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Monday, December 6, 2021

Using religion to stop gay marriage

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Vicki Britt wipes away tears as her partner, Trish Philbrook, comforts her during the announcement that there will be no marriages performed at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday, (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy)
Vicki Britt wipes away tears as her partner, Trish Philbrook, at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy)

Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina’s magistrates are refusing to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons, and lawyers for the state say people suing in federal court have no standing to challenge these opt-outs as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn scheduled a hearing for Monday in Asheville in part to consider a motion by the state to dismiss their lawsuit altogether. Separately, Republican legislative leaders and some magistrates also want to be added as defendants as the case, saying they don’t trust Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper to defend the state law.

Three couples — two lesbian and one heterosexual — say taxpayer dollars are being spent to implement the 2015 opt-out law that treats them as second-class citizens and favors one set of religious views over another.

“It allows judicial officers to opt out of upholding the constitution,” said Jake Sussman, one of their attorneys. “We don’t believe that the law appropriately balanced issues of religious liberty and these constitutional obligations.”

Now that Mississippi’s broad religious-objection law is blocked in court, North Carolina and Utah are the only states enabling government officials to recuse themselves for religious reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

If the law is struck down, religious freedom would be harmed not only in North Carolina but nationwide, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationally, another attorney says.

“What the United States Supreme Court did last year was a sea change,” and the government officials affected have a right to be protected, said Mat Staver, founder of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel. The legal aid group is representing Alexander County Magistrate Brenda Bumgarner, who wants to enter the lawsuit.

Bumgarner is among the 31 of the state’s 670 magistrates who now have invoked the law. It exempts magistrates and certain workers in Register of Deeds offices from all marriage transactions — gay and heterosexual — for at least six months if they fill out a religious objection form. In North Carolina, Registers of Deeds offices issues marriage licenses while magistrates can officiate over a civil marriage.

State lawmakers approved this opt-out procedure in June 2015 after several magistrates resigned, feeling the state court system would punish or fire them if they didn’t officiate at gay marriages. While the magistrates took oaths to defend the constitution and carry out laws, supporters of the law say they shouldn’t have to scrap their strongly-held religious views at the same time.

The law provides for a chief District Court judge or county Register of Deeds — both elected officials —to carry out marriage transactions if no one else is available. Additional workers also can be brought in adjoining areas to fill in.

That’s what’s happened in McDowell County, just east of Asheville, where all magistrates opted out, according to the lawsuit. One of the lesbian couples who sued lives in McDowell County but is already married.

The lawsuit doesn’t allege any delays or denials of marriage licenses due to the opt-out law, but says the second lesbian couple who sued is engaged and wishes for a magistrate to officiate in their marriage “untainted by the stigma of animus” arising from the recusals.

House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger, Bumgarner and other named magistrates argue that Cooper’s public opposition to the law makes him a poor advocate to defend it. A federal magistrate judge disagreed in July, saying Cooper’s office was mounting a vigorous case. Cooper is running this fall against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who vetoed the law but was overridden by the GOP-led legislature.

Cogburn, an appointee of President Barack Obama, was the first judge to formally strike down North Carolina’s gay marriage ban in October 2014.

Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

93 thoughts on “Using religion to stop gay marriage”

  1. No, these people can either serve ALL or find another job. I am sick and tired of carve-outs for Christians. They can learn not to discriminate. Your opinion and the cavalier nonsense from others who have posted is a clear indication of why we need to be included in the Civil Rights Act or be declared a suspect class by the SCOTUS.

    Why should we have to run around looking for other CIVIL (not religious) officials to marry us because Christians have their special little carve-out so that they can discriminate based on their disapproval of us and our lives?

  2. Here, we have a close question. The State is required to service the needs of marital partners equally and without regard to the sex or the sexual orientation of the partners. In doing so, the State must provide sufficient personnel to provide the required marriage services (licensure, civil ceremonies, etc.). The State cannot fail to provide adequate coverage and equally throughout the State.

    But can the State make what is essentially a human resources determination and allow individual employees to be reassigned to other job functions, where the employee claims a sincerely held religious objection to participating in a marriage? So long as the state arranges to exclude such employees without permitting such exclusions to affect or reduce the availability of marriage services to all marital partners, then, I would have to say, the State can do this. It’s not unconstitutional. Why?

