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08/22/2011

Won't work: NY town clerk on why she needs special employment rights

by Jeremy Hooper

Ledyard, N.Y, town clerk Rose Marie Belforti on why she can't offer *civil* marriage licenses to same-sex couples:

"I am a Christian. God is the final word. He is the Truth, and I believe what the Bible says. When I considered this, God was there with me and I really knew inside, without waver, that this is not right. It is the law now, and I do want to obey the law because God wants me to do that, but personally for me to administer this application to a couple of the same sex would be very difficult. And I don’t think it’d do the couple any service to have me as their person, because it really, truly, does grieve the Holy Spirit that resides in my heart, and I don’t know if I’d be able to cover that up for them. So, I want to remove myself from this process."
Friday Five: Rose Marie Belforti [Focus on the Family Citizenlink]

Okay, removing herself from the process is certainly Ms. Belforti's right. But for her or any clerk to ask now, after long marrying any kind of straight couple without any sort of morality test, for some sort of new right to take a break whenever one certain kind of tax-paying citizen seeks this civil right under civil law? No, that's never going to be okay! Just like a DMV official isn't free to go for a smoke whenever an applicant chooses to donate organs that said official thinks he or she might need in heaven. The job is to do the job. If one cannot do these civil jobs, then someone else gladly will!

Ms. Belforti goes on to give even more insight into her newfound hesitation, telling Focus on the Family:

"We know what a bride is, we know what a groom is—but if we choose to be a “spouse,” does that even limit (marriage) to a human being? Do you know what I’m saying?"

Well, speaking fluent "culture war"-ese, I would presume she's saying New York's marriage law could open the door to man-on-horse, woman-on-nightstand, human-on-martian unions. Which, again, are fears Ms. Belforti has every right to hold and express. But if she wants to stay employed in this government role, then she must perform the duties as prescribed by state law. She can fear her future attendance at a horse's wedding shower -- she cannot cross her arms and obstinately make "neigh" sounds whenever a lesbian couple comes in her office seeking to enjoy equal citizenship.

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