The Kentucky clerk heading to court today for a contempt hearing over her order that her county office defy the Supreme Court and refuse to issue marriage licenses has already received support from GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul. The clerk, Kim Davis, now also has the support of Louisiana governor and GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, who has tried to turn phony claims about Christian persecution in America into a major campaign theme.
While Jindal has made a point of rallying against the (non-existent) imposition of Islamic religious law in Western Europe, the Republican leader hailed clerk Kim Davis for citing her personal beliefs on biblical law and God’s judgment as a reason to flout U.S. law on marriage, telling the Huffington Post:
“I don’t think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions. I think it’s wrong to force Christian individuals or business owners. We are seeing government today discriminate against whether it’s clerks, florists, musicians or others. I think that’s wrong. I think you should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience,” he said. “I absolutely do believe people have a First Amendment right, a constitutional right. I don’t think the court can take that away.”
However, back in 2009, Jindal was positively outraged when a Louisiana justice of the peace “refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple” in clear defiance of the law because he had a personal objection to such unions, telling reporters that he does not “believe in mixing the races that way.”
The case made national news and Jindal came out with a strong statement demanding that the official either follow the law or lose his job, dismissing the official’s stated personal objection: “This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. … Disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license.” The governor later hailed the justice of the peace’s resignation as “long overdue.”
This of course begs the question: Why does Jindal think that a public official who violates the law by citing her personal objection to gay marriage is worthy of praise and legal protection, while a public official who violates the law by citing his personal objection to interracial marriage is worthy of scorn and must be dismissed from his job?
Perhaps it has something to do with Jindal’s desperate campaign to portray American Christians as victims of government oppression?