    The State is merely required to apply its laws equally. Here, the State is not refusing to marry gay or lesbian couples. Rather, it is still providing marriage services. But it is allowing some state employees to absent themselves much before the fact of administering marriage licenses between gay or lesbian couples. The State is then timely substituting other personel who gladly perform the required services.

    In short, the subject couples still get their marriages and without any dignity injury of note or moment. They simply have no justiciable, remediable claim. They may be temporarily inconvenienced that a given county office has no available minister of the peace, but this alone does not rise to the level of a constitutional injury.

  3. North Carolina is no better than hellholes like Alabama or Mississippi. What makes anyone think that this would be unusual to happen there? If you’re LGBT and you’re unfortunate enough to live in this miserable state, rent a U-Haul and move to a modern enlightened state…………..that means OUT of the South altogether. I did.

  4. I do not agree with where the Government has gone with this whole thing to begin. George Washington did not have a marriage license. I do not feel that the Government should have the authority to grant a marriage license. If you want have separation of Church and State then so be it. Marriages where done in the church long before the United States existed. If you want to get married find or make up a church that will marry you. Get a certificate of marriage from them. Abolish government granted marriage licenses and this whole problem goes away. It is a win win for everybody. The government just has to find another way to get money from the tax payers.

  5. These are elected officials, they don’t have to resign and can’t be fired. If you don’t like it then run against them.

  6. Common Sense, My view.
    Before the United States we were Colonies set up by Charters. Each with Religion Laws of who could by faith be elected. Even Colonies without an Official Religion within had “People of Christian Faith”.(Catholic not included) Following is list of States with Official Religions and when support ended.
    1. Virginia, Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: Apr. 10,1606 Ended Support: 1830
    2. New York Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: June 7, 1614 Ended Support: 1846
    3. Maryland Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: June 20, 1632 Ended Support: 1867
    4. Connecticut Official Religion: Congregational Church Original Charter Date: Jan. 14, 1639 Ended Support: 1818
    5. New Hampshire Official Religion: Congregational Church Original Charter Date: Aug. 4, 1639 Ended Support: 1877
    6. North Carolina Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: Mar. 24, 1663 Ended Support: 1875
    7. South Carolina Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: Mar. 24, 1663 Ended Support: 1868
    So the 1st Amendment of the Constitution only applies to the Federal Government from making a Law for a Federal level Religion.
    The Jefferson letter was his view that states that had Official Religion or still followed Charter Laws that kept anyone not of that religion from holding elected office must be removed by “a wall between Church and State” really meant States. But Jefferson knew it was not a power of the Federal Government by the Constitution to force any State to do so.
    “Freedom of Religion” means people can live their life to the morals of their faith.

  7. YOU grow up! Same sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. Why should a couple have to go to another country to get a marriage certificate. So tired of fundies always wanting carve-outs.

    • Bible based argument are specious to begin with.,because the quoter has no idea what the Bible says or doesn’t say. It is a book that has been manipulated down through the centuries as meanings, understandings and circumstances changed. There are many Bibles. To which Bible is the user referring…the Coverdale? the KJV? The KJV authorized by King James in 1611. It was translated from various sources which were, themselves, translations. The KJV used texts from the Vulgate, the Coverdale, various other notes and translations. The original Bible was from Hebrew translated into Greek translated into various other languages and retranslated, notes from scribes, corrections, changes have all been incorporated. There is no way of knowing, definitively, what was actually meant or said. There are those who want to have it their way and care nothing about the origins of the Bible.

  8. “The lawsuit doesn’t allege any delays or denials of marriage licenses due to the opt-out law, but says the second lesbian couple who sued is engaged and wishes for a magistrate to officiate in their marriage “untainted by the stigma of animus” arising from the recusals.”
    Here’s the problem you face. Since you have suffered no harm you do not have standing to sue and THAT is what is used on a regular basis by the federal government to block people challenging their regulations. Since there have been no delays and no denials therefore you have suffered o harm and this nonsense about “untainted by the stigma…” is simply that – nonsense.
    I disagree with the opt out law, but as long as it IS the law then in order to challenge it you must show “damages”.

  9. When debating the Constitution and Bill of Right’s in the 1790’s Right of Conscience was considered a necessity to it’s passage.
    Fast forward to Roe v. Wade and a clause was built in exempting health care professionals and provider from offering services or goods (birth control) based on Right of Conscience.
    The Supreme Court felt that a conscientious objector could step away and the service would be provided without harm to the patient.
    No one is saying these people cannot be married (or have a cake, flowers, etc.), they are simply requesting another person perform the service.

