Christian Clerks Don’t Have To Issue Newly Legal Gay Marriage Licenses, Says Legal Group

Devoutly-religious legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) has sent out memos to clerks in Maine, Maryland and Washington informing them that they don’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it violates their beliefs.

Charisma News reports:

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.”

ADF’s memos state that, in the wake of the “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.”

Luckiy, bigotry doesn’t have to get in the way of a job poorly done and officials “can readily resolve this potential religious conflict” by directing those unwelcome homosexuals over to someone who doesn’t mind wiping his ass with the word of God.

And if the clerks get any guff about their decision, they can always contact the Alliance Defending Freedom – defending freedom, or at least a super bastardized version of it.

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  • macmantoo

    I work for a county government in Nevada. Your religion has no place in your job. If it becomes a problem then you need to leave that job and allow someone else to do it.

    I don’t get to use my religion to not do what I’m being paid for. I have to sit there and do it the way I’m suppose to. If it bothers you so much, then quit.

  • macmantoo

    May be I need to start using my “religion” not to serve Catholics and Mormons. I wonder how far that will get me.

  • Gigi Gee

    Maybe they can get anti-gay “family values” ADF lawyer Lisa Biron to represent them. Oh no, wait. They can’t. She’s in jail facing felony charges related to child pornography after being caught in New Hampshire. Another Talibangelist bites the dust.

  • 2eo

    @Gigi Gee: Loads of them are at it, Lisa Biron is only the tip of the iceberg, it goes all the way too the top of the company. ALL the way.

  • schlukitz

    Let me see if I have this right.

    Alliance Defending Freedom is protecting the right of Christians not to honor the rights of others. Namely LGBT people.

    What is the difference between this and whites refusing to serve black people in Woolworth’s and other restaurants before the Civil Rights Act of 1964? It’s the same ugly discrimination crap that they were peddling way back then, only with a different name this time around.

  • yaoming

    I’m an atheist homosexual vegetarian. Does that mean I can stop interacting professionally with christian meat-eating heteros because their beliefs and practices go against mine? I don’t think so.

  • RSun

    @yaoming: Totally agree. This same tactic was attempted by several religious groups when marriage equality came to Canada in 2005. While some are still ranting about it, they haven’t made much progress.
    Luckily, in Canada, religion has limited influence in civil matters.

  • GreenmanTN

    If your religious/ethical beliefs prevent you from doing your job, leave it. To put it another way, if you’re an observant Jew or Muslim, don’t work at a bacon factory.

  • RSun

    @GreenmanTN: Great example.

  • Cam

    This is a lie.

    Freedom OF religion means that in your workplace there is a freedom FROM other people’s religion.

    i.e. when the Muslim Taxi Drivers at the Mn. Airport said they did not want to be forced to give rides to people carrying alcohol FOX News and the right wing went nuts saying they couldn’t impose their beliefs on their customers.

    Funny how FOX isn’t jumping on this. But the same issue remains. If you apply for a job at a bar, but your religion says you can never be in a room with alcohol, you don’t get to just sit home and get paid by that bar to be a bartender.

    If you are a clerk, and you refuse to provide service to people acting under state law, you will legally be fired.

    To any bigots that DO get fired, you have a GREAT lawsuit against ADF for giving you that memo with false legal advice on it. Sue them for the money you lost by losing your job.

  • 2eo

    @Cam: It’s free speech if it’s what the religious right want. Like their misreading of your constitution and making up maths about the failure of the electoral college.

  • Dakotahgeo

    These ultra extremist Right wing religious nutjobs make me ashamed to be called a Christian. It makes all of us look really, really bad! Fortunately, we are not forced to associate with the faux christian Taliban!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain (Ret. but very active!)

  • FStratford

    First let’s start calling these people what they are: fake Christians. If we deny them their claim to be called a Christian, their power – their presumption that they represent the majority religion goes away.

    And to be frank, the don’t represent the majority of Christians.

  • ChuckGG

    What absolute horse hockey! The law in Maine has nothing to do with “protecting” some bigot from fulfilling his duty to perform his job as he is sworn to do. The clerk’s office is not a church and he is not performing a church ceremony. The law in Maine restates the First Amendment and was hardly necessary except to placate these nitwits who can’t grasp the difference between civil and sectarian marriage.

    If you agree to be a clerk, you are acting as an agent for the State. Either do your sworn duty or resign. Religion belongs in church and not in the government. The clerk IS the government and thus must perform all lawful duties required of the position. If not, don’t let the screen door hit you in the a** on the way out the door.

    I hope the AG of state comes down hard on these people. This is no different than denying a marriage license to an inter-racial couple.

  • jean

    So if a clerk is Catholic they can refuse to marry someone who was divorced? Anyone can make up a new religion and whatever rules they want, so there is no limit to this nonsense.

  • Daniel-Reader

    The Almighty Magic Unicorn, who slayed all the other gods and goddesses, says you have to discriminate against any and everyone who is breathing (meaning you can’t discriminate against undead people like zombies). All bow down to the Almighty Magic Unicorn who created the universe and everything ever imagined in the universe. So shouldn’t followers of the Almighty Magic Unicorn be able to discriminate against all other religions since all other religions are an insult to the One True Unicorn? See religions are mental and their followers are all just as stupid as the followers of whatever religion you consider to be the most stupid on Earth; they are all just as make believe and simply make money for those gullible enough to donate to so-called “religious leaders”. If your religion is dumb enough to build buildings to it, it doesn’t make it any less crazy or fictitious. Jesus’ last words on the cross were “if you are reading this bible, I have some swampland to sell you.” but that part was cut out by the people selling bibles since it hurt their profit margin selling books to dullards.

  • alexoloughlin

    So let me get this straight, religious nutjobs paid by the state (public civil servants) are allowed to underperform their jobs and dictate to their employer what they will and will not do? In the real world, we would be fired.

    No. 15, you make an excellent point. Religion addicted clerks should also apply their bigotry to divorced heterosexuals. I wonder if anyone has brought that up at the state level? I’m certain the Alliance Defending Freedom hasn’t even thought about it. They need to be reminded and their bigotry exposed across the entire state of Maine and in every state where SSM is legal.

  • Randy

    In the 19 years I’ve worked for my company there have been many, many changes. Some I liked and agreed with, some I didn’t. If I threw a fit when I didn’t agree with their decisions, I don’t think I’d have lasted as long as I have, especially if it involved not complying with the law.

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