Saturday, October 17, 2015

Candidate for Montgomery County Register of Wills Plans to Refuse Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Sharon Thomas is currently the mayor of Pottstown, PA, and she is running for the position of Montgomery County Register of Wills. In Pennsylvania, the Register of Wills is responsible for processing marriage license applications. This campaign is in the news because Thomas has announced that she is opposed to gay marriage and that she will refuse to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples if elected into office:
Statements by Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas in the usually sleepy race for register of wills have once again put Montgomery County in the spotlight in Pennsylvania’s debate about same sex marriage. 

Thomas, a Republican, told The Intelligencer newspaper that she will not personally issue any same sex marriage licenses if she wins the race against incumbent Democrat D. Bruce Hanes. 

Instead, as in the now-famous case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail after defying a court order to issue same-sex licenses, Thomas said she will seek court permission to allow the licenses to be issued by a subordinate. 

“I am opposed to gay marriages on religious grounds, and my conscience will not allow me to sign off on marriage certificates for gay couples,” Thomas, an ordained minister who is serving her second nonconsecutive term as Pottstown’s mayor, told The Intelligencer. “People should not have to violate their conscience to run or to serve.” 

 Thomas said, “I am not an obstructionist and will not force my values on others.”
Thomas has been compared here, as well as other places to Kim Davis. The difference between her and Davis, assuming that Thomas is being honest about her intentions, is that Thomas doesn't plan on halting all marriage licenses withing her county. She instead plans to delegate marriage licenses for same-sex constituents to her employees.

It does make you wonder though why she wants to run for a job that's responsible for something that she finds morally objectionable...

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