  10. Church and state are supposed to be separate. When you are hired or elected you promise to uphold the laws and part of that law states you may no discriminate based on race, religion or sexual preference. You except the job and your personal beliefs are excluded. When you are on the job you represent the state not God.

    • The supreme law of the land is the Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion. The government saying to a government employee “Violate your religious beliefs that don’t violate any body else’s Constitutional rights, or you’re fired.” is not freedom of religion. No one has a Constitutional right to force a particular magistrate to perform their marriage. (The Constitution also doesn’t say that homosexuals have a right to marriage either but the Supreme Court has said that it does). As long as the state is marrying these gay people, the gay people have no ground to sue. The state is complying with most importantly, the Constitution, and it is also complying with the recent Supreme Court decision. The recent Supreme Court decisions said that gay marriage is legal in all states, not that particular magistrates have to perform them.

  11. There are those who believe, sincerely, that interracial marriage is wrong. The issue then becomes not what race you are but who gets to say what race you are.

  12. The Magistrates work for the state and get paid for by the state. Their religious beliefs are theirs and have no bearing on their jobs. If they refuse to do their job then quit or get fired. We do not pay you to refuse to do what your paid for. Keep your religion to yourself and out of others lives.

  13. The question they should ask themselves is this, how would you feel if someone prevented you from getting married? People especially Republicans should learn to stay out of grown folks business! Gay marriage has no effect on your personal life at all, gays should marry other gays, that way, they won’t marry your daughter and ruin her life.

      • Really? Do you have to worry that you may not find a judge or magistrate to marry you? These individuals should be serving and serving all alike since they are PUBLIC servants. I love how the intolerant think that anyone who fights for their rights is a “crybaby” or that intolerance of intolerance somehow equals intolerance. It does not.

    • People like that do not have empathy when it comes to LGBT people, especially same sex couples who wish to legally marry.

      • Empathy has nothing to do with it. Personally I could care less whether gay marriage is legal or not, but since it is, these magistrates should conduct the marriage ceremony as the would any other marriage.

    • ‘Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina’s magistrates are refusing to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons.’ This is an easy number to quickly and quietly replace!

    • You have a right to freedom of religion…to worship how you may, where you may and what you may…but when you start taking away people’s civil liberties through a religious conviction you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

  14. If you work for the government in any capacity, your particular religious beliefs have no bearing on performing your duties. If you think they do, you need to find employment more suitable to your beliefs.
    Once you allow a religious exception, where do you stop? Which religious beliefs can be used as an excuse and why those and not others? And, which officials are to be allowed to use religion as a reason to refuse service? Why not all? Every time this issue comes up it is right wing conservative “Christians” who want to be allowed to use their beliefs to discriminate and they don’t want any other religions to be able to do the same to them.
    This law, and others like it, have nothing to do with true religious freedom and everything to do with sanctioned discrimination by right wing conservatives over LGBT rights.

    • If all Religious language was removed from Civil Marriage Ceremonies , and it was plain that they had no religious validity , then there would be no conflict with Religious beliefs .
      That would also insure the separation of Church and State , for it would farther prevent both the State from interfering in Religion , and Religion from being used to define a joining by the State .

    • John, that is pretty naïve to think that your beliefs have no bearing…they play a part everyday in court cases…you need to rethink that one.

    • The military is a government entity and military members/Chaplains are allowed to opt out of trainings or ceremonies because of their particular faith group, and the government sees no problem with this. An individual who is able to do the ceremony or training is brought in and everything is fine.

    • These questions have never come up in the past because regardless of religious denomination eveyone was on the same page. But no one asks why religion is against gay marriage. Well it’s very simple. If you believe in God you realise no one on this earth asked to be here. Therefore life must be a gift. A gift from God. You then have a responsibility to use this gift and part of that use is sharing in his creation through procreation. Sex is not entertainment. That is abuse of a gift a perversion of a gift and encouraging abuse is a “sin” in the eyes of people who want to please God. Now isn’t that simple. The USA is not a Christian country and we will be paying for that decision someday.

