The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

County clerk Kim Davis violated separation of church and state as an elected official.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 553 times Debate No: 79467
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Kim Davis was elected to the position of County clerk. Once sworn in she becomes a worker of the state. She is also a devout born again Christian which led her to be in opposition to gay marriage. However her job requires her to grant gay marriage licenses after the recent supreme court ruling allowing gay marriage. She was unable to separate her personal beliefs and her duties as clerk; as such she is currently being held in contempt.

The first amendment of the constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." As an employee of the state she violated this amendment as well as the supreme court ruling by rejecting requests for same sex marriage licences on the basis of her faith.
As a county clerk it is her responsibility to serve the public and the constituents who elected her. By disallowing her constituents to marry their partners because it went against her personal religious convictions she acted outside of her job's role.

Her behavior was discriminatory and also hypocritical as she herself was married and divorced multiple times; which also runs counter to her belief system. (Mathew 5:31-32) This cherry picking of what tenets to follow appears to be proof of her using her religious belief as a front for her own prejudice.

In conclusion she let her personal prejudice get in the way of her duties as a county clerk, violating separation of church and state.


What Kim Davis did was lawfully carry out. She has religious freedom. If her faith was anti gay marriage, she has a right to deny them. In the Christian faith. Homosexually is a sin and offensive towards God.( no offense to any one). She was being fair , she was not allowing any couple to get a marriage license no matter sexual orientation.
Debate Round No. 1


Con has stated that what Kim Davis did was lawfully carried out. However according to the Associated Press (1), Kim Davis was denying heterosexual and homosexual couples from obtaining licensees in her county. Four of these couples ended up suing Ms. Davis, and the judge ruled in favor of the couples ordering her to issue the licenses. She continued to defy the court order and as a result was held in contempt of court. When the supreme court ruled in favor of same sex marriage she became legally obligated to issue same sex licenses as a public official and county clerk. Her defiance of this ruling is evidence of her acting outside of her legal rights contrary to Con's claim.

Con goes on to state that in the Christian faith homosexuality is a sin and is offensive towards God. It is true this is the position of many Christians, however the United States is not and never was a religious theocracy. Separation of church and state in the first amendment shows that upon becoming a public official and swearing an oath, she had an obligation to not allow her religious convictions get in the way of her duty to serve her constituents. Her faith is frankly irrelevant to her position as county clerk as she had many opportunities to both allow a clear conscience with her personal beliefs and carry out her job duties.

The court offered Ms. Davis the right to have her deputies issue the licenses in her place previously to allow her to save conscience of the conflict between what her job required and her faith. Ms. Davis chose to not only stop issuing licenses; she didn't allow her deputies to issue them either. Con argues, " She was being fair , she was not allowing any couple to get a marriage license no matter sexual orientation." In attempting to enforce ones religious beliefs upon others this ceases to be fair. Simply because she didn't allow any licences to gay or straight couples is not evidence of fairness as her reason for doing so was in protest of gays having the right to obtain marriage licenses. Stating that she has the right to do this due to her religious freedom is akin to me not allowing Con to obtain desert because I'm on a diet and have the right to diet. You have personal religious freedom yes, but not the right to force others to comply with your religious beliefs.

In conclusion Con argues that Davis was acting lawfully, yet she acted in defiance of a court order after being given alternatives. Her being held in contempt of court is evidence she was not acting legally. Con states with her religious freedom that gives her the freedom to force her community to comply with her beliefs, that ceases to be religious freedom and quickly becomes religious tyranny. Con states homosexuality is counter to Christianity, yet the United States is not a theocracy as evident of the 1st amendment.

1) - Copyright " The Associated Press


Our nation has been a non favoring faith nation since our founding. But the united States has have a special relationship with the Christian faith. Many of our founding founding fathers were Christians and our money has the words "in god we trust". Our pledge of allegiance has the line " under God ".

The decision that the supmere court made was an biased liberal activism made by 5 judges who are trying to carry out thier political parties' andgea and views. Kim Davis has the right to deny any couple a marriage license! She was put in jail by a liberal judge!
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank con for accepting this debate and responding in such a timely matter.

Once Kim Davis became an elected official she became a representative of the state which in effect made her bound to carry out the laws of the state as well as uphold the constitution, specifically the separation of church and state. Part of her job is the issuing of marriage licenses. After the supreme court ruling in favor of allowing same sex marriages issuing same sex marriage license then became part of her job. In refusing to issue licences in opposition of that ruling she overstepped the separation of church and state. Con argued in round 1 that she has religious freedom, I believe con and I can agree on this. However as an elected official she swore an oath to carry out the laws of the state. Allowing her to decide which laws she finds acceptable sets a dangerous precedent.

