Presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal has come out in support of homophobic Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, but his support for her contradicts his own language from just a few years ago.
The year was 2009, and Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell refused to officiate an interracial couple's wedding, explaining that he sincerely believed that interracial couples harm children. The outcry was immediate, and Bardwell resigned within a few weeks.
At the time, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called for Bardwell to be fired. "This is a clear violation of constitutional rights," Jindal said in 2009. Jindal's opposition to Bardwell's racism was perfectly sensible: elected officials take an oath to serve the public, not to decide which members of the public should or shouldn't have access to government services. Even if Bardwell sincerely believed that interracial couples are inferior, that belief can't be the basis of treating people differently.
But regarding the more recent case of Kim Davis, Jindal said, "I don't think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions."
Okay Governor, so which is it? Is discriminating against people unconstitutional, like it was in 2009? Or has something changed, and now government officials be allowed to follow their conscience -- even when that makes it impossible for them to do their job?
What if Kim Davis was Muslim clerk at the DMV, and refused to issue drivers' licenses to women? Or a Kosher health inspector, and refused to allow restaurants to serve pork?
Government employees are free to practice their faith in private (just like all Americans). But they can't formalize that faith as official government policy. When they assume the role of a public servant, they have to do just that: serve the public.
Jindal knew that in 2009. It's a shame that he's forgotten it since then.