      • If your god did not punish this country for the abuses and abomination of human slavery, if he did not punish this country for the way the Native Americans were treated, if he did not punish us for our war crimes in various countries, he is not going to bother about a loving same sex couple being able to marry. If what I have listed was done when this was supposedly a Christian country, then I’ll take Paganism any day

    • Not true the First Amendment Guarantees you the right to practice and live by your beliefs that is why we have opt outs in many government areas such as the draft all that has happened is with granting the rights to marry to Gays; which I agree with, you have to balance that by allowing those who have moral or religious beliefs to opt out of participating in the process. Since these magistrates are opting out of performing any marriage it is not discrimination. Also since nobody is denied or delayed in getting a licence or having the ceremony performed there is not the State.

  15. I guess losing the next all-star NBA game wasn’t enough for North Carolina. What’s that about insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over (in this case, discriminating against the LGBT community) and expecting a different outcome? Yes, that.

  16. You, Government officials of Mississippi, North Carolina, and Utah. Remember, you are standing in the Federal Building. you are not standing in the building of your church.
    Remember when you take your oath regardless of sex orientation, race, beliefs. you have to perform your civil duties. as a US citizen. serve the needs of your Citizens they are calling your service. Do Not serve your own interest. you are in the oath of public service Not your own beliefs. you are exercising above the law and that is a Crime.

    • Everyone is religious. A religion is just a set of beliefs about how the world really is. You have a set of beliefs about how the world really is. Is your belief system the right one?

  17. If they can’t perform their job, they can resign. Disgusting display of bigotry, veiled in religion.

  18. Religion isn’t anything, but a form of ABSOLUTE control! Christians are nothing but bloodthirsty hatemongers, and would just as soon kill you as look at you! I laugh at them!

  19. We need to start jailing Civil Servants who won’t do their job. Period. For any religious reason. Just JAIL THEM.

  20. Any judge that refuses should be disbarred immediately! They swore to uphold the law, not their religion.

  21. whenever I hear “sincerely held beliefs,” what I really hear is DISCRIMINATION! It’s a “slippery slope” from which those with such attitudes will eventually refuse to serve/accommodate other religions than their own from Mormons to Wicca to Muslims. They can just as easily refuse to provide goods and services to prostitutes, excons, trailer trash, unmarried couples, those with extreme hairstyles or clothing, etc.

    Jon – I’m in agreement, the law of the land supersedes religion. I also agree, if you cannot perform your tasks whether in private or government positions, resign or not have applied in the first place.

    Let’s be honest, the majority who make these so-called claims of “sincerely held beliefs” are white evangelicals, the group that with tea party members hold the Republican Party hostage to promoting laws of morality rather than solutions to the nation’s challenges. They tend to emphasize biblical verses that they find agreement with and interpret them with such additions to the verse that render it unrecognizable to the original written version and others such as below are relegated to obscurity >

    Matthew 22:20-22 King James Version (KJV)

    20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

    21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

    22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

  22. Jon – With all due respect, please look and see what GOD says about homosexuality, before trying to force your view on others. (Genesis 19, I Corinthians 6:9,10, Romans 1:26-27)

    • Every book of the Bible has named authors. Not one was written or co-written by God. The Bible is not the word of God. It’s the word ABOUT God.

    • Stop with “god said…”
      You’re reading from Delusions1:01.
      An old book is not evidence.
      Tell your preferred god to make an appearance.
      He can’t, because he’s imaginary.
      Gays pay taxes, and are entitled to full civil rights.
      If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.
      “Religious liberty” is a can of worms that’s been opened that can now include just about anything.
      We already know that theocracies don’t work.
      Keep your religion far away from me.

    • There are 131 ( or 133 or 136) “abominations” in the ‘bible’, depending on which version of “God’s unchanging perfect word” one is investigating – virtually all of which demand the death penalty. It is immensely sad, supremely hypocritical and horrifyingly ironic how “believers” are perfectly willing to completely ignore all but one or two of them when they suddenly find it necessary to remind others over and over ad nauseum how much they have the divine right to hate people who are different. One thing is for sure, these bigots REALLY need to hope Jesus stays dead.

      Your imaginary god is not relevant to the real world and your filthy old book of campfire tales handed down from illiterate bronze age goatherders who routinely massacred each other over which of -their- imaginary gods had the biggest penis, is not useful.
      Unless, that is, one happens to run out of toilet paper.

      Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
      Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

    • We are talking about the federal government and state government. What your bible says in these cases is actually irrelevant. I don’t see you Christianists wanting to stop forcing YOUR views into our government. The point is that if you work for state or federal government, you serve ALL the people or you find another job.

    • No one’s belief is being “forced” on anyone else. Government officials aren’t required to believe in same-sex marriage, just to do their jobs. I regard this as a similar situation to the Garcetti v. Ceballos case that went before the Supreme Court a number of years ago. Garcetti dealt with the First Amendment free-speech protections for government employees. The gist of the case is that when an employee’s exercise of free speech interferes with the operation of the governmental office, the governmental employer can take action against the employee. That’s because government has its own interest in smooth and efficient operation. If an employee’s speech is disruptive or is simply “part of the job,” then it’s not free speech. This is no different. If exercise of your religion prevents you from doing your job, it puts an extra burden on government and interferes with its efficiency. So, if you can’t do your job without violating your religious beliefs, go get a different job.

  23. If the state is exempting anyone from performing marriages on religious grounds, the state has a duty to its citizens to hire people who will actually perform the job, specially iof it is part of the job description. If it is in your job description, then not performing them for any reason is a terminable offense. One person can not put their religion over the job description they agreed to fulfill right up until the supreme court ruled in favor of upholding the rights of tens of thousands of citizens to marry and afford themselves of the protections marriage holds ( right of inheritance, right of medical decision making in the case of incapacity, etc etc). your right to your religion does not negate my right to be lawfully, as described by the all applicable laws now on the books in regards to marriage, married.

  24. These “good ole boys and girls” love their exclusive religion ala. minor tribal deity…could be God is a lot bigger and more loving than they could ever imagine!

  25. The part I guess I keep missing is the separation of church and state. If they are employed by any governing agency then under the laws of the constitution every citizen is entitled to have a marriage performed by a justice of the peace, etc.

    Now, if the individual is attempting to force any religious institution to perform a marriage which their doctrine does not acknowledge, as in this case, same sex marriage, then this violates the separation of church and state. This makes no sense simply because there are plenty of churches willing to perform such ceremonies.

    • Well those lawyers are wrong. When laws are written because of a certain religious morality then that is establishing religion which is a violation of the First Amendment. We don’t have to be religious to be of good moral character if this was not true we’d have a lot more crime than what we do. I am not of any religion and I would bet that I have a higher degree of morality then many of those people that object! I too was a Civil Servant in the Law Field and I took an OATH to serve and protect that oath did not let me choose who I would protect it was my Duty as a public servant to serve and protect all people! These people do not have integrity nor do they know what it means! There is no honor in the manner in which they demand to do their job their way! It does not benefit society as a whole. Lets say in my job we had this very argument would it be correct of me to let someone be harmed because they are religious and I am not? Do I not have the same rights guaranteed in the Constitution? It gives me the right to believe or not believe!
      It’s funny how the bigger picture is never looked at! I would have thought after their SSM debacle they would have changed their game! Now they will have to prove once again how they are harmed and we know they cant! There are far more straight predators then there are LGBTQ predators! Remember depending on who you ask LGBTQ people are only 2 to 10 percent of the population! They are cutting their own throat and can’t feel the knife!

    • It’s simple. Judges are supposed to be fair, balanced, educated, and impartial. If a judge is impartial on this issue…then that leaves the door opened for prejudiced rulings that can easily be appealed. Also, judges, magistrates, and clerks are public workers, and should not get to choose whom they get to serve. If they didn’t want to serve the public, they should not have ran in the first place.

    • We are not just going to “move on”. Why should people have to run around looking for a magistrate to marry them in a CIVIL (not religious) ceremony? I could see a minister or priest refusing to do a ceremony, but this is the CIVIL realm, not religious.

  26. I remember when Evangelicals used (misused) scriptures to fight interracial marriage. Evidently those scriptures no longer apply? Did you know only 4% of Americans supported interracial marriage in 1958 and only 28% supported it when it was made legal?

  27. No one is asking to be married in the magistrates’ churches — who’d want to be married where you aren’t welcome? If this is a civil ceremony, the judges are obligated to perform them or find someone else who immediately can do so. Of course, they also could resign if they can’t obey the law of the land.

