NY Clerk Says She Won’t Sign Gay Marriage Licences – Cites Religious Objections
Excellent! I smell a Supreme Court decision in the making:
New York official says she WON’T sign gay marriage licences
By John Stevens
An elected New York clerk has said she will refuse to sign marriage certificates for same sex couples because of her moral and religious beliefs.
Barbara MacEwen, who is the town clerk in Volney, upstate New York, said that her name will not appear on any of the certificates when same-sex marriage becomes legal on July 24.
The gay marriage bill, signed by governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, includes exemption for religious groups, but includes no protections for public officials.
The 75-year-old Republican, who is up for re-election to her fifth four-year term in November, said that she is considering her legal options.
‘That’s their life, they can do it, but I don’t feel I should be forced into something that’s against my morals and my God,’ said Mrs MacEwen.
‘If there’s any possible way to not do it legally, then yes, I would not want to put my name on any of those certificates or papers,’ she told Politico.
Mrs MacEwen added that she does not believe that same-sex couples will apply for a marriage licence in Volney and she said she is not aware of any gay couples in the Oswego County town about 30 miles from Syracuse.
‘I don’t know of anybody like that in my town,’ she said. ‘I’m sure that there might be, but I haven’t heard about anybody.’
The clerk, who has signed all marriage licences in the town of 6,200 people for 18 years, has written to state senator Patty Ritchie, who voted against legalising gay marriage, to determine her options.
‘I really wouldn’t feel comfortable putting my name on a marriage license.
‘I don’t really call it a marriage because a marriage is between a man and woman. God said that in his word,’ Mrs MacEwen said.
‘I’m not objecting to having it done here in the office, but I’m objecting to being forced to sign my name to something that is against my morals and my God,’ she told the Syracuse Post Standard.
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