The town clerk of Ledyard, N.Y. — Rose Marie Belforti — has finally responded to the controversy over her recent decision to not sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
In an exclusive interview with Focus on the Family‘s Citizen Link, Belforti talks about her recent decision, and wondered if there was another agenda that would result in allowing marriage between non-humans.
Though she claims in her Citizen Link interview that “if (reporters) want to talk to me over the phone, I would love to do that,” it must be remembered that this is the same woman who, when contacted by the New York paper the Auburn Citizen for comment on her decision, stated “that’s not your business” before rudely hanging up the phone.
Thus, everything that she says must be taken with a grain of salt; for if you only want to be interviewed by a “friendly” organization, it seems as though you don’t want to answer the hard questions.
When asked by Citizen Link why she decided to not issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, she stated that, “I am a Christian. God is the final word. He is the Truth, and I believe what the Bible says. When I considered this, God was there with me and I really knew inside, without waver, that this is not right.”
Though this may seem to be a legitimate reason for her refusal to administer “religious” marriage licenses (if those even existed), it raises some questions about the role of religious beliefs in the civil realm, and her role as a civil — not religious – marriage commissioner
If she truly “believes what the Bible says” why has she not refused to issue marriage licenses to couples who are not Christian, who have been previously divorced, or who are mixed religions?
According to the Bible, which she admits guides her life, administering all of these civil ceremonies would be causing her to go against what God teaches, and thus causing her to sin.
Her lack of consistency regarding this issue shows that this is not about any sort of “religious consistency,” but instead shows that her refusal actually has roots in prejudice against gay and lesbian people — couched in religious beliefs.
But, she claims that she is far from prejudiced, because she actually has “friends who are gay.”
Isn’t it interesting that anytime an individual, no matter whether it is anti-gay, anti-African American, anti-Hispanic, or anti- anyone else, claim that they “have friends who are ____” before they then disparage an entire community.
Could this statement, always made by those who feel very negatively about a certain group, be used to make their racism/homophobia seem more palatable? Could it be that they know that what they are doing is wrong, yet they want to make sure that no one else catches on to it?
In the end of the interview, when asked by Citizen Link about what her feelings are regarding homosexuality, Belforti launches into her more secular reason for refusing to administer marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
According to her, gay and lesbians should not be married, because the wording on the marriage certificate (aka. allowance of the word “spouse”) will make it difficult for future generations to trace their genealogy.
Lastly, she asserts that it seems as though this issue is not about marriage at all, but something more sinister, stating,
“I don’t understand why we have to change the form. I’m worried there’s another agenda involved here other than just allowing same-sex couples to be married. We know what a bride is, we know what a groom is—but if we choose to be a ‘spouse,’ does that even limit (marriage) to a human being? Do you know what I’m saying?”
Yes, Ms. Belforti, I think that the LGBT community gets exactly what you are saying.