Gay marriage licenses a duty

Daily Editorial Board

Last week, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was sent to jail after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Defying the newly instated law that requires clerks such as Davis to follow the new rules or else risk being charged for “contempt of court,” Davis further ordered her deputies not to issue licenses in her absence, an action which prevented her release from jail. 
 
There has been a largely mixed reaction from the public, with some people protesting for her immediate release and others suggesting that she deserves her fate for noncompliance. Yet others, such as Republican presidential candidate and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have voiced concerns that it is “absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.”
 
The definition of marriage has indeed changed to accommodate modern social views. Thus, we feel that jailing Davis is harsh but necessary. 
 
Unfortunately, the reality is that Davis is a government official and must be held accountable as such. Some have called for punishing her with a fine, but this isn’t enough.
 
After all, the National Organization for Marriage has proposed an initiative to raise her $100,000.
 
In an alternative scenario, if a federal employee working for FAFSA refused to sign off on student loans due to a religious objection — some religions disallow loaning money with interest — people would find this a ludicrous objection.
 
Just as loaning money on interest as a FAFSA employee is intrinsic to the job, signing marriage certificates for same-sex couples is now a part of the job for county clerks.