2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #33
Hypothetical sign in a government office in Montana: “No hunting licenses issued: clerk a vegetarian.” Now that is not to compare nutrition beliefs to religious beliefs, but regardless of what a government official’s personal, political or even religious beliefs are, all government officials must follow the law. Of course, that brings us to the clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who declined to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because she believed that would violate her conservative Christian beliefs. But she was rightfully sanctioned by a federal judge when she refused the judicial order to comply with the law. Liberty demands that no government officials be above the law, even if that law happens to do be at odds with their personal beliefs. In fact, when it comes down to it, she was not punished for practicing her religion, she was jailed for using the government to force others to comply with the practices of her religion.
As a judge, I enforced many laws even when I did not agree with them. I didn’t have to do so quietly, but I still followed the law. Why? Because when I assumed that judicial office, I raised my hand and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of both the United States and the State of California. And if there came a time that I could not do so, I should have resigned. That was also the situation for the Rowan County clerk, and she was rightfully forced to uphold that duty. Liberty demands nothing less.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President