Douche of the Week

Bible-Thumping NY Town Clerk Refuses To Give Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Each week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week. Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].

In Ledyard, New York, 57-year-old Rose Marie Belforti wears the Douche of the Week badge with pride. As the elected town clerk for Ledyard’s 1,900 residents, her duties include issuing marriage licenses. And now that New York passed the marriage bill, it is her job to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as well. Except not according to her.

And when Deirdre DiBiaggio and Katie Carmichael were denied their marriage license, the rice really hit the fan.

With her Bible tucked firmly under her arm, Belforti proclaimed that freedom of religion protects her from needing to comply with the new law. She made this claim some weeks ago, but what earned her the DOTW crown this week (yes, there’s a crown that goes with the honor) is that she actually recounted her idiotic reasoning to the New York Times in an article that ran on Tuesday.

 “New York law protects my right to hold both my job and my beliefs,” she told the Times. “God doesn’t want me to do this, so I can’t do what God doesn’t want me to do. Just like I can’t steal, or any of the other things that God doesn’t want me to do.”

It’s an interesting argument, but it has a big gaping hole in it: The right to religious freedom does not give a person liberty over the law. She couldn’t, for example, refuse to give a marriage license to a non-virgin, a divorcee or an interfaith couple. Governor Cuomo seems to agree: Earlier this summer he said that “when you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose”.

The outcome of all this is still unclear: Our DOTW is currently asking for a part-time deputy clerk to process marriage licenses (requiring applicants to make an appointment) but she’s now mired in a potential lawsuit and faces a murky re-election campaign. Belforti’s not too concerned, though: “I’m totally at peace, because God comes first for me.”

All together now: What a douche!

Image via Facebook

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  • Dave

    Whoever this Rose Marie Belforti douche is, I just cannot believe that she’d refuse to grant a marriage license to the folksy, earthy dyke photographed with her heffer-4-ever for your your story. Some people are just soooo ugly. Emotionally, that is.

  • ewe

    She can GET THE FUCK OUT. What’s this bullshit about her religious beliefs can trump the law. No they can’t. She needs to terminated YESTERDAY. She can spend all her private time in any temple she wants to for all i care.

  • ewe

    Sue the town for discrimination and hurry up the process of firing her. That town does not have the money for litigation. She needs to be escorted out of the building and off any timecards once and for all. It’s a no brainer. She is committing a crime and her defense is not only rediculous, it’s not valid in any way except her delusional mind.

  • ewe

    She looks like shit in that photo too. Just clear out her desk and kick her ass out with all her religious trinkets. That Bitch can fuck off.

  • the crustybastard

    Aw, aren’t the widdle theocrats adorable?

    Look, Ms Belforti — nobody is saying you cannot believe that gays don’t deserve to have families or deserve to be tortured for eternity. It’s a pretty nasty thing to believe, but you’re free to pretend Almighty God took time from his busy day to whisper precisely that into your own precious, sanctified little ear.

    All that is being asked of you is, as a citizen and a state official, you respect the state law and perform your official duties like everyone else.

    Laws of New York – DOM Domestic Relations – Article 3 § 15.2 “Duty Of Town And City Clerks”
    “If it appears from the affidavits and statements so taken, that the persons for whose marriage the license in question is demanded are legally competent to marry, the said clerk shall issue such license…”

    Not MAY issue — SHALL issue. Not optional, mandatory.

    If you refuse to perform your official duties and legal obligations pursuant to state law, you must quit or be fired. Neither option interferes with your ability to cherish and proclaim to the world your deeply held belief that gay people are subhuman.

    It’s the same reason the rest of the world doesn’t get to say without consequence, “No, boss, I didn’t do the TPS reports. God said I didn’t have to, so screw you!” “Of course I was speeding, officer. Jesus says I’m special and don’t have to respect the speed limits, so shove your ticket up your ass!”

    Should you prefer your religious bigotry over your job, rest assured you’ll be welcomed into the grotesque bosom of Maggie Gallagher, where you two may commiserate over your self-inflicted wounds and pretend they are evidence of persecution and martyrdom.

  • timncguy

    This woman was elected to the position of Town Clerk. I’m assuming when she was sworn into office, she took an oath to uphold the laws of her municipality and the State of New York. She probably swore that oath with one hand on a Bible. How can she now, claiming to be such a good, devout Christian, fail to uphold the oath she swore to her God to uphold?

  • Shannon1981

    She should be fired. If her religious beliefs keep her from doing a vital part of her job, she needs another job. End of discussion.

  • Little Kiwi

    she’s a town clerk. this is like a Jewish cashier refusing to sell you bacon.

  • ChrisC

    The cow looks cuter than her.

  • Jonas

    @ChrisC: I’m sorry but the cow in that picture is just amazingly awesome. It’s just kinda raising one eyebrow like ‘Can you believe this bitch?’

  • Chad

    I would hire the part time clerk, and give her a big fat pay cut to pay for the new position.

  • Cam

    ““God doesn’t want me to do this, so I can’t do what God doesn’t want me to do.”


    Well then I guess you should work for God. Because while you work for the state, you don’t get to pick and choose which laws to enforce.

  • JohnNCincy

    This here city boy don’t know much about heifers, but of this pair of them shown in the picture the one on the right is sure ‘purty….

  • Robert in NYC

    Since when do religious beliefs trump state laws especially when she’s supposed to issue licenses according to state law. There is NO exemption for that. I have a problem when religious people bring their beliefs into the workplace, an inappropriate place anyway, and impose them on others. She has NO right to do that. Either put up or quit. Go take a job in a church. Classic republican religious nutbag.

  • Cam

    The cow has the frightened eyes of somebody being sexually abused. I think this woman has a story.

