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Quote# 90938

Alliance Defending Freedom is advising officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses in Maine, Maryland and Washington that they do not have to violate their faith or conscience by personally issuing licenses to applicants who are of the same sex.

Three new legal memos advise municipal clerks in Maine, county clerks in Maryland and county auditors in Washington that provisions in state law allow them to delegate responsibility for issuing the licenses to deputies or assistants who don’t have conscience-based objections to issuing the licenses to same-sex applicants.

“No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom, nor should any American be forced to give up his or her job to maintain that freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “Religious freedom is paramount to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses. They can perform their job without violating their conscience.”

Nimocks explained that society can respect the faith and conscience of the clerks while providing no impediment to carrying out the law.

The memos state that, in light of the three states’ “recent redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” some clerks and auditors “might believe that they face a serious dilemma: either resign their positions or violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.” The memos explain, however, that those officials “can readily resolve this potential religious conflict” by acting on the authority they have to appoint their responsibilities to deputies or assistants.

The memos also explain that if the clerks or auditors encounter resistance in their efforts to resolve the religious conflict, they can contact Alliance Defending Freedom for assistance in light of the First Amendment’s protections for the free exercise of religion.

Alliance Defending Freedom, Charisma News 57 Comments [11/24/2012 9:42:23 AM]
Fundie Index: 23
Submitted By: Zagen30
WTF?! || meh
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Reynardine

They used to say the same thing about marrying mixed-race couples, and, before that, mixed-faith couples.

11/24/2012 10:04:45 AM

Rabbit of Caerbannog

Guess what? When you work for the state as a clerk, you represent all the people in that state. Furthermore, you're duty bound to uphold the laws of that state. And if it were up to me, people who refused to issue marriage licenses in conflict with state law would be promptly dismissed, no questions asked.

11/24/2012 10:07:08 AM

Filin De Blanc

Got to love how these people are eager to call anyone who doesn't pay income tax lazy moochers but they fully support the right of employees who share their religious beliefs to deliberately not do their jobs properly without getting fired.

11/24/2012 10:13:35 AM

werewolf

Duty and responsibility are such outdated concepts.

11/24/2012 10:26:24 AM

Blarghonius

Because what "religious freedom" means to these people is "controlling how others live their lives."

By saying that denying people the right to marry because they're gay is part of your religion, you are saying that your religion is founded on bigotry. Way to go.

11/24/2012 10:37:22 AM

John

"No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom, nor should any American be forced to give up his or her job to maintain that freedom"

Baloney. The Constitution only prevents the government from interfering with the free exercise of your religion. It doesn't guarantee that you can get paid for not doing the work you're paid to do because it violates what you claim to be your religious beliefs. If that were true, no government worker would have to do anything - they could make up any belief they like, claim it was against their religion, sit back and collect a paycheck.

The law only requires making reasonable accommodation of firmly-held religious beliefs. Letting someone wear a yarmulke or take a brief unpaid break for prayers is reasonable. Flat-out refusing to do your work isn't. If states are willing to accommodate delegating to someone else, that's their business. But if it interferes with anyone actually getting a license, there'll be legal problems for the towns.

11/24/2012 10:41:15 AM

Woody

@ Rabbit of Caerbannog - I do not know the finer details of US law but over here in the UK the courts have already determined in several cases that holding a religious belief, however sincerely, does not allow you to break anti-discrimination laws. If the US courts have not already done so, it won't be long before someone sues the state because a clerk refused to do their job and they will probably come to the same judgement. After all, it is the only sane ruling a judge could make really.

11/24/2012 10:54:30 AM

Anon

Somebody is confusing "county clerk" with "religious leader". The clerks are obligated to fill out the paperwork, or they can be censured and issued something called a 'writ of mandamus' by the court (means "mandate" - "you will do the job you are mandated to do"). If they refuse to comply with the responsibilities and obligations of their office, they get bounced out.

11/24/2012 10:55:23 AM

UHM

1. Substititute: State of X = American Armed Forces; Clerks = Soldiers; Christian = Pacifist
2. Resubmit to a fundie site
3. Watch their heads explode
4. Laugh your ass off

11/24/2012 11:42:19 AM

Axel

Ultimately, these people do have this right and I can respect their religious beliefs, but only so long as they understand that, when it comes time for a performance review, their constant delegation to others and refusal to do their job will reflect poorly on them.

11/24/2012 11:59:54 AM

Churchy LaFemme

Yet if the clerk ringing up your groceries held up the line while they called someone else to handle your pork chops and bacon because touching them is against their religion, you'd be the first one to scream that they be fired for not doing their job.

With any luck, the number of clerks and auditors contacting the ADF will be precisely zero.

11/24/2012 12:00:15 PM

cdcdrr

Too be fair, in the Netherlands we allow exceptions for civil servants who don't want to preside over a same-sex marriage. However, I see this more of a 'get used to the idea' thing that's passed its usefulness. By now applicants for government jobs should be familiar with same-sex marriage and that in the future they may be called on to seal one, when the clause is struck down. I don't think those three US states have permitted same-sex marriage long enough to compare.