In round one Con argued how homosexual marriages are against Christianity. However the united states clearly has separation of church and state and is not a theocracy. Con has argued in round 2 how the United States has a special relationship with the Christian faith yet also acknowledges the national does not favor faith. He references the founding fathers and "in god we trust" as well as one nation "under god". A good few of the founding fathers actually were "deists" and didn't subscribe to the Christian faith. "In god we trust" was actually later added to the money in 1957 after a Christian majority ruled congress. In 1954 the phrase "under god" was added to the pledge once again long after the founding. Thus showing this nation didn't always have such a "special relationship" with Christianity. The only relationship it does seem to hold is that a majority is Christian, and with the US being a democratic republic having the majority doesn't simply grant the Christian faith the right to tyranny of the minority. Thus separation of church and state stands.

In round 2 Con believes that the decision to allow same sex marriage was a result of liberal judges with an agenda. Along with the same judge that held Kim Davis in contempt of court. This is a very bold claim that Con will need to provide sufficient evidence for otherwise it is merely conjecture.

Supreme court judges are hand picked for their rational wisdom and legal prowess. To simply reduce any decision made by them to mere political agenda is rather insulting. In fact one of the leading arguments in the court case that resulted in the legalization of gay marriage was whether the supreme court should take away the state's right to decide, and whether or not they should simply stay and allow. The gay marriage side argued that with the denial of equal access to the legal and financial benefits of marriage made the supreme court supporting unequal access to these benefits. And should they continue to allow this there must be sufficient evidence and cause. The same sex marriage side failed to present sufficient cause for the court to continue unequal access. They failed to show how allowing same sex marriages impacted same sex couples negatively, thus failing to meet their burden of proof they lost the case. This doesn't sound like liberal agenda, this sounds like a fair ruling.

If you recall from round 2 I argued the judge that sentenced Ms. Davis showed fairness by allowing her to have her deputies to issue the licences in her place. Kim Davis didn't want any access to gay marriage licenses and thus refused this offer. This is further proof that the judge wasn't simply acting out of bias. Rather this is proof Kim Davis was acting out of bias.

Con has made claims of religious freedom and fairness with the acts of Kim Davis, but this remains to be seen. Fairness by most standard definitions equates to equal access not denial due to personal belief. Kim Davis allowed her personal bias and belief get in the way of her job duties as an elected official overstepping the separation of church and state. We cannot stand for such behavior less we begin throwing away all court orders. She doesn't get special treatment to decide which laws to uphold and which ones to ignore simply because she is a Christian with strong beliefs, no one should and that kind of tyranny isn't what this country was founded upon.


Kim Davis has the right to a workplace that didn't inslut or walk over her faith. The judge, who sencnted to her was a more socialy liberal in his ruelings and a long history of being basied in same sex legal services. The five supreme court judges who voted in favor for a nationwide acceptance of gay marriage are liberal. If the pro did not know that the president picks candites to be supreme court justices. The president always picks someone that has the same political views as his political party.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
She has no right to stand in judgement over any one, especially with her past. Judge not lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1) It turns out she is a fornicater (AKA a slut).
Posted by Sarra 1 year ago
She did not violate the first amendment in the way you describe. She does not make laws.
Posted by Sarra 1 year ago
Can you explain the pro side and con side of this statement?
Posted by WAM 1 year ago
The first amendment, as stated by pro, states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Congress being the legislature, the law making body of the federal government of the US, which is the Government of the USA. This means that by being a clerk for Kentucky she needs to follow and represent Kentucky law, and as Kentucky is part of the USA and thus under the federal government, she needs to follow the federal law, most importantly the constitution.

Would this be a 'crime' if she did it while not working, or not being a representative? No, not to my knowledge. However, as she is a Kentucky Official, who has to follow Kentucky law, thus having to follow federal law, she is acting in violation. The sole reason why this is seen as an offence is because she is a clerk. Therefore she violated the first amendment.

On another point, I don't get Christians, apparently Gays commit sin, why not let them 'burn' in hell? Or is this about the bond of 'marriage'? Non Christian people get married, do they make a fuss about that as well? Apparently God judges us all, why not let God do the judging and shut up?
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
She didn't violate the first amendment. The first amendment says nothing about preventing people from refusing to do anything on the basis of their faith. Was what she did wrong? Yes. Should it be illegal? Hell no.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed how as an elected official, it was Kim Davis' job and duty to issue marriage licenses. Pro also showed how she defied court orders. These are pretty good arguments, whereas Con's weren't. Con states that homosexuality is against Christianity, the weight of this argument? None. As Pro said, the US is a secular nation, therefore religion has no place in state affairs. All of Pro's arguments were dropped by Con, who kept saying the same thing over and over again. That Kim Davis had a right to practice her religion. However, as Pro says, this doesn't give her discretion to choose which laws to uphold and which to ignore. Sources were only used by Pro.