Kim Davis has kept a low profile since being freed from jail after refusing to do her job of authorizing marriage licenses. She claimed religious liberty as the reason she wouldn’t allow same-sex couples to marry in Rowan County, and her crusade was not ultimately successful. Davis enjoyed some time in the limelight and dragged her magnificent poncho to President Obama’s last State of the Union address. She then ducked a porn company offer and got snubbed by Pope Francis before deciding this world was too cruel. Davis has returned to work while claiming she never wanted the spotlight. Her deputies are issuing marriage licenses, and she’s getting paid to hang in her office, but at least she’s staying quiet.
Well, a Davis associate has not been keeping to himself these days. You may have noticed the wave of anti-LGBT laws sweeping the nation. In late March, North Carolina passed a bill that allowed discrimination against LGBT people, which included the banning of transgender people from some restrooms. Georgia and Mississippi soon followed with similar legislation, and Tennessee took things even further by allowing therapists to decline service to LGBT patients based upon religious beliefs. In a few of these states, pressure from businesses and outraged citizens have prompted governors to walk back on the bills, but it’s not over.
All told, around 20 states have either passed anti-LGBT laws, or they’re in various stages of doing so. CBS News started digging to find out what the hell is going on, and they found a leader for this movement. He just happens to be Kim Davis’ attorney, Mathew Staver, who explains the actions of his ultra-conservative group:
“It is only about being free to pursue your faith,” said Mathew Staver. “We have no interest in discriminating against anyone.” Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which has affiliated attorneys in all 50 states — drafting bills, advising lawmakers and defending clients in what they believe to be the great cultural clash of our time.
CBS News first met Staver when he defended a Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who said it was against her religion to hand out marriage licenses to homosexuals. Lately, Liberty Counsel has been helping to draft legislation for conservative lawmakers in at least 20 states.
The Liberty Counsel’s chief objective appears to be “protecting religion over sexual orientation,” but the group doesn’t understand how they are trouncing an entire segment of the population’s rights in the process. Still, Staver will continue his fight and spends his days dreaming up new ways to crusade for religious rights.
When quizzed about why these anti-LGBT laws are popping up now — months after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage — Staver told CBS that the ruling was unconstitutional. Further, he believes the justices “lit the house on fire,” and the Liberty Counsel is merely trying to control the inferno. Some might say the group is actually fanning the flames, but Staver disagrees. He also believes all boycotts from the corporate, sports, and entertainment world will all fail: “It’s a bluff. They’re not leaving.”
(via CBS News)