  28. It should not be an issue, by the first amendment and the civil rights act of 1964. In the first place, it is virtually impossible to be a traditional Christian and participate in any gay marriage activity. Homosexual acts are expressly condemned in the New Testament in at least three places. If conscientious objectors can say they will not fight in war — Quakers — and they can get relieved from the draft, then certainly any Christian who believes in the New Testament is protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which says that a reasonable accommodation MUST be made for religious objection of duties even if they are public officials, so long as they are still able to perform the majority of their duties. Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis maintained that marriage licenses were only about One percent of her duties as clerk. If alternative arrangements can be made for people who want to get married, it seems that the Constitution and the law are very clear, specific and direct. Public officials cannot be forced to marry gays, plain and simple, unless the judge ignores the first amendment and the Civil Rights act.

    • The religious bible thumpers in here who want to keep throwing the bible at people refuse to look and read it since GOD specifically told them to obey the laws of the state. Just proves they spout off stuff without even reading first.

    • There are 131 ( or 133 or 136) “abominations” in the ‘bible’, depending on which version of “God’s unchanging perfect word” one is investigating – virtually all of which demand the death penalty. It is immensely sad, supremely hypocritical and horrifyingly ironic how “believers” are perfectly willing to completely ignore all but one or two of them when they suddenly find it necessary to remind others over and over ad nauseum how much they have the divine right to hate people who are different. One thing is for sure, these bigots REALLY need to hope Jesus stays dead.

      Your imaginary god is not relevant to the real world and your filthy old book of campfire tales handed down from illiterate bronze age goatherders who routinely massacred each other over which of -their- imaginary gods had the biggest penis, is not useful.
      Unless, that is, one happens to run out of toilet paper.

      Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
      Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

    • Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my child’s throat.

      The good news is that someday we will finally resolve the old question of whether religion is the cause…or the result…of insanity; then we can work on a cure for both.

      • In your blindness and hubris, you fail to understand that your own unprovable moral commitments — like liberal views on homosexuality, etc. — and worldview framework — like materialism, non-theism, or whatever — are just as much a “religion” as Christianity, Islam, etc. They are overall worldview commitments that cannot be proven and that individuals choose to adopt or not adopt for themselves. As such, in a secular and pluralistic society, NONE of these various “religions” should be given priority over another, including the religion of modern liberalism and all its concomitant commitments. Contentious issues, such as sexual morality, should be recognized as points of real contention among reasonable individuals, and NO ONE’s moral views on it should be imposed by force of law on other free citizens. No one prevented those lesbians from getting a state-sponsored marriage. The state, on the other hand, has no right to force individuals to act against their conscience just because it has decided to pass a law (pro gay marriage) accommodating a different — and highly contested — moral vision.

    • No. they can do their job or quit. I am sick and tired of anti-gay types, whether religious or not, trying to derail same sex marriage any way they can. I cannot discriminate against you and when it comes to civil marriage you should not be able to discriminate against me simply because you disapprove of me. Do the job and serve ALL citizens, or resign. Yes, it is that simple.

    • Laws of the land and “laws” of the bible cannot and should not be intermingled…or should we have a law about mixing those two. Oh that’s right we do…..separation of church and state dumb ass! And if you really look at it, all those condemnations of homosexuality in the bible come from man’s mouth….the ones who said they “heard” the voice of God tell them these things. We now have medication for such medical issues as multiple personality disorders. Once again proof hetero man just using their uneducated views about other people and the differences to control the masses.

  29. It looks like anyone can get away with anything they want to just because they object to a law on religious grounds. Is there anything in the US Constitution where people can go against the law based on any reason?

    • The right to seek address of grievances , means that it is the duty of every Citizen to fight against any unjust action of government including unjust so called laws , by civil disobedience if it is required .
      Speaking on the subject of Marriage though , personally I would like to withdraw the State from it , and also end the Marriage Penalty in the TAX CODES .
      If the different Religions wish to continue Marriage or the non Religious wish to form partnerships , then let them write their own contracts .

  30. Todays Bible study-
    Jesus said:“Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:11-12)Here Jesus refers to “eunuchs who have been so from birth.” This terminology (“born eunuchs”) was used in the ancient world to refer to homosexual men. Jesus indicates that being a “born eunuch” is a gift from God.

  31. On the other hand, including “untainted by the stigma of animus” in your lawsuit may be going too far. This a wish that people have different feelings than they do, which is not something you should be able to ask for in a lawsuit. The law can determine what they do, not how they feel about it.

