Who appointed you to this high position so you can judge other people's faith?

But as to the women, I have to wonder why her superiors haven't moved her to a position where she would not be facing the public and would have to go against her religion. Since firing would not quite be a option since that would be discrimination and illegal.

I don't see how it's illegal to fire someone for not doing the job they are paid for.

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#24 Master_Live
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How would firing her be discrimination? She won't be getting fired because of her religion but because of failure to fulfill her duties. That's a fireable offense.

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#25 Catalli  Moderator
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give it uuuuuuup alreeeeeaadyyyyy and issue the damn licences...

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#27 alim298
Member since 2012 • 2747 Posts
@Jacanuk said:
@alim298 said:

'under God's authority'

Aaaand I lol'ed

And who appointed him to the position of implementing the divine decree?

Someone please wake this woman up. You're working for the government not for "Jesus" please stop the hypocrisy. If it's so hard for you just quit everything then.

Who appointed you to this high position so you can judge other people's faith?

Except that I didn't judge her faith.

But anyways find someone else to argue with kid.

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#29  Edited By Micha_93
Member since 2015 • 172 Posts

@thegerg said:

@Serraph105:

"On the one hand if jail time is pursued you can bet that people will be crying about the persecuted Christian for following her faith."

And those morons should be viewed with the same disgust as reconstruction-era Klansmen championing policies to refuse black Americans civil rights because their god wants them to.

She won't be persecuted for following her faith, she will be held accountable for refusing a lawful order to do her job. Believe me, I understand where you're coming from. But, I don't think that the willful misrepresentation of reality by bigoted bible fuckers should be taken seriously.

This so much.

In the past, several states in the south banned interracial marriage on the basis that it was an "affront to religious freedom."

It's the same thing happening here. Except instead of interracial people, it's gay people.

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#31 Jacanuk
Member since 2011 • 20281 Posts

@Master_Live said:

How would firing her be discrimination? She won't be getting fired because of her religion but because of failure to fulfill her duties. That's a fireable offense.

Because the reason for her not wanting to do the task is her religious beliefs. When she was hired that kind of task was obvious not included , so the employer can't come later and demand that she has to do it or she will be fired. It would be the same as demanding a muslim chef suddenly eat pork or do something against their religion, remember religious freedom is protected under federal law.

Which is why i imagine they have to take this course of action and not just making it an internal matter in her office and firing her if she did not comply.

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#32  Edited By whipassmt
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@Aljosa23 said:
@whipassmt said:

I'm not really sure what the legal grounds are for forcing her to issue the licenses. I guess the issue is because the Governor is forcing her to do so, if a different Governor allowed the clerks to opt out on religious grounds than I don't think there would be a basis for forcing her to do so, unless Kentucky prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which in any case she could bypass by not issuing licenses at all).

Jail time is indeed too harsh.

The government isn't "forcing" her, it's her damn job. Something she voluntarily agrees to do. If I went up to my boss and told him "I won't be doing work today because it's against my religion" I'd be fired faster than it took to me to say that. She didn't even try to opt out or let someone else do it instead is using this to try and take a political stand against same-sex marriage. It's abhorrent and the fact you seem to be defending her is disgusting but typical.

So are you saying the issue is more with her refusal to issue any licenses than with her not specifically issuing licenses to same-sex couples? As far as voluntarily taking the job, she took the job when marriage was between a man and a woman so to some extent her job changed on her. As far as the "it's her job part goes", I don't really know much about the duties of clerks, do they do other things than just issue licenses, is that the main part of their job or just a small part? Federal law does require employers to accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees so long as that does not prove to be an undue burden on the employer.

@Serraph105 said:

@Aljosa23: problem is that she can only be impeached. She has really created a no win situation for marriage equality supporters. On the one hand if jail time is pursued you can bet that people will be crying about the persecuted Christian for following her faith. On the other hand if nothing is done about this it sets a bad precedent of a county clerk defying federal authority. Worse yet it's in a state which generally agrees with the notion that gay marriage should be illegal, and while this doesn't directly affect the issue, it clearly aggravates it.

There's a needle that needs to be threaded, but it's unclear to me how to go about it

She is an elected official so I don't think the feds or the state can "fire her", and I doubt the legislature would impeach her. Also I don't think she's so much defying federal authority as she is defying the governor's authority. It's the governor who is ordering the clerks to issue licenses, I think the federal courts are only in the picture because so far she tried and failed to use the federal courts as protection against the governor's order. I'd imagine her stand is generating a lot of media attention in Kentucky, and if she is punished heavily for this the controversy could probably affect the upcoming governor's race. If she was jailed that would probably either help the Republican candidate (who believe in getting the state away from marriage licenses anyway) or force the Democratic candidate to distance himself from the federal court's punishment.

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#33  Edited By Jacanuk
Member since 2011 • 20281 Posts

@thegerg said:

@Jacanuk:

Well, my understanding is that she is an elected official and can't simply be fired.

That being said: "firing would not quite be a option since that would be discrimination and illegal."

No. Stop this bullshit. Firing a person for refusing to do their job isn't unlawful discrimination.

Firing a person because of their religious beliefs is discrimination. We have had this debate before and i know you claim to have some legal knowledge. So do you really have to be explained that?

But did not know she was elected into the office, for me clerk is someone who is hired. So i guess she will be going to jail for contempt.

But its an interesting case, because it clearly shows the attacks on religious freedom there is in America right now.

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#34 deactivated-5b1e62582e305
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@whipassmt said:
@Aljosa23 said:
@whipassmt said:

I'm not really sure what the legal grounds are for forcing her to issue the licenses. I guess the issue is because the Governor is forcing her to do so, if a different Governor allowed the clerks to opt out on religious grounds than I don't think there would be a basis for forcing her to do so, unless Kentucky prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which in any case she could bypass by not issuing licenses at all).

Jail time is indeed too harsh.

The government isn't "forcing" her, it's her damn job. Something she voluntarily agrees to do. If I went up to my boss and told him "I won't be doing work today because it's against my religion" I'd be fired faster than it took to me to say that. She didn't even try to opt out or let someone else do it instead is using this to try and take a political stand against same-sex marriage. It's abhorrent and the fact you seem to be defending her is disgusting but typical.

So are you saying the issue is more with her refusal to issue any licenses than with her not specifically issuing licenses to same-sex couples? As far as voluntarily taking the job, she took the job when marriage was between a man and a woman so to some extent her job changed on her. As far as the "it's her job part goes", I don't really know much about the duties of clerks, do they do other things than just issue licenses, is that the main part of their job or just a small part? Federal law does require employers to accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees so long as that does not prove to be an undue burden on the employer.

I said from the beginning that's the issue. If you actually read it instead of just the title she is also not processing licenses for straight couples either to protest the same-sex ruling. And her job is still the same, in the eyes of the law a same-sex marriage is the exact same as a straight marriage.

How do you suggest they accomodate her? I even said if she refuses she should ask to be moved or do something else yet she has stood her ground.

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#35 Jacanuk
Member since 2011 • 20281 Posts

@alim298 said:
@Jacanuk said:
@alim298 said:

'under God's authority'

Aaaand I lol'ed

And who appointed him to the position of implementing the divine decree?

Someone please wake this woman up. You're working for the government not for "Jesus" please stop the hypocrisy. If it's so hard for you just quit everything then.

Who appointed you to this high position so you can judge other people's faith?

Except that I didn't judge her faith.

But anyways find someone else to argue with kid.

LOL always fun to see someone run like you do ;)

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#37 bforrester420
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Why was I not at all shocked when I saw a picture of the woman and she was unattractive, wears glasses, and was overweight?

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#39 Byshop  Moderator
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@Jacanuk said:
@thegerg said:

@Jacanuk:

Well, my understanding is that she is an elected official and can't simply be fired.

That being said: "firing would not quite be a option since that would be discrimination and illegal."

No. Stop this bullshit. Firing a person for refusing to do their job isn't unlawful discrimination.

Firing a person because of their religious beliefs is discrimination. We have had this debate before and i know you claim to have some legal knowledge. So do you really have to be explained that?

But did not know she was elected into the office, for me clerk is someone who is hired. So i guess she will be going to jail for contempt.

But its an interesting case, because it clearly shows the attacks on religious freedom there is in America right now.

You absolutely can be fired (or not hired) "for your religion" if the practicing of your beliefs prevents you from doing your job. This has been tested in court a bunch of times.

http://www.adl.org/assets/pdf/civil-rights/religiousfreedom/religfreeres/ReligAccommodWPlace-docx.pdf

Here's a sample scenario from the ADL's paper on Religious Accommodations in the workplace:

Q) An employee had a religious belief that required her to wear an anti-abortion button that showed a color photograph of an eighteen to twenty-week old fetus. The button caused disruptions in the workplace, and the employee’s co-workers complained about the button. In response, the employer offered the employee three accommodations: (1) wear the button only in her cubicle; (2) cover the button while at work; or (3) wear a different button with the same message but without the photograph. When she refused these accommodations, she was terminated.

A) Title VII does not require an employer to allow an employee to impose her religious views on others. The employer is only required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious views. In light of the workplace disruption and complaints, and given that the proposed accommodations allowed her religious expression, she was offered a reasonable accommodation and her refusal to accept them justified her termination.

-Byshop

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#40 fenriz275
Member since 2003 • 2154 Posts

Using the argument that she's "under god's authority" is bullshit since the US is a secular country by law. The "god's authority" argument can and has been used to justify enough evil in the world that it's time we stop respecting people who use that as a defense.

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#41  Edited By deactivated-5b19214ec908b
Member since 2007 • 25072 Posts

@Jacanuk said:
@thegerg said:

@Jacanuk:

Well, my understanding is that she is an elected official and can't simply be fired.

That being said: "firing would not quite be a option since that would be discrimination and illegal."

No. Stop this bullshit. Firing a person for refusing to do their job isn't unlawful discrimination.

Firing a person because of their religious beliefs is discrimination. We have had this debate before and i know you claim to have some legal knowledge. So do you really have to be explained that?

