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06/20/2008

Recognize this: Ghosts of founding fathers just married hands with heads

by Jeremy Hooper

JennytyreeQ. Who is bastardizing the intent of the First Amendment today? A. Focus on the Family's Jenny Tyree, that's who.

Responding to the news that employees in the San Diego County Clerk's office who refused to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies have been reassigned to other duties, Ms. Tyree offers up the following nugget:

Amending the state constitution in November would not only protect the definition of marriage,” Tyree said, “but also will protect the First Amendment rights of people who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Only problem for Jenny? THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOESN'T ALLOW A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE TO PICK AND CHOOSE TO WHOM THEY WISH TO APPLY CIVIL LAWS!!!!! These employees who were reassigned still have every right to stand on a public sidewalk and preach against gay marriage until the proverbial cows return to their proverbial homes They do not, however, have the right to marry straight couples while ignoring the fact -- THE FACT -- that gay couples now have just as much right to marry under California state law. Hell, they're lucky that they are merely getting reassigned. After all, it's a sure bet that if their antipathy was pointed towards another group who they deemed unfit to marry, stiffer punishment would be demanded!

If California voters do make the cruel, wrong-headed, discriminatory, un-American, society-weakening, dehumanizing, ignoble choice to ban marriage equality at the November polls, then yes, these now-reassigned employees will get to return to the "good ol' days" when those pesky gays weren't ruining things with their pledges of monogamy. However, it will not be because they've regained any supposedly lost First Amendment rights. Instead, it will be because they've gained Anti-gay Amendment wrongs.

Clerks Reassigned after Refusing to Perform Gay 'Marriages' [CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

Grant it when most of these clerks were hired they probably never envisioned that they would have to “enable” the “Gay Agenda” by providing us with marriage licenses and performing marriages. BUT in the real world like with any job when the rules change in mid-stream you either go along with them or FIND ANOTHER JOB!

I will never deny them the right to express their religious beliefs at home or in their church, but for them to ask TO BE EXCUSED FROM PERFORMING ALL REQUIRED TASK OF THEIR TAX PAYER FUNDED JOB because of "personal" or religious reasons is another matter.

Yes, it may mean that they have a hard decision to make, but don’t we all sometimes in our lives and why are they so different?

Why is it that they are always blaming the religious views for an easy way out? In the real world it's do as your told or you are fired!

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 20, 2008 9:03:51 PM

There may be those among them who are considering legal action against San Diego County. I would think that even under the strictest "compelling interest" interpretation of the First Amendment, those county employees who might think that they have a cause of action would quickly find that they don't.

But this very clearly points out the duplicity of these jerks who quickly seek the protection of their constitutional rights (imaginary as they may be) while at the same time (and literally in the same breath) they are attempting to deny constitutionally granted civil rights to others.

The constitution is great as long as it supports their myopia, but only to the extent that it ONLY supports their myopia.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 20, 2008 10:35:24 PM

Dick, great point! It's only their constitution after all, though. Maybe gays didn't get that memo? (Sheesh.)

It kills me that anyone -- ANYONE! -- thinks they should be able to vote on the civil rights of any other citizen. I wonder how the population of men, who are outnumbered in this country by women, would feel if all women voted to deny men the right to -- oh, I don't know, vote?

The fact is that if two devoutly religious, unrelated heterosexuals (let's say they're evangelical Lutherans, just to pick a church) go to their church and have their wedding in front of God and family and friends. When they leave that church, rice and flowers in the air, are they married? They are not. They are not married in this country until they have gone to City Hall and have been granted a MARRIAGE license by the government. And two atheists who go ONLY to City Hall for this license can be MARRIED without ever darkening the door of a house of worship.

So. MARRIAGE. It's a civil right. And you have no constitutionally supported way to vote about someone else's civil rights.

Posted by: Robin Reardon | Jun 21, 2008 3:10:39 PM

Increasingly, we're seeing these anti-gay groups grasping at straws to forward their causes.

They condemn a chaste kiss between two (adorable) old ladies as "evil" and "shocking," they warn of the impending cancellation of Father's Day (of all things) if we're given the right to marry, and now they're invoking the First Amendment because ... why, exactly?

They're becoming more and more alarmist even as the progression of our rights is proving to be a non-issue for society as a whole. It's going to backfire on them. I just hope it's sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Katelyn | Jun 21, 2008 5:28:15 PM

Wow, these folks live in possibly the most sheltered area of the world. They've never had a job that changes in any way, much less in ways that go against their principles, values, and beliefs.

I believe that I am a person, and that no amount of money makes me less of a human or deserving of abuse, which is why I only lasted a little over a year at a customer service hotline.

When your job changes, you adjust, or you move on. NOBODY gets to freeze their job description. These folks are lucky that reassignment was all they had to deal with. That's insubordination, and perfectly legal grounds for dismissal. If you have certain beliefs, it is up to you, not your employer, to find a job that fits with your beliefs.

Posted by: Jason D | Jun 21, 2008 9:11:09 PM

Robin, Equality California agrees with you on your point
about voting on the civil rights of other citizens. On Friday they filed a brief with the California Supreme Court seeking to disqualify the Limit on Marriage amendment on the basis that it is a revision to the constitution, and not an amendment. They say:

The petition also claims the so-called California Marriage Protection Act should be disqualified because it would revise, rather than amend, the state Constitution by altering its fundamental guarantee of equality for all _ in essence writing a law the state high court has already found unconstitutional into the constitution.

«If enacted, it would alter the underlying principles on which the California Constitution is based and make far-reaching changes in the nature of our basic government plan, by severely compromising the core constitutional principle of equal citizenship (and) ... by destroying the courts' quintessential power and role of protecting minorities,» it states.

I believe that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case this summer and rule on it prior to the election. It should be a very interesting case.

California Supreme Court Case Number S164520

http://www.eqca.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4061163&content_id={B34C34B5-BC27-4B40-9190-492635859A2B}&notoc=1

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 21, 2008 10:13:17 PM

Moral and religious freedom does not mean that conservative Christians in positions of government get to decide who they will or will not serve. Governmental organizations are here to serve everyone in America, not just those who fit into the narrow worldview of conservative Christians. If a conservative Christian can't perform his job duties as a representative of a governmental agency, then he should quit. He should not demand that his personal prejudices determine who he serves in performance of his duties. As a citizen of this country I for one don't want some prejudiced Christian type deciding whether or not I'm a human being when I step up to a counter in a government office. If CitizenLink thinks their position is defensible, they are truly blind, because I guarantee if some government clerk treated Christians the way that CitizenLink advocates gays should be treated, CitizenLink would be the first to write reams of protest on their website.

And by the way CitizenLink, referring to gay marriage as gay 'marriage' and gay weddings as 'weddings' isn't necessary, we already know you hold GLBT people in contempt so save yourself megabytes of storage space on your website and drop the smart-aleck quotation marks. Try to realize that your sarcasm and style clearly show that you've become cynical. Try to realize that this aggressive, cynical, angry Christianity you promote is damaging what little credibility you have left.

Posted by: PW | Jun 22, 2008 1:19:36 PM

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