I know, I know: You are sick and tired of hearing about Kim Davis. So am I, really.
But I just have to pass along this piece of information from the Progressive Secular Humanist newsletter at Patheos.com. It makes me believe there is hope for Kentucky. In fact, it kind of makes me want to move to Kentucky — for a little while — just so I can vote for Gov. Sheve Beshear.
On Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 13, a group of “influential Kentucky pastors representing the Family Foundation of Kentucky showed up at the Kentucky Capitol, demanding to meet with Beshear. They were demanding the governor call the legislture into a special section for the express reason of enact some sort of special “accommodations” for county clerks in the state who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because of the clerks’ “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Gov. Beshear refused to meet with them. Flat out refused.
Beshear’s chief of staff, Larry Bond, did meet with the group, and basically told them, “Um, yeah. No way, dudes.” (I am paraphrasing a little.)
What he did say as that the governor has no authority to exempt any county clerk from their sworn duty through an executive order, because it’s the legislature who bestowed that duty upon them, and only the Legislature can change it. And no, the governor WILL NOT be calling a special session for that purpose.
The communications director for Beshear’s office issued the following statement:
“The governor’s chief of staff, Larry Bond, met with a group of ministers today. The governor’s office is always happy to meet with community leaders and citizens and hear their ideas. Mr. Bond reminded the group, however, that the legislature has placed the authority to issue marriage licenses on county clerks by statute, and the governor has no legal authority to relieve them of their statutory duty by executive order. The General Assembly will convene in just 12 weeks and can make any statutory changes it deems necessary at that time. The governor sees no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 of 120 county clerks are doing their jobs.”
It’s that last part I really liked: “when 117 of 120 county clerks are doing their jobs.”
The Rev. Randy Smith, a spokesman for the so-called pastors, said they were not pleased with the response. Big surprise there.