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In an interview with Fox News, Mat Staver, the lawyer of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, compared the anti-LGBT Davis to Abraham Lincoln and civil rights figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kim Davis is the marriage clerk who became infamous for refusing to issue licences to same sex couples.
Kim Davis’ story so far:
1. Kentucky clerk Kim Davis refuses to issue same sex marriage licences
2. Kim Davis in custody after refusing to issue same sex marriage licences
Mat Staver claimed LGBT people are levying a ‘jizya tax’ on Christian believers. Staver, whose firm Liberty Counsel has defended other Christians in anti-LGBT cases, likens this supposed tax to the fines businesses face when they refuse to serve members of the LGBT community.
A jizya tax is one levied on non-Muslims in a Muslim theocracy. In the interview, Alan Colmes pointed out to Staver that the USA is not a religious theocracy.
‘We shouldn’t be fined, whether we’re living in a country that imposes a jizya tax or certainly in America for exercising our faith that conflicts with someone else,’ said Staver.
Colmes replied, ‘But unlike Muslim countries that are non-secular, we’re a secular country and these are places as you well know, of public accommodation, that must be open to all commerce, so it’s not the same thing as a Muslim country saying “well, you’re not a Muslim,” not that I’m defending that rule. But It’s very different in a secular country where you have to be open if you’re a place that serves the public.’
Staver claimed the First Amendment protects Davis on the grounds the government is contravening her religious freedom.
Colmes said, ‘What about the right of gays to marry, for example, where your client, Kim Davis, her religious views apparently coincided with or conflicted with gays’ rights as Constitutionally mandated by the Supreme Court to have marriage? So who wins in that back and forth? How do you accommodate both sides?’
‘She didn’t want to authorize something that conflicted with (her) God’s definition of marriage,’ said Staver.
Staver continued: ‘…what happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment, then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses, then they continued to stigmatize them, then they were the “problems,” then they killed them. The fact of the matter is, she has a right to this employment and you don’t lose your constitutional liberties just because you are employed by the government.’
‘But you have compared her both to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jews in the Holocaust. Is a Jew comparison to the Holocaust a little over the top?’ said Colmes.
‘I’m not sure I’ve compared this to Jews in the Holocaust,’ said Staver, in an apparent U-turn. ‘But I think what we looked at with Martin Luther King, Jr. and certainly not in comparison with what he did, it’s just not in the same category, and it’s not meant to be. But obviously looking at analogies where someone had a belief that conflicted with the laws of the land, and in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s situation he chose to go to jail rather than violate his conscience. Kim Davis chose to also go to jail,’ he said.
Mat Staver claimed that Pope Francis agreed with Kim Davis’ right to civil disobedience, although the Vatican has issued a statement that says ‘they were in no way endorsing what she was doing’.
Watch the interview here: