Why Kim Davis Is A 'Terrible Poster Girl' For The Religious Right

Davis is "using the government to abuse" gay couples, Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern tells HuffPost Live.

As the support for Kim Davis continues to wane -- with even the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church condemning her divorcee past -- Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern explained to HuffPost Live why the Kentucky clerk isn't a good representative for people wanting to use religion to fight lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

While Stern takes Davis "at her word that she believes everything that she says now," despite her less-than-pious past, he told host Nancy Redd on Tuesday that Davis' beliefs cannot coexist with her job as a government official.

"I agree that the optics of this for the right, for religious conservatives, are just terrible, because this woman is not a really good martyr," Stern said. "She's an okay martyr for now. Mike Huckabee goes out there, has a little rally, whatever."

But Stern said Davis isn't the "tearful, wholesome, sympathetic baker from Colorado who just wants to bake cakes and express his Christianity through his bakery." If she were, perhaps her case could have been more "compelling."

"This woman is not that guy. This woman is an angry-looking, angry-sounding, fairly vitriolic Apostolic Christian who is just taking out her bigotry on all these completely innocent gay couples and using the government to abuse them," Stern said. "She is a terrible, terrible, terrible poster girl, and so if people in America start thinking of religious liberty as that stuff Kim Davis did, I think the fight to use religious liberty to crush gay rights is going to fail."

In addition to what Stern sees as a lack of sympathy from Davis, he said it's "hugely problematic" that she's "commandeering the entire office" and preventing the staff from doing its job.

"It seems selfish. It seems self-aggrandizing. So I just think she's a disaster for the religious right," Stern said.

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