In a move sure to highlight the limits of freedom of conscience and religion, one New York town clerk is saying she’ll refuse to sign any documents relating to a same sex marriage.
Something like this is great for your soul but it’s probably bad for your career prospects.
The Politico reports:
New York’s gay weddings victory lap has not extended to all parts of the Empire State, with a rural town clerk determined to not sign any same-sex marriage licenses.
Barbara MacEwen, the town clerk in upstate Volney who is responsible for signing marriage licenses in the town, said she’s morally opposed to same-sex weddings and does not intend to affix her signature to any marriage documents for gay or lesbian couples.
“If there’s any possible way to not do it legally, then yes, I would not want to put my name on any of those certificates or papers,” MacEwen told POLITICO. “That’s their life, they can do it, but I don’t feel I should be forced into something that’s against my morals and my God.”
MacEwen said she’s written her state senator — Republican Patty Ritchie, who voted against legalizing gay weddings — to determine her legal options.
While the legislation Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed late Friday night includes exemptions for religious organizations that disapprove of same-sex couples, it does not extend such protections to public officials.
Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MacEwen, a 75-year-old Republican, said she will be on the ballot this fall for a fifth, full four-year term as clerk of the town of about 6,200 people.
What’ll be interesting is if she wins reelection. Does the Governor forcibly remove her from her job?
Maybe she shouldn’t have the job if she can’t do the job as detailed by today’s laws. Here’s the thing -in America today we’re going to see this all the time. Freedom of conscience is going to match up poorly against the power of the state. All you have to do is look around the world to see how that fight usually ends. Hint- it doesn’t go well for conscience.
The rules that NY legislators put into effect will be meaningless in the future. Somewhere down the road (not that far) some legislators are going to say Catholic schools must accept people who are married to someone of the same sex. And when they don’t the state will toss their tax exempt status. And that’ll start the landslide of taking away tax exempt status from hate groups like…the Catholic Church.