By Lydia Wheeler - 01/12/16 10:46 AM EST
Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage last year, says Kentucky clerk Kim Davis "has the right to be" at President Obama's final State of the Union.
“To me it doesn’t seem the right venue to promote divisiveness or to support or encourage a public official refusing to serve the entire public, especially when they’ve taken an oath to uphold the laws of their state and the Constitution, but again it’s the United States and she has as much right to be in that chamber as I do or anyone else does,” he told reporters Tuesday.
Davis, a county clerk, was briefly jailed last year for refusing to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. The Family Research Council has reportedly arranged for her to be in the House chamber along with her attorney Mat Staver.
Obergefell, who was originally the invited guest of Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Healthcare: Top ObamaCare lobbyists reject 'public option' push | Groups sound alarm over Medicare premium hike Top ObamaCare lobbyists reject 'public option' push Liberal groups urge Schumer to reject Bayh for Banking gavel MORE (D-Ore.), will sit with first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaWhat will be in Obama’s Presidential Library Clinton, Michelle Obama to hold first joint rally Thursday Obama congratulates Cubs for making it to World Series MORE during the President’s address, which begins at 9 p.m.
“The great thing about the United States is everyone has a right to their own opinion and has the right to speak their mind and fight for their beliefs, for their opinions,” Obergefell said.
“All I will say is for me the State of the Union is about celebrating the accomplishments and the successes of an administration and this administration has made it their goal in everything they do to fight for the rights of all Americans, the rights, the protections and the dignity for all Americans.”