But did not know she was elected into the office, for me clerk is someone who is hired. So i guess she will be going to jail for contempt.

But its an interesting case, because it clearly shows the attacks on religious freedom there is in America right now.

It's pretty clear she is in trouble for refusing to do her job, her religious beliefs have nothing to do with it. If my religion forbids me from killing animal and I work in a slaughterhouse would it be discrimination for them to fire me when I refuse to work? How is this any different?

Why does it even matter if it's due to religious reasons that she hates gays? Are religious beliefs more important than non-religious beliefs?

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deactivated-59d151f079814

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#42 deactivated-59d151f079814
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@fenriz275 said:

Using the argument that she's "under god's authority" is bullshit since the US is a secular country by law. The "god's authority" argument can and has been used to justify enough evil in the world that it's time we stop respecting people who use that as a defense.

The problem I have with this goes far beyond that.. These fucking people don't even read their bible and are using things from the old testament to justify their position.. Meanwhile the Old Testament deems things like men shaving their face as a sin against god, it is in fact mentioned MORE than homosexuality... If your going to be self righteous, at least follow the holy book your using to justify your beliefs and not cherry picking bullshit.. This being a woman makes this even more amusing with the Old Testament basically saying women are inferior to men.

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#43 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 20325 Posts

@toast_burner said:
@Jacanuk said:

Firing a person because of their religious beliefs is discrimination. We have had this debate before and i know you claim to have some legal knowledge. So do you really have to be explained that?

But did not know she was elected into the office, for me clerk is someone who is hired. So i guess she will be going to jail for contempt.

But its an interesting case, because it clearly shows the attacks on religious freedom there is in America right now.

It's pretty clear she is in trouble for refusing to do her job, her religious beliefs have nothing to do with it. If my religion forbids me from killing animal and I work in a slaughterhouse would it be discrimination for them to fire me when I refuse to work? How is this any different?

See my above post that came out right around the same time, but you are correct. If practicing your religion prevents you from doing your job, creates disruption in some demonstratable way, hurts the business, etc then the employer doesn't have to keep you around. They are required to make "reasonable" accomodations. When a buddy of mine was in law school he lent me one of his textbooks that was a blast to read because it had all these examples of ridiculous lawsuits and why they got thrown out. One was about a lady who got fired from her job because she was speaking in tongues at work and scaring away customers. She was fired and she tried to sue her employer unsuccesfully.

@fenriz275: Yeah, like I said. God doesn't sign her paychecks. Nobody's forcing her to believe something different to behave differently, but if she wants to stay the clerk she needs to do her job.

-Byshop

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#45 Serraph105
Member since 2007 • 35462 Posts

@whipassmt: I think you are missing some information on this. A federal judge has told her to issue the licenses or face fines/jail time, and the Supreme Court has denied to hear her appeal. http://www.courierpress.com/news/supreme-court-rejects-kentucky-gay-marriage-case

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#46 Master_Live
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@thegerg said:

I hope when she gets home today her garage door opener is broken so she has to get out of the car in the driveway and it's raining so she gets wet and she's carrying her supper in a paper bag that gets soaked through and her food rips out of the bottom and stains her stupid fucking pantsuit.

lol

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#47 whipassmt
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There seems to be a lot of debate about the possibility of firing her, since she is an elected official, I don't think she can be fired, she can probably only be impeached, or possibly recalled by her constituents (I don't know if Kentucky has recall elections or not).

As far as the general issue of firing someone in such a position and whether that would be illegal or not. I do not know. Federal Law requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of employees, so long as doing so would not cause an undue hardship to the employer, so the issue here would be whether or not such actions constitute an undue hardship.

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#49  Edited By deactivated-5b19214ec908b
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@whipassmt said:

There seems to be a lot of debate about the possibility of firing her, since she is an elected official, I don't think she can be fired, she can probably only be impeached, or possibly recalled by her constituents (I don't know if Kentucky has recall elections or not).

As far as the general issue of firing someone in such a position and whether that would be illegal or not. I do not know. Federal Law requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of employees, so long as doing so would not cause an undue hardship to the employer, so the issue here would be whether or not such actions constitute an undue hardship.

Reasonable accommodation means letting them take a five minute break to pray and stuff like that. It doesn't mean they should be allowed to openly discriminate and refuse to do their jobs.

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#50  Edited By deactivated-59d151f079814
Member since 2003 • 47239 Posts

@whipassmt said:

There seems to be a lot of debate about the possibility of firing her, since she is an elected official, I don't think she can be fired, she can probably only be impeached, or possibly recalled by her constituents (I don't know if Kentucky has recall elections or not).

As far as the general issue of firing someone in such a position and whether that would be illegal or not. I do not know. Federal Law requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of employees, so long as doing so would not cause an undue hardship to the employer, so the issue here would be whether or not such actions constitute an undue hardship.

... Her refusing marriage to a gay couple is a violation of civil rights.. Would we be having this same kind of controversy if this were a person denying marriage to a interracial couple? We had people use their religious beliefs justify their refusal of marrying interracial couples 50 years earlier.. This is no different.