Via The Blaze, this was from Hugh Hewitt’s show Tuesday. He asks Fiorina about the case of that Kentucky clerk of court who refuses to issue a marriage license for a same-sex couple asking for one – which under Obergefell the clerk is required to do but continues to refuse doing.
This is the classic Hobson’s choice, isn’t it? The clerk has a specific religious objection to having to issue a license for a same-sex wedding. Fundamentally, to do that would be to sanction such a marriage, which can credibly be stated as a violation of one’s religious principles.
And if the clerk was a Muslim or a Hindu or a transgender atheist, you can bet your sweet ass there would be zero question about whether her religious convictions would be paramount to the discussion. But since she’s a traditional Christian we have this question.
Fiorina answers it probably correctly, in saying that while she thinks the concern raised by the case is real when you take a government job your responsibility and charge is to dispose of situations based on the law and not your personal convictions, and after Obergefell the law is that gay marriages are a real thing – so if you’re a county clerk you have to issue that license. Or you can resign your job, on account of having to do your job under those circumstances would violate your religious beliefs.
And while Fiorina is probably correct, there isn’t much question that this situation is a bright-line case for how serious we are as a country about protecting religious freedom. Because to say that if you’re a government employee you have to put your religious scruples aside, whatever they might be, is perfectly defensible – but we all know that this principle is not applied across the board.
So the Muslim who works for the city planning commission can’t say that his religious beliefs won’t allow him to grant a license for the new bar downtown. Right?
When we can say with confidence that the minor and frankly insignificant religious minorities are faced with giving ground to the expressed will of the majority as written in legislation, then the county clerk in Kentucky should have to issue that same-sex marriage license – which, as we said above, is a valid expectation based on the current state of law.
The problem isn’t that she’s forced to compromise her beliefs in order to hold a public position. The problem is that “favored” minorities don’t have to. It’s unfortunate that Fiorina didn’t touch on that issue during her answer, because she’s going to be interpreted as lacking respect for religious liberty – or specifically, religious liberty for the sect most disfavored by the government; namely, Christians.