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01/10/2014

FRC decries NM Gov's act of good faith, sells town clerks bill of goods

by Jeremy Hooper

The Family Research Council, reliable maker of silly connections, is now trying to use the declaration by New Mexico's Republican governor that she will not stand in the way or otherwise mess with her state high court's unanimous decision in favor of marriage equality as a reason for local government employees to arbitrarily decide that they don't have to perform their jobs whenever a gay couple walks into the office. Tony Perkins (/his ghostwriter) writes:

Obviously, [New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R)] needs a class in basic civics, because the court doesn't write the law -- legislators do. And it's absolutely indefensible that a leader who ran on a pro-marriage platform would renege on her word and silence constituents. If Governor Martinez won't do her job, then conservative clerks shouldn't have to perform theirs. Already county officials are resigning from their posts, making it clear that they would rather quit than issue same-sex "marriage" licenses. [FRC]

Of course Gov. Martinez is absolutely doing her job when she recognizes the perfectly valid third branch of government that we call the judiciary. The unanimous state Supreme Court panel did not make law, but rather did exactly what they are tasked with doing: ensured that state laws are in accord with the constitution. Groups like FRC hate this about courts, since they much prefer government entities that act in accord with their anti-gay press releases. This is exactly why they've spent so much time over the past decade trying to convince their base that "activist judges" are all around us: they know that courts are where their talking points go to die.

Government workers who provide marriage licenses have another duty. Namely, they are required to follow the policies of their state. In New Mexico, same-sex marriages are now a legal reality, which means their fair licensing is now a workday requirement for anyone who is tasked with facilitating the marriage licensing procedure. Those who do not wish to follow the law can absolutely seek to move to another government job, or to perhaps find employment in the private sector. But as long as they continue to work in these taxpayer-funded roles, they must treat every taxpayer equally, or they better be very, very slick whenever they pretend it's time for them to take a break whenever a happy gay couple makes their way to the desk.

It is shameful the way groups like FRC and various anti-LGBT legal outfits dupe these eager-for-martyrdom figures into believing the lies. As soon as these cases lose in court (and they always do) and their fundraising usefulness runs out (and it always does), these anti-LGBT groups will move on and forget about them, sometimes eagerly so. I would warn anyone putting their trust in this movement to take a hard and objective look at what's really going on here.

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