Arizona senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain walked the party line this weekend when he weighed in about rogue Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who is still refusing issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under her name in Rowan County, despite spending nearly a week in jail for contempt of court and enduring an unending stream of legal defeats.
McCain spoke to reporters at the Values Voter Summit, an ultraconservative annual gathering in Washington, D.C., organized by the equally radical Family Research Council, designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center.
Talking Points Memo captured the exchange, in which reporters asked the senator about Davis as well as House Speaker John Boehner's resignation, the possibility of a government shutdown, and the legalization of certain drugs.
"I think [Davis] was right in that she can exercise the dictates of her conscience, and everyone should respect that," McCain told reporters. "I do not believe that therefore she should violate the law. She should have just said, 'I refuse to do it.' Just like Hobby Lobby case, which we won, because those people were allowed to exercise their religious beliefs by the United States Supreme Court."
Seeking clarification, a reporter asked, "You think that Kim Davis could say, 'I don’t want to perform this?'"
"Yes," McCain replied.
Watch the exchange below, with the discussion of Davis beginning at the 3:30 mark.
Davis herself headlined the Values Voter Summit on Friday, flanked by her attorney Mat Staver, founder of the right-wing, anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel. She was honored with the Cost of Discipleship Award for repeatedly defying federal court orders requiring her to issue — and allow her deputy clerks to issue — marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Right Wing Watch has an impressive accounting of all the antigay hatred that filled the two-day conference, for those with a strong stomach.