Thursday, July 9, 2015

No, Public Officials Who Hate Gay Marriage CAN'T Violate The Law

This Kentucky county clerk, (woman on right)
refuses to issue any marriage licenses because
she hates the idea of same sex marriage licenses.  
As a gay, married man, I was thrilled along with a lot of other people when the U.S. Supreme Court said same sex marriage was legal everywhere in the United States.

A number of other people were decidedly NOT so happy with this ruling, including a smattering of county clerks across the nation who are tasked with handing out marriage licenses, to straight couples, and now to gay couples.

The gay marriage ruling puts these clerks in a quandary. Do they violate their deeply held religious beliefs to hand out marriage licenses to Steve and Earl and to Becky and Cindy? Or do they refuse?

Frankly, I have a lot of respect for the few county clerks who have resigned their positions rather than violate their religious beliefs in issuing same sex marriage licenses.

Obviously, resigning from a job is incredibly disruptive, but if they choose to resign to live up to their  ideals, more power to them, even if I don't agree with their viewpoints on gay marriage. At least they are being honest and true to themselves, and that's a rare commodity these days.

What I don't like are the clerks who are trying to weasel out of issuing marriage licenses. When you become a public official, you are charged with upholding the laws. Even if it's a law you don't like.

If you don't like the law, you can work to change it, or you can resign from a job that forces you to obey a law you find disgraceful.

Some clerks have tried to get around this by not issuing marriage licenses to anyone, gay or straight. Like the county clerk in Kentucky who was video'd doing just that. 

Some of these refusnik clerks are probably trying to become these fake evangelical Christian martyrs.

You know the type. They are brought up on say, charges of official misconduct for not issuing licenses, and then they go to the Christianist talking heads and activists groups, and they become a prop to this idea that Christians are being "persecuted" in the United States.

As if anyone is taking away their right to their religious beliefs.

But beliefs have consequences. Mine do, and people might not like me for supporting gay marriage, and being gay married. I have to live with that. You can't be loved by everyone.

Plus, I can't imagine ever getting a job at an evangelical church, not that I would want one there.

Evangelical Christians are doing just fine in this nation, despite what some of them will tell you. These Christianists will say that gays have an outsized influence on public discourse, and that might be true.

But these Christianists themselves have an outsized influence on public policy, given how many of them are in public office, or lobbying those in public office. Or are annoying media pundits. Right, Todd Starnes?

The conservative groups are still trying to find ways to break the law by weaseling all of it, as noted in SCOTUSblog. 

Gay marriage will not be the end of Evangelicals in this country. Far from it. So they can stop panicking and get back to praying, if they so wish.

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