It is perfectly fine for an owner of a private business to decline to participate in an event or produce a product if it requires violating one’s religious beliefs. It’s another thing entirely for a person who works for the government — on behalf of the taxpayer and paid by taxpayer funds — to decline to do the job required of them.
Kim Davis is no hero. Her job is to process marriage licenses. If she felt she could no longer consciously do her job, she had an obligation to step aside. No only did she not do that, she barred the rest of her staff from executing their duties as well and ceased issuing all marriage licenses. A reasonable accommodation could have been made for Ms. Davis by allowing her other assistants to process that with which she disagreed. But she chose all-or-nothing, to stop doing her job entirely. For that, she should resign.
Ms. Davis was perfectly free to choose not to process the licenses with which she had disagreement, but in making that choice, the only logical and honorable conclusion was resignation — because she could no longer fulfill the oath she swore to when she was elected.
Not only is her judgment on the matter incorrect, but she is also mucking up the opportunity for those who deserve an honest day in court when they have faced persecution for their beliefs in the private sector.
As stated by Judge Andrew Napolitano, “The free exercise clause guarantees individuals the lawful ability to practice their religion free from government interference. It does not permit those in government to use their offices to deny the rights of others who reject their beliefs. That is the lesson for Kim Davis”.