Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New York Town Clerk Resigns To Avoid Gay Marriage Licenses

A few weeks ago, I shared a story about Volney, NY, town cleark, Barbara MacEwen, who has gone public with her intention to refuse to do her job and sign off on marriage licenses filed by local gay and lesbian couples.  I questioned why this person even bothered to show up for work after asserting that she will blatently refuse to do routine job functions for a certain portion of the community that she was elected to serve.  (Though I should note that MacEwen eventually "relented" and arranged for deputy clerks to sully their souls by signing off on gay marriage licenses.  Oh, the sacrifices that one makes one's underlings do...)

Another New York town clerk also found herself in a similar quandary.  Laura Fotusky of Barker, NY, felt torn between her object to signing off on gay couples' marriage licenses and her desire to do the job that she's paid to do.  She ultimately decided to quitHere is part of her resignation letter:
I have been in contact with Jason McGuire from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, our Town Attorney, Richard Lewis, and a Constitutional Lawyer regarding the Marriage Equality Act that was passed June 24, 2011. There was no protection provided in the legislation for Town Clerks who are unable to sign these marriage licenses due to personal religious convictions, even though our US Constitution supports freedom of religion.

I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible. In Acts 5:29, it states, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’

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. Deuteronomy 10:12 says, ‘…What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.’

I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure. Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21. I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24.

It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve the Town as Barker Town Clerk.
I'll give Fotusky her props.  At least she was upright enough to jump into unemployment and uncertainty instead of refusing to perform one of the civic duties that she was paid to perform.

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