Where are Kim Davis’ gay friends?

Timothy Kincaid

September 23rd, 2015


Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis took to the talk circuit today to defend her decision to force her county to live according to what Kim Davis thinks that God wants. And, as anti-gays so often do, she trotted out the old “my gay friends” statement.

I have friends who are gay and lesbians. They know where I stand. And we don’t agree on this issue, and we’re OK because we respect each other.

This tired old tactic is an attempt to tell the audience that they should not listen to all those radical militant homosexuals because real gay people understand and respect Davis. It is designed to discredit her critics and show that her actions aren’t so bad because reasonable people, including reasonable gay people, respect her actions.

But this cannard relies on two old premises, neither of which remain true.

First, Davis assumes that her audience doesn’t have any gay friends of their own. Even the most casual conversation with a gay person would quickly disprove that notion.

The community may not be unanimous on cake bakers or florists, but when it comes to Davis’ denial of state services and refusal to allow her deputies to offer them, gays across the political spectrum see this as not OK and not deserving of respect. The only way to not know this is to not know any gay people.

But though Davis and her counsel may live under the impression that homosexuality is a dark secret kept in a closet, most Americans have gay people in their lives. Nearly 90% of Americans know a gay person and more than half have a relative or close friend who is gay.

The second presumption on Davis’ part is that sexual orientation is a very private matter and no one will violate the privacy of her acquaintances and say, “who are these gay friends of yours?” Thus she can just toss out this patently absurd statement and no one will call her on it.

But fewer and fewer people feel shame or any need to hide their orientation. And I think we can assume that anyone who is out to Kim Davis is not particularly selective in deciding to whom they will reveal their orientation.

So the Kentucky Equality Federation is asking just who are these friends who are OK with Davis and respect her? What are their names? Do they really support her? Do they even exist?

The Daily Beast took up the quest, interviewing her former husband, her employees, and her neighbors. But no one seems to be aware of any gay people in Davis’ social circle.

Several gay themed sites have also spread the appeal and satire sites are mocking her claim. As they should.

I think that eventually someone will turn up who knows Kim Davis. Maybe a grocery clerk or the son of a neighbor or a distant cousin. And when they do, they will say that they love Kim and respect her… but that what she is doing is wrong and they are not OK with it. And that will be that.

I am sympathetic towards that as yet unidentified person who may not want to be dragged into the story or risk alienating people in their town. But I am glad that finally, after years of politicians and preachers and pundits playing the “my gay friends” card to deflect criticism, finally someone is being called on it.


September 23rd, 2015

“I have friends who are gay and lesbians. They know where I stand. And we don’t agree on this issue, and we’re OK because we respect each other.”

Timothy, as you hint at near the end of this post, the statement, as quoted, doesn’t indicate that Davis’ cited friends agree with her illegal actions. Without the original context, this quote could just as easily be her evidence that she doesn’t actually hate gay people, and that she is capable of getting along with gay people, even when they disagree on fundamental issues. Indeed, this statement suggests that her cited friends do NOT, in fact, agree with her on the issue of marriage equality, but their friendship transcends this disagreement. I will grant that, outside of my hypothesized context, this statement is rhetorical hogwash, and it is good that is actually being challenged, but it is not helpful to analyze this quote out of context, and the analysis should accurately reflect what is actually said.

Priya Lynn

September 23rd, 2015

I didn’t see anywhere where Timothy suggested Kim stated she had gay friends who agreed with her actions.

Richard Rush

September 23rd, 2015

If one of her gay friends had been a county clerk, and had denied her a fourth marriage license simply because she was an adulterous whoring tramp, I’m sure she would have filed a lawsuit, even though ‘they were OK because they respected each other.’


September 23rd, 2015

She doesn’t have gay friends. She may know a couple of gay people, but they will have long ago given up on trying to have any kind of rational discussion or have any respect for her bullshit jesus driven tripe. It’s the hopelessly typical religious bigot (and that includes some so-called “spiritual” gays) that there is no disagreeing with their position, but we’re still “friends”. Utter, complete stinking load of bullshit.


September 24th, 2015

Didn’t I just read on the advocates this morning that the 2 gay friends of her were also denied a marriage license and she said that they respected her for that?


September 24th, 2015

Yes. I did read that she denied to give a marriage license to her gay friends but the article did not say whether or not the gay couple was ok or not with that. But you can take a guess even if the first part of the story was true. I’m calling BS to the whole incident. Would it be fair to say that some of my best friend are Kentucky clerks?

Ben in oakland

September 24th, 2015

Nathaniel, I think that is an excellent catch, one that I wish I had caught. She may have a gay friends: that is indeed a question. But her friends are willing to be friends with her– God knows why– despite their disagreement with her positions.

I’ve heard this comment about the gay friends from a number of virulently antigay people. I am inclined actually to believe them…

If by gay, you mean homo hating homos like Lonnie Latham or Ted Haggard or Ken Mehlman (in his earlier incarnation) or David benkof. Or bisexuals who are homohating homos claiming they are gay but still heterosexually married like Rollo and Maimwaring. Or people who are degaying themselves through Freud or Fraud of the exgay variety. Those are the gay people she is talking about: the kind that would be found consorting with her and hanging out at her church

The definition of gay and the definition of friend are loopholes you can drive a very larrge cathedral through, .

And if by friends– well, I can believe a homohating homo might be her friend. They would agree on so much. But I suspect she means friend in the sense of “knowing by name” and maybe sharing a little Jesus with. I think they mean the same thing when they “love” someone they don’t know and know nothing about, and who, the denigrate in so many ways.


September 24th, 2015

Priya, that is the entire premise of the argument:
“This tired old tactic is an attempt to tell the audience that they should not listen to all those radical militant homosexuals because real gay people understand and respect Davis. It is designed to discredit her critics and show that her actions aren’t so bad because reasonable people, including reasonable gay people, respect her actions.” (emphasis added)

But that is not what she says in the quote; she says that they “respect each other.” That means her “friends” don’t try to convert her to their sinful ways, they don’t avoid her whenever she’s around, and they don’t talk badly about her to mutual friends, NOT that they “respect her actions,” as Timothy wrote. (It also doesn’t clarify whether she tries to convert/avoid/talk badly about them, given how we have seen some Christians try to express their love to LGBT people. And, as Ben pointed out, this quote doesn’t preclude other possibilities that are not really representative of the larger LGBT community.)


September 24th, 2015

You called it, Timothy!


Timothy Kincaid

September 24th, 2015


Davis did not say that her ‘gay friends’ respect her actions. Nor did I claim that she did.

What I said was that when this tactic is employed it is designed to show that reasonable gay people respect whatever it is that the claimant is doing – in this case denying licenses.

“…we’re OK because we respect each other” implies an acceptance of her actions and respect for her position. It suggests that her ‘gay friends’ say, “well golly, I disagree, but you gotta respect Kim for standing for what she believes.”

You, however, may read her words differently.

Priya Lynn

September 24th, 2015

Nathaniel, your argument reminds me of one I had with my bank. When I paraprased what they said they kept insisting “That’s not what I said, I said….”. Their argument being, if you don’t repeat exactly what I said any paraprhasing is incorrect. I don’t buy that. Timothy didn’t repeat exactly what she said but his paraphrasing was basically accurate.

Regan DuCasse

September 24th, 2015

I was thinking about another, horrendously difficult subject to talk about.
Illegal immigration.

Eventually, those who support illegal immigrants and immigration, do NOT want the word “Illegal” to be a part of the conversation.
I have been slammed for my stand on it. Most reasonable people ARE supportive of IMMIGRATION.
But are NOT, when it comes to ILLEGAL immigration.
Sometimes I have wondered about mentioning how many of my friends are immigrants. But that would sound defensive and like a matter of chilling the conversation.
But I don’t say it.
Because my issue is about people who have SO broken immigration laws, now those whose job it is to enforce immigration standards, just throw up their hands.
It’s a wonder such offices like ICE, DHS, and BLE are still open.
My issue is not where a person comes from or that they are an immigrant.

I have a serious problem with people who disrespect the NECESSARY (however imperfect), laws required to live, work and become a citizen here.
Much of the laws we ALL have to abide by, are ALSO being broken.
And evidently, illegal immigrants have enough political clout, to undermine that of citizens.
This is dangerous, amoral and abusive.

However, my relationships with people who are immigrants, is very real and close. It is THEY who I am concerned about. That THEY are going to become suspect, because of the betrayals of other immigrants and those in political and legal offices.
LEGAL immigrants, who are my family, friends and loved ones…are the ones being mistreated and undermined.
But I am called an anti immigrant bigot and xenophobe quite handily.
But people who don’t really know me.
I do have immigrant friends who agree with and would defend, and already have, everything I have to say on the subject.
There are of course, legal immigrants who are equally angry and perplexed by how their status is undermined by illegal immigration.
And no one is really asking them how THEY feel.

In the case of genuine bigots, their relationships with the object of their bigotry, is usually quite casual and superficial.
If they have any at all. So typically, as said by Tim, there wouldn’t be anyone around to really call the bigot out on what they say.

Controversy has little chance to be seriously committed to factual, and unemotional discourse.
People get more reactionary by the day, when it comes to trying to have an HONEST conversation.
When I see how anti gay Christians defend their position, it will inevitably be hypocritical and lack informed understanding about how civil and public laws work.

In the case of illegal immigration. This too, can become more emotional. But I’ve found that those defending illegal immigration, are as morally dishonest as those who defend their anti gay positions on civil law.

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