The Alliance Defense Fund is coming to the aid of New York city and town clerks, advising them that it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against gay couples when issuing marriage licenses, because state statute requires New York employers “accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs.”
In a memo, the ADF, a group that defends religious freedoms and the sanctity of marriage, said employers must accommodate an employee’s religious observance or practice, and noted that the state’s Domestic Relations Law permits clerks to give their deputies or other municipal employees the authority to issue marriage licenses.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a Christian ministry that “exists to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ,” concurs:
A specific provision of New York’s Domestic Relations Law § 15(3) allows all of the clerk’s duties in issuing marriage licenses to be delegated to a deputy clerk or other municipal employee. It would seem reasonable to conclude that a locality could appoint a deputy clerk or another civil servant, that does not have an objection to same-sex “marriages”, to issue these licenses.
Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, said, “It is good to be reminded that New York State Law protects all Empire State citizens equally. Contrary to what some elected officials have indicated, those with sincerely-held religious beliefs do not have to leave their faith at government’s door.”
Last week, the town clerk in Barker, N.Y. announced her resignation to avoid having to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Laura Fotusky, 56, citing her religious objections to same-sex marriage, said she could not compromise her “moral conscience” by placing her name on a same-sex marriage license.
In June, Barbara MacEwen, the town clerk of Volney, in Oswego County, said she also believes same-sex marriage is morally wrong and doesn’t want her name on a marriage license issued to a same-sex couple. MacEwen said she would arrange for deputy clerks to sign the documents.
The Alliance Defense Fund is offering municipal clerks free legal counsel on the relating to the matter.