Yes, Standing With Kim Davis Helped Matt Bevin in Kentucky

Booking photo of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis

When Rowan County clerk Kim Davis was jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, national Democrats derided her. However, in Kentucky, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin made a strong stand in defending Ms. Davis’s religious liberty. In a statement, he said:

It is utterly unnecessary that Rowan County clerk, Kim Davis, is sitting in a jail cell, when there is a simple solution that would respect the rights of every Kentuckian. I first put this solution forward many weeks ago. Why the cowardly silence from our Attorney General, Jack Conway? Jack Conway violated his oath of office as Attorney General when he refused to defend our state in court.  Where was our Governor then demanding his resignation? The double standard applied in this case is reprehensible. Jack Conway refused to defend our state constitution and now he is refusing to stand up for the religious liberties of our county clerks. This is unconscionable and, as Governor, I will stand up for all Kentuckians, not just the ones who agree with me.

Bevin’s strong stand in defense of Kim Davis and religious liberty has paid off. He is now Governor-elect Matt Bevin, having defeated Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway 52.5 percent to 43.8 percent. Most major polls of the race had Bevin either in a statistical tie with Conway or losing to the sitting attorney general.

Perhaps most interesting are the results in Kim Davis’s home county of Rowan. Continue Reading

Will Kim Davis Defeat Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Day by day we hear of rallies like this, unreported or underreported by the media.

Democrat Jack Conway was up by ten points or more in polling against Matt Bevin, but Kim Davis just may defeat the Kentucky Democratic party.  The race is close enough that the Republican Governors Association just jumped in with $1.6 million in funding in the home stretch.

Kim Davis went to jail because the Democratic governor refused to provide any accommodation for clerks under the state RFRA, although the eventual resolution in Rowan County demonstrated how easy it is to provide such an accommodation. This governor’s race will be a bellwether for the future of conscience protections for gay marriage dissenters.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Kentucky Attorney General Threatens to Prosecute Kim Davis for Misconduct

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Kentucky Attorney General Scott Conway issued a brief statement saying he will not prosecute Kim Davis for official misconduct “at this time.” He did not, however, dismiss the request to appoint a special prosecutor, but merely announced through a spokesperson he was holding it “in abeyance for now” according to local Kentucky media:

“Judge Bunning and the federal court have control of this matter, and therefore a special state prosecutor is not necessary at this time,” Conway spokeswoman Allison Gardner Martin said. “We are holding the request in abeyance for now.”

The lawyer for one same-sex couple denied a license said they were hoping for a criminal investigation:

“We would like to have seen a prosecutor explore the possibility of criminal charges, but we’ll let the civil lawsuits proceed,” said Rene Heinrich, a lawyer for Yates and Smith.

Jack Conway, a Democrat (as is Kim Davis), is running for governor of Kentucky to replace Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat who has repeatedly declined to use the state RFRA laws to fashion the kind of accommodation Judge Bunning eventually imposed.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading