I’m always amazed when people aren’t afraid to let everybody know their prejudices. Even a little impressed. In most situations, people try to their disguise their disgust at an entire class of people, or at least try to express their viewpoints from behind a cloak of anonymity. But when people just come balls out with their prejudices, well, it’s a sight to see.
And when people who serve in official government positions reveal their contempt for the separation of church and state, that just makes it so much better.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that a person like Laura Fotusky fascinates me. She’s the former town clerk in Barker, New York, who chose to resign rather than sign a gay marriage license. Apparently the new New York gay marriage law conflicted with Fotusky’s interpretation of God’s law. Or, put another way, Fotusky thought she was teaching Sunday school, and then woke up one day as the town clerk of Barker, New York.
At least she corrected the problem, and for that she should be applauded….
I think New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has the winning line here that all lawyers at least will respect. From Reuters:
Cuomo, who had made the legalization of same-sex marriage a top priority this year, told reporters on Tuesday that he agreed with Fotusky’s decision to resign because government workers have a responsibility to enforce the law.
“When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose the laws,” Cuomo said.
Well said. And while we’re here, let’s give a nod to all the town clerks who “conscientiously objected” to the state’s previous regime of second-class status for gay people in love, yet couldn’t have garnered national attention if they quit in huff.
Still, Fotusky’s objections bring up a key feature in the New York gay marriage law that some think will lead to lawsuits in the future. Republicans in New York who eventually voted for gay marriage made a big deal about getting “protections” in the bill for religious groups. Yes, some were afraid that mobs of angry gays could kidnap clergy and force priests and pastors to “bless” their Satanic union under God — but these are the same people who also believe that God’s only son came all the way to Earth to tell people that God thinks two dudes kissing is gross.
Obviously, the U.S. Constitution protects the right of religious people to do pretty much whatever they want to do within their respective houses of worship. We didn’t need a special amendment to the gay marriage law to keep religion safe from the love of two people who happen to be of the same sex.
What religious leaders really wanted was to have a world where anybody could deny services to gays and lesbians, so long as the service denier played the “religion” card. You don’t have to take my word for it — check out the post up from Fotusky’s supporters at the ironically named New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms:
The bill claims to protect pastors from having to perform same-sex ceremonies and churches from having to host gay weddings or receptions, but these protections were already present under existing constitutional protections. The “Marriage Equality Act” failed to include religious freedoms protections for individuals and non-religious affiliated organizations.
For licensed Christian counselors, not directly affiliated with a church, a day may come when the state may refuse licensure to those who practice reparative or ex-gay therapy. Wedding photographers and caterers will similarly find no protection. Refuse to photograph or serve a gay nuptial and people with strong convictions concerning the authentic definition of marriage will find themselves vulnerable to a lawsuit.
Soon town clerks and justices will also be required to issue gay “marriage” licenses.
See what I mean about people getting comfortable with their prejudices? Isn’t that excerpt spectacular? I thought how they put the gay “marriage” license thing in quotes was going to be my favorite part, but really how can you beat “reparative or ex-gay therapy”? I wish somebody could do some reparative therapy on these people’s belief in basic human rights.
But fun aside, the Marriage Equality Act — passed by the New York state legislature and signed by the governor, not foisted on the populace by unelected judges — has nothing to do with the state licensing crackpots who claim they can cure “the gay.” The Marriage Equality Act has nothing to do with wedding photographers or caterers. The statute that these so-called religious objectors need concern themselves with is the New York Human Rights Law, and that bad boy doesn’t change now that gays can get married.
In any event, here’s where I think we can all agree: if Lisa Fotusky couldn’t keep her religious views from interfering with performance of the duties of her government job, it was entirely right and proper for her to resign. That’s what people should do. I hope that every single person in New York who thinks that following the gay marriage law interferes with their ability to perform a government job does the right thing and resigns. That’s what I would do if I had a government job but did not believe that people should be treated equally.
Besides, real “true believers” have given up a lot more to follow in His path than a freaking government job. Everybody who thinks God really hates gays should follow Lisa Fotusky’s example and get the hell out of our secular administration of laws and government.
New York town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses [Reuters]
New York Clerk Resigns Over Gay Marriage [Gawker]
First Town Clerk Announces Resignation in Light of Gay “Marriage” Legislation [New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms]