President Obama's effort to stack the audience with those who support his causes at his last State of the Union Address is being rebuffed by conservatives inviting guests that challenged Obamacare and gay marriage.
The Family Research Council told Secrets late Monday that they arranged for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to approve marriage certificates for gay couples, to sit in the House audience. They also got a seat for her attorney Mat Staver.
Obama has invited Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the court case that led the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage.
He will sit with about 24 others in the First Lady's box. The White House said the guests "represent the progress we have made since the president first delivered this speech seven years ago."
Davis, the Rowan County clerk, refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it conflicted with her Christian beliefs. She spent five nights in jail. Her cased helped to push religious liberty into the presidential contest.
During the turmoil over her refusal in September, Obama's spokesman blasted Davis. "I will just say on principle that the success of our democracy depends on the rule of law and there is no public official that is above the rule of law," Josh Earnest said. "Certainly not the president of the United States. But neither is the Rowan county clerk. That's a principle that is enshrined in our Constitution and in our democracy."
She was also invited to attend Monday night's "State of the Family" address by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Perkins singled her out, according to an advance copy of his speech.
In addition to our faith, we still have our freedom. We must use that freedom to choose the good and the true. That, after all, is the purpose of freedom.
And many are doing just that – using their God-given and constitutionally-assured liberty to stand for faith, family, and freedom. We have seen several heroes arise in the last year and we are honored to have some of them join us tonight.
While the marriage decision was a devastating principled loss for us all, it was a very personal loss for Kentucky Clerk of Court, Kim Davis. Clerk Davis became the face of the opposition when she refused to sanction same-sex marriages by allowing her name to appear on marriage licenses. Kim stood strong to the point of spending time in the local jail until our friends at Liberty Counsel successfully argued for her release.
She has since received a religious accommodation by an Executive Order from the newly elected Governor, Matt Bevin, who by the way, made religious liberty a central theme for his successful campaign for governor. Kim stood up courageously against the power of the state and the ACLU and she, along with religious liberty in Kentucky prevailed! Well done, Kim. We are glad you are with us tonight.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.