  32. “While the magistrates took oaths to defend the constitution and carry out laws, supporters of the law say they shouldn’t have to scrap their strongly-held religious views at the same time.”

    Um, actually, yes they should. The law is superior to your religion, and if you have a problem with that, you’re welcome to (and should) resign.


    • Jon, I couldn’t agree with you more. This is not a theocracy. You go to your church to pray, not the courthouse. They should not be drawing a paycheck at this point.

    • I’m, actually, yeah, you’re right!

      i wonder if these same elected officials would be equally adamant about not officiating the marriage of a couple where one party was divorced, or a mixed religion couple, or a Christian/Muslim couple.

    • Jon, the U.S. Constitution is the SUPERIOR LAW and FREEDOM OF RELIGION is protected.
      The Constitution is superior to your “progressive”, “liberal”, “conservative” or “libertarian” views.

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…”

      • Sorry, but you do NOT get to exercise by denying me the right to civilly marry. If you don’t like it then find another job. Your religious rights do NOT include the right to discriminate against those of whom you or your religion disapprove.

    • Indeed Jon they took an oath of office and promised to preform their duties without prejudice, affection,favor,or partiality according to the law and to the best of their skill and ability so help them God!

    • Um, Jon, your reply was rather obnoxious and arrogant, In a county of 670 judges and only 31 are opting out, there still is 639 judges available to perform gaymarriages, Why should anyone be forced to resign simply for exercising their Religious Freedom Rights. Like all people, gays want to be respected. But they must realize that respect is a two-way street.

      • Because they are failing to do what they are being paid to do. I imagine YOUR employer would simply FIRE you

    • Founding Father George Masom: “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.” “All human laws which contradicts His laws, we are bound in conscience to disobey.” God’s laws are supreme as you will find out when you stand before him in judgment at probably the Great White Throne judgment.

      • These vile excuses for humans and others of similar religious delusion are perfectly free to embrace whatever flavor of medieval superstitious nonsense secured under the skirts of overly protected religious freedom that validates their own personal biases, agendas and bigotry. They can hold those beliefs in their ample bosoms or vacuous craniums until the goddam cows come home; nobody has, to my knowledge, claimed otherwise.

        What they do NOT get to do, however, is use those beliefs to leverage the law as to mitigate the rights of others who don’t share their deistic delusions. If that’s what they want, they should emigrate to Iran or one of those other bassackward cesspools of theocratic insanity.

        • “What they do NOT get to do, however, is use those beliefs to leverage the law as to mitigate the rights of others who don’t share their deistic delusions. If that’s what they want, they should emigrate to Iran or one of those other bassackward cesspools of theocratic insanity.”

          This is inaccurate. Nobody’s rights are being infringed. Quite the opposite here. The magistrates rights to their beliefs and ability to practice them are being protected by the opt-out and the couples rights to marry are being protected by having someone else stand in and perform the marriage or issue the license. I don’t understand why this is such an issue to the LBGT community. As long as they are able to marry and are not unnecessarily delayed by the objections to participate then they have no reason to complain beyond complaining because some people do not agree with their lifestyle and do not wish to participate. GROW UP

            • migration is your proposal but remember that some of these people parents migrated by unfair means (Slave trade) which was a kind of lawful practice. They will never keep migrating because wrong laws are vision and imposed which damages caused may never be repaired.The initiation is a threat which will surely contaminate the offspring of others. The damage may never be repaired when this is promoted.People will not be forced to keep migrating because of wrong practices . The land was not created by Human law. the public was not created by Law. Such Law (constitution) must stop.

    • When did the law stipulates that people can have a double personality or it is a case still to be thought of? You live what you believe not how you feel.
      secondly, the constitution was drawn up by a representative few.If Social issues like marriage and sex, has become a state issue such that some minority must compel a majority in a community that has diverse cultures in respect to sex and marriage , then why not organize a state vote and the results will prove facts/truth. I can not take what belong to my children and preference to dogs.

      • Your anti gay animus is clearly showing. We are not dogs and we will not allow bigots like you to treat us as such. So tired or your sort using any damn excuse you can to deny us our rights as guaranteed by our Constitution. You may NOT discriminate in the public sphere. Keep up your hateful garbage and you WILL see us declared a suspect class, which will see us FINALLY protected on the federal level..

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