The town clerk in Barker, N.Y. has announced her resignation to avoid having to issue marriage licenses to gay couples when New York’s marriage equality law takes effect July 24.
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. Her resignation letter was circulated to the media via the website “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms:”
“I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible. In Acts 5:29, it states, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’”
“The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God. Deuteronomy 10:12 says, ‘…What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.’”
“I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure. Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21.”
Fotusky is reportedly the first town clerk in New York state to resign rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In June, Barbara MacEwen, the town clerk of Volney, in Oswego County, said she believes same-sex marriage is morally wrong and doesn’t want her name on a marriage license issued to a same-sex couple. MacEwen ultimately relented and said she would arrange for deputy clerks to sign the documents, according to POLITICO.
Last week, Nassau County, District Attorney Kathleen Rice issued a warning to local officials in her jurisdiction that there will be consequences if they refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.