Bigoted officials: First Amendment means we don't have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

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a rare piece of good news from texas of all places (i love my state but as a liberal democrat in republicandland i know all too well its limitations). this statement from the denton county clerk struck a remarkably balanced tone–

“Personally, same-sex marriage is in contradiction to my faith and belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” the statement read. “However, first and foremost, I took an oath on my family Bible to uphold the law and as an elected public official my personal belief cannot prevent me from issuing the licenses as required.”

i can admire someone who understands the difference between private beliefs and public duty.


Why do I always get the feeling that the dwellers of The Red Zones would somehow reach a different conclusion about the importance of religious liberty if the matter involved an employee refusing to take Sunday shifts, or handle financial products, purchases on installment, credit card transactions, or other interest-bearing matters?

Both sabbath observance and prohibitions on usury have markedly larger histories as matters of religious obligation; but I strongly suspect that either would get you fired faster than you can say ‘right to work state’.

(The same general phenomenon has been tested in the case of pacifists during drafts; and apparently when actually important state business needs cannon fodder; you’d better be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops to demonstrate that your religious position is actually genuine and genuinely burdened by the prospect of doing a little killing. I’m guessing that a…somewhat less adversarial…standard of proof will be demanded in this case.)


I don’t care what they believe… in the privacy of their own homes. :wink:


I keep asking, but no one has answered me:

If a county clerk has religious objections to an interracial marriage, can that person deny a marriage license to the couple?


They can, then get fired, since they didn’t uphold the laws they are bound to serve and the employment contract they signed.

And since you mentioned a legally protected class, a civil suit would be launched faster than you can say civil suit.


Here’s the confrontation I want to see; a Texan Quaker, 7DA or other Christian pacifist business owner decides that firearms are incompatible with their faith, and then fires any employee who owns a gun, and posts a sign in the window not allowing any gun owners (not just people carrying guns) in the business. Let’s see how that “1st amendment vs 2nd amendment” battle goes.


Ehts mah religion to dee-nah you yahr religious raights.


I 100% agree that no person should be compelled to issue marriage licences that are legal but that they disagree with. They should have total, absolute ability to say no to issuing licences they don’t want to issue. They should also stop drawing a pay check the moment this occurs.


This is exactly why LGBT people need to get added to the Civil rights Act.


The right of bigotted shitheads to refuse to do their jobs and still get paid shall not be denied.

Honestly, I’ve heard of one case where the clerk did the right thing and resigned. If you honestly believe that doing your job is against your “sincerely held” religious beliefs, then quit. If you can’t bring yourself to treat people equally under the law, then get your ass the hell out of government service.

And if you really want to live under Christia law, do it someplace else.


Put on snow shoes, cause that is a slippery slope.

So what about issuing a mortgage or loan?
Renting an apartment?
Getting a drivers license?
Applying for social security?

It is sad that some must be compelled to not act bigoted, but not everyone is enlightened (least of all me).


…will have staff available and ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Someone needs to send her an FYI that it’s just called “marriage” now.


“You’re fired. Collect your shit on the way out the door.”


I have a small amount of sympathy for the ones that don’t want to perform the ceremony itself, even though a courthouse wedding really ought to be completely divorced from religion - do these people also refuse to marry people of a different religion than their own?

Issuing a license, though? That’s about as secular as it gets. If you’re performing that task as part of the government, your freedom of speech or your religion shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It’s just a piece of paper, people… get over yourself and hand it out like you’re supposed to.


How about an IRS agent who has religious objections to a Catholic couple (let’s say one or both parties are divorced) and refuses to accept their joint tax return?


I’d be curious to see the outcome if it were a case that has essentially zero popular support; but doesn’t involve a protected class; say a catholic official refusing to handle the second marriage of a previously divorced person. Doctrinally, that would be wholly consistent(though mostly overlooked because it inconveniences people); and the divorced aren’t a protected class; but public support for this hypothetical brave defender of the faith would likely be…tepid.

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Well, duh! It’s only your religion that’s wrong.

I’m not particularly upset over this. It is a tempest that will pass quickly. Religious freedom does not extend to not doing your job. If your religion prevents you from doing your job, find a different job. That’s how it works with Quakers in wartime. They still have to serve, just not in the infantry.

A couple of these claims will be quickly smacked down in the local federal circuit and that will be the end of it.

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Well, ugh, it gets messy.

Most states don’t literally associate religious figures with marriage. The ones that do specify a recognized religious official must officiate and sign the docs, but they don’t issue permits.

So refusing to officiate if they explicitly say it is for a protected reason civil suits become common. But if it is, “you aren’t part of our congregation” you are kinda SOL.

Clear as mud?

Then the ‘Christian’ gun owner would scream they are being oppressed and the 2nd amendment is being trampled on and the circus would begin.