  • Kurt

    Yes, she is douche. Yes, she is wrong on multiple levels. But in the end, she upholding her duties.

    She is wrong that gay marriage is a sin.

    She is wrong that she has a religious freedom right not to have same sex licenses issued.

    She is wrong that, given her misguided beliefs, that to issue a marriage license is a personal act of morally approving of the marriage.

    And, if she were sinning by signing the license, she would be sinning just as much to instruct her deputy to issue them, knowing full well that he will.

    But in the final act, she is the CEO of the Office of Town Clerk. She has the right to manage the office and assign duties to her deputy. That is what she as done (all marriage licenses, not just same sex). The deputy issues them without discrimination or distinction to straights and gays.

    She has found a way to have her cake and eat it too. I would not vote for her re-election, but she is inside the law. If being a douchebag was a crime, most of my ex-bfs would be in jail.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Why should the local tax payers have to pay another person to do this clerk’s job? What the hell is she there for?

  • Little Kiwi

    does she also have a history of not signing the marriage licenses for couples who have had premarital sex? what about non-religious couples? mixed-faith couples?

    i’m just curious as to what the specifics of her religious beliefs are, because it usually seems that people ignore all the other things that don’t jive with their “Christian Marriage Beliefs” and focus solely on GAY THINGS!

    does he have a history of not giving licenses to couples who don’t specifically and explicitly embody the tenets of her chosen religious faith? or is this one more religious faith that says “everything else is fine except them gay folks”?

  • Dallas David

    I must say, she and her husband make a lovely couple.

  • doug105

    Just imagine how fast a saudi nationalized Citizen would be fired for not giving Driver Licenses to women at the dmv.

  • Adman

    Everybody saying she should be fired, please. She should be fired and sued, made to pay with her very livlihood for her foreign notions of legal supremacy. Her illegal practice of malice towards the unsanctioned is the height of un-American degenerate malfeasance. This kind of dereliction is intentional by her own admission, she is a dangerous outlander trying to bring our entire way of life to it’s knees. She is a sovereign of some unknown and unrecognized place called “christendom”, and as such is not a free holder of this nations values and traditions. She is our sworn enemy.

    The culture wars have finally barfed up the truly unworthy, now is the time time to take their livelihoods from them as they can only refuse to countenance ours, by their own admission. We as Americans need to consider this cultural and legal terrorism for what it is.

  • Little Kiwi

    the irony is that women like this, and her defenders, are the very people who can’t shut up about “the threat of Islamic beliefs being forced onto Christians”

    yeah. right.

  • Chris

    I’m confused as to why this is still going on. In the real world, if someone does not perform their job, we get fired. Plain and simple.

  • Little Kiwi

    there are still religions out here that, while they don’t actively promote is as much, contain scriptural references to ‘race-mixing’ being a sin.

    does that mean one can say “i can’t give you a marriage license as your mixed-ethnicities go against my religious beliefs” and be legally protected?

  • Ky.

    White people are so homophobic.

  • ewe

    @Kurt: Don’t bet on that.

  • ewe

    @Kurt: She is a “public servant” for the Office of the Town Clerk. You can just drop that CEO bullshit right now.

  • ewe

    @Kurt: Are you trying to say that she has the same rights as a mayor of a town to deny presiding over marriage as long as that mayor denies officiating all marriages? I don’t think so. Where is that written? uh huh. She can “assign duties to her deputy” when she is out of the fucking office which is exactly what will hopefully occur once her ass is permanently gone.

  • ewe

    this is like saying someone who was abused by an alcoholic can spend the rest of their lives abusing others because they went through so much pain. It’s fucking wierd. Unacceptable. Just get rid of her.

  • SuperCat

    “She couldn’t, for example, refuse to give a marriage license to a non-virgin, a divorcee or an interfaith couple.”

    I know! They never refuse to do that! These secular clerks only bring up their religious objections when it is a same sex couple!

    They never see how hypocritical is!

  • ewe

    @SuperCat: So true. She is no victim. She just plays one which is also a typical theme with the bigots screaming about religious beliefs.

  • Kurt


    As I said, I agree she is a douche, but she found a legitimate way out of her prediciment.

    If she had no subordinate staff, then I would say she is obligated to sign the marriage licenses. But lucky for her she has underlings. She’s the boss and she has the right to decide the division of work within the Office of the Town Clerk. If she wants to give marriages licenses to her deputy and handle building permits, notary licenses, and payroll processing herself, so be it. She can type up the property tax assessents and delegate mailing them out to the deputy or do it the other way around. It’s her call so long as the work gets done. Maybe she is a tea-totalling Baptist and wants him to handle liquor licenses too.

    Now, I think not only is she a bigoted douche, but she also is a idiot. If she thinks that causing her deputy to do something makes a moral distinction from her doing herself, she needs to read up on Henry II and Thomas Becket.

  • Sam

    Liberals strongly believe in the rule of the law and in “tough” law enforcement whenever it involves laws they like. When it concerns laws they don’t approve of, they love anyone who choses conscience over the law; they make that person their Cause of the Month. Clearly the law needs to be modified to be fair to everyone. No stupidass politician has yet justifiably explained the double standard of protecting religious institutions but not religious individuals.

  • Little Kiwi

    I don’t see how a “religious individual” can make a legit claim like this.

    in what way is this different from a Muslim/Jew refusing to sell bacon to a gentile? How about a catholic cashier refusing to sell someone condoms?

    and does this woman have a previous record of only issuing licenses for couples who are never-before-married virgins who do indeed subscribe to her specific religion?

    if not, then she’s giving a pious hypocritical excuse, and not a legitimately justified Religious Reason.

Comments are closed.