NY town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses

New York town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses

(Reuters) - A town clerk in western New York has resigned to avoid being forced to sign marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, citing religious objections to same-sex marriage. Laura Fotusky, the town clerk in Barker, New York, said in her resignation letter that she will step down on July 21, three days before New York becomes the sixth and largest state to allow gay nuptials.Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the same sex marriage law last month after the bill narrowly passed the Republican-led state Senate. Its approval in New York is seen as a catalyst for gay marriage elsewhere as well as helping push the issue to the forefront nationally ahead of the 2012 elections.

Much of the debate in New York focused on the scope of protections for those opposed to same-sex marriage. The new law exempts religious groups from performing same-sex marriages but does not extend those protections to individuals, including government employees.Fotusky was not immediately available for comment, but in her letter, dated July 11, she said she believes the Bible takes precedence over man-made laws. “The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God,” she wrote. “I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure,” she wrote.

According to New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative Christian nonprofit group that circulated Fotusky’s letter to the media, she is the first clerk in the state to resign over objections to same-sex nuptials.But she is not the first to raise concerns. Two weeks ago, the town clerk in the Syracuse suburb of Volney cited her own religious objections and requested that outside help be brought in to sign same-sex marriage licenses.

Cuomo, who had made the legalization of same-sex marriage a top priority this year, told reporters on Tuesday that he agreed with Fotusky’s decision to resign because government workers have a responsibility to enforce the law. “When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose the laws,” Cuomo said. Conscientious objection among government employees has been an issue in some other states that allow gay marriage.

In Massachusetts, more than a dozen justices of the peace threatened to resign in 2004 after a state court ruled that barring same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, and at least one resigned. In 2000, the town clerk in Tunbridge, Vermont resigned even though state law would have allowed her to appoint someone else to sign marriage licenses.
Robin Fretwell Wilson, a professor at Washington and Lee Law School in Virginia, has lobbied lawmakers in New York and other states to exempt individuals, including government employees, from providing services to same-sex couples. In a 2010 paper, she argued that the religious beliefs of marriage officers should be accommodated as long as they pose no hardship to same-sex couples.

“Forcing a public employee with a religious objection to facilitate a same-sex marriage would be intolerant in the extreme when little is to be gained by such rigid demands,” wrote Wilson, who was not available for comment on Tuesday.

news.yahoo.com/york-town-clerk-quits-over-gay-marriage-licenses-222510597.html

:thumbsup:
Praise be to God.

“Cuomo, who had made the legalization of same-sex marriage a top priority this year, told reporters on Tuesday that he agreed with Fotusky’s decision to resign because government workers have a responsibility to enforce the law. “When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose the laws,” Cuomo said. Conscientious objection among government employees has been an issue in some other states that allow gay marriage.”
So apparently, state employees with religious objections to gay marriage must either change their religious beliefs or quit. Sounds rather like a religious test. Perhaps applications for employment in New York State should include the question: “Do you have any objections to gay marriage? If so, stop here and return the application. You are not eligible for employment.”

I suspect that Cuomo expects people of faith to treat their religion like he does- a quaint anachronism that one uses only for photo ops and to meet and greet voters

It would be nice to see an en-mass resignation of NY town clerks.

Indeed! (Especially since the State’s population was against the measure. It would seem appropriate.) Too bad people have to choose between their consciences and their jobs.

Accommodating those who object would defeat the purpose of this law, which is to extort moral approval from those of faith.

Good for her!

Standing up for what you believe in isn’t always noble (if you stand up for Nazism, Abortion, etc) but this definitely is.

(1st bolded part) along with his own condemnation (if that sin is left unrepented)

(2nd bolded part) When you’re Catholic you don’t get to pick and choose the teachings that suit you and conveniently leave out the ones you don’t like.

That is too bad, but it’s always been the case. E.g, if you’re a pacifist with a moral objection to the use of firearms, they probably won’t let you on the police force.

Could someone tell this governor that when we are Catholics we don’t get to pick which law of God we should obey? just like he says about the laws of the state.
what laws anyway? they keep making these ridiculous laws and try to force people to follow.

Better get used to it. He is probably going to be on the Obama ticket in '12 as VP.

Is there reason to think he’ll ditch Biden?

In my home state of Iowa when gay marriage passed against the wishes of the population, there was quite a bit of outrage to the point that many of those lawmakers were voted out and several state judges were recalled as a result. The coverage I have seen suggests that majority of the state of NY was against this law. For those of you who are more in tune with this situation, any chance the citizens of NY boot out some of these people who voted for this as a result?

Peace,

Wouldn’t you?

Good point. On EWTN, Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life stated that a civil law that violates God’s law is no law.

I don’t think so. Rather, a public official can not use her position to force others to conform to her personal beliefs. If the public official finds herself unable to do her job, and can not transfer the responsibility to others, then the honorable thing to do is to step down.

I think the clerk did the right thing.

:shrug: No big deal. It was her choice to resign just as it is for anyone to resign from a job if they can not abide by the job requirements. If she can’t separate her religion from her work in signing a piece of paper under state civil law to unite 2 people in love, and check her religious beliefs outside the clerk’s office, then probably as a government employee, she did the right thing for her. God bless her!

I assume that’s a rhetorical question. I was hoping from your statement you had a particular reason to think that Cuomo was in the mix, and Obama was seriously considering dumping Biden. I gather that’s not the case.

Exactly. I didn’t see your post before I wrote mine. Both posted at the same time.

Yes and no. A recall of three judges of the Iowa Supreme Court was successful. However, I am not aware of legislators being voted out of office over the issue.

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