Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Perfect Response to Kim Davis and Her Supporters

September 14th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has long advocated against discrimination in the U.S., offering his perspective on a range of political issues over the course of his career. And in a recent TIME editorial, the basketball legend weighed in on a subject that has been generating a lot of controversy this month: Kim Davis.

Davis was released from jail last week after a federal judge ordered her arrest on September 3, ruling that Davis was in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in June, but Davis maintained that her religious beliefs superseded her responsibilities as a government official.

Abdul-Jabbar took issue with the Kentucky clerk supporters, specifically with the growing list of Republican presidential primary candidates who have thrown their support behind the defiant clerk. Those candidates include GOP candidates Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, he noted.

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Responding to Cruz's recent comments on Davis' arrest, which he suggested was "the first time ever [that] the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith," Abdul-Jabbar argued that the Republican presidential candidate was getting his history confused.

"Perhaps Sen. Cruz forgot all the black and white Christian women who were arrested during the Civil Rights era," he wrote. "And the Christian women suffragists arrested in support of voting rights. And the Christian lesbian women arrested in support of gay rights. All for their belief that God wanted all people to be treated equally."

And as far as Huckabee's remarks regarding Davis' supposed First Amendment right to practice her religious however she sees fit, Abdul-Jabbar responded by pointing out that while the clerk certainly has a constitutional right to practice her faith, that does not allow her to impose her religious views on others by denying same-sex couples their constitutional right to marry.

Congratulations to the first gay couple officially married in Rowan County, Kentucky, after County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to license them.

Posted by ATTN: on Friday, September 4, 2015

"Following this tradition in America, should the Kim Davises of the country be allowed to refuse marriage licenses to divorced people because Jesus spoke against divorce?" Abdul-Jabbar wrote. "Or deny licenses to interracial couples because of the story of Ham? Or stone rebellious children because of Deuteronomy? The reason we separate Church and State is because the Founding Fathers believed government should be guided by a balance of morality and reason, not blind religious faith."

Abdul-Jabbar is one of several public figures who have shared their thoughts on the Davis scandal in recent weeks, including George Takei, Bill Maher, and Larry Wilmore.

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