11/24/2012 12:04:46 PM

Gloria

So...the law says that if you have deeply held religious objections to carrying out a particular assignment, you can pass that assignment to someone who doesn't object to it, and work on ones you don't object to, thus getting exactly the same things done with minimal inconvenience, and no moral dilemma. Sounds entirely logical, obvious, and non-fundie. I've been known to do essentially the same thing with work I don't like - swap with a partner who likes different things. It further says that if someone arbitrarily interferes with an attempt to arrange your job such as to minimise your personal moral conflicts while still doing said job properly, that you can use the legal protections on religious freedom to get them to stop.

Anyone want to point out the issue to me?

11/24/2012 12:05:12 PM

Bob J.

To UHM:
Can we also refuse teaching credentials to women?

11/24/2012 12:08:31 PM

TheLastCenturian

if you are an employee of the state, you are the hand of the state, and you get paid to do what the state does for its citizens, regardless of who is asking for the states services, or their gender, race, sex, or sexual orientation.

if you hand out marriage licenses for the state, that is what you get PAID to do. if homosexuals require state services, you CANNOT deny them, regardless of your personal beliefs. you get PAID to be neutral. if your religion prevents you from doing that, then FIND A NEW JOB. why the fuck should the state hire assistants for its bigoted employees?

11/24/2012 12:12:07 PM

Anon-e-moose

“No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom, nor should any American be forced to give up his or her job to maintain that freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “Religious freedom is paramount to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses. They can perform their job without violating their conscience.”

Aaaaand... should such a case go to court, all the prosecutor has to do is show your client a plain text transcript copy of the US Constitution and ask him/her 'Okay. So show the jury where the word 'Marriage' is situated in this document. Also, please do point out where the words 'God', 'Jesus' and 'Creator' appear...?!'

You'd better be infinitely more experienced at your job than the most top-flight criminal lawyer, Numbnuts. Because that jury in just one case is going to laugh that case of yours out of court; and as far as the prosecution are concerned, that'll set a precedent.

Just as a certain Kitzmiller vs. Dover did several years ago, re. teaching '(un)Intelligent Design' in US schools. And Roe vs. Wade did decades previously, re. who has control of an individual woman's womb.

Frankly, it's not looking good for you & even your first client's chances. Just letting you know, ADF et al.

Better start sharpening those CV's, pre-grad. students; there's gonna be quite a few potential job vacancies a-comin' up. For all you Atheist & non-fundie Christians out there.

11/24/2012 12:24:22 PM

The Crimson Ghost

I suppose we should prepare to read about a handful of bigoted idiots being fired then.

11/24/2012 12:24:38 PM



Passing the buck: If it works for blame it ought to be good enough to actually do something right.

And what do you assholes mean "re" definition? You wanted to change it to be exclusive.

11/24/2012 12:33:03 PM

Papabear

My contention with cases like this is that if you can't do the actions the job requires you shouldn't be in that job. Like public drugists who won't dispense contaception and public ob/gyns who won't do abortions. Perhaps they could become ENTs or maybe WalMart greeters.

11/24/2012 12:48:51 PM

Nomen Nescio

"No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom"

correct, and laudable.

"nor should any American be forced to give up his or her job to maintain that freedom"

big steamin' pile of wrong served on a wrong plate with a side of wrong drenched in wrong sauce. and always has been wrong, as anyone who's spent even half an hour studying the history of this country ought to know.

11/24/2012 1:18:34 PM

Alencon

Feel free not to obey the law. Just don't cry when they fire your ass for it.

@Gloria

The issue is you are allowing people to pick and choose what laws they will obey. What if a clerk decided that Christians shouldn't be given marriage licenses to insure more bigots aren't born because bigotry is against their religion? Do you think the ADF would applaud that?

11/24/2012 1:33:50 PM

Thinking Allowed

Three new legal memos advise municipal clerks in Maine, county clerks in Maryland and county auditors in Washington that provisions in state law allow them to delegate responsibility for issuing the licenses to deputies or assistants who don’t have conscience-based objections to issuing the licenses to same-sex applicants.

Fail

11/24/2012 2:18:42 PM

Gloria

@ Alencon

I feel like I'm reading a different post from the rest of you. I don't see them saying you can decide which laws you obey, just which paperwork you personally handle. It doesn't say you can deny someone a marriage license because they're gay - it says you can have someone else issue said marriage license, so as not to feel you have had to go against your own conscience. The gay couple still gets their marriage license, they're still just as married, but the work was done by a different individual. If someone had another employee handle my marriage license because they didn't like Christians, I don't know that I'd even notice. I very much doubt that I would care, (other than to be reminded of how badly the church has screwed up, that people feel the need to defend against it rather than seeing it as a refuge.)

11/24/2012 2:20:48 PM

checkmate

provisions in state law allow them to delegate responsibility for issuing the licenses to deputies or assistants who don’t have conscience-based objections

Meanwhile in Texas, public servants who refuse to participate in the process of the death penalty are probably imprisoned.

11/24/2012 2:58:19 PM

Old Viking

Damned if I'll issue you a hunting license. I'm a vegetarian.

11/24/2012 4:07:35 PM
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