So be honest. Did you or did you not see this one coming?
We start with another New York Times report about that Rowan County clerk who sits in jail waiting for the Kentucky legislature to tweak the state's laws to work smoothly with both the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision backing same-sex marriage and our nation's strong First Amendment history of support for the free exercise of religious convictions.
The story ends with a classic laugh-to-keep-from-crying correction that created some buzz in social media. First, the usual:
The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, Ky., was ordered detained for contempt of court and later rejected a proposal to allow her deputies to process same-sex marriage licenses that could have prompted her release.
Once again, it would help if readers were informed that Kentucky law currently says -- according to the fine details buried in news reports -- that the county clerk's name has to be on a marriage license in order for it to be official. From the perspective of Kim Davis, that fact requires her to actively endorse same-sex unions, even if someone else hands out the licenses.
Thus, she balked. No one needs to agree with her stance in order to accurately report the link between the details of the Kentucky law and her act of conscience. The bottom line: Details of Kentucky laws are still important in Kentucky.
Will the governor, a Democrat, hear the calls of Democrats and Republicans for a special session to change the state's laws to protect the rights of gay couples seeking marriage as well as traditional believers in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.? That's the story.
Back to the story. Here comes the highly symbolic correction:
... On a day when one of Ms. Davis’s lawyers said she would not retreat from or modify her stand despite a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Judge David L. Bunning of United States District Court secured commitments from five of Ms. Davis’s deputies to begin providing the licenses. At least two couples planned to seek marriage licenses Friday. ...
The judge’s decision to jail Ms. Davis, a 49-year-old Democrat who was elected last year, immediately intensified the attention focused on her, a longtime government worker who is one of three of Kentucky’s 120 county clerks who contend that their religious beliefs keep them from recognizing same-sex nuptials. Within hours of Ms. Davis’s imprisonment, some Republican presidential candidates declared their support for her, a sign that her case was becoming an increasingly charged cause for Christian conservatives.
Now, did you hear about the correction linked to that last paragraph?
Correction: September 3, 2015
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Kim Davis’s political affiliation. She is a Democrat, not a Republican.
Because of an editing error? Was this an error or an assumption?
Raise your hand if you think it's likely that the copy desk of the world's most powerful newspaper contained more than a few people who simply assumed that Davis is -- that she just has to be -- a Republican?
Now I know that the age of morally conservative Southern Democrats is almost gone, but a few survive in the wilds of county and state government. Be careful out there, folks.
This story contained another passage noting an angle in this Kentucky story that must be covered. Yes, some conservative activists from just about everywhere are rushing to use Davis as a martyr and a hook for fundraising. However, the same thing is happening on the left, as well. There is a story in this next quote:
Some advocates for gay rights quickly expressed concern that Ms. Davis’s jailing would make her a sympathetic figure to religious conservatives and prompt lawmakers in Kentucky and elsewhere to push for new laws carving out exemptions for public officials who oppose same-sex marriage.
Wait, wait. Why would anyone want to stop Democrats and Republicans in Kentucky from revising state laws to protect BOTH same-sex couples -- in keeping with the 5-4 Obergefell decision -- and traditional religious believers, honoring religious liberty?
Huh? There has to be a story there.