Are Jobs at Risk Due to Passage of Gay Marriage in New York?

The public’s reaction to the passage of Gay Marriage bill in New York in July 2011 was filled with emotions across the board.  Many were thrilled, many were annoyed, and others were indifferent because it did not affect their lives.  While the state made it legal for same sex couples to enjoy the privileges of marriage, the law does not required any individual to sign the marriage licenses for these couples.  Why, then, are town clerks in upstate New York being threatened with lawsuits?

In Ledyard, NY a town clerk is being bullied over her refusal to sign gay marriage licenses.  Same sex couples are still free to be married in this town; the only different is that and the actual licenses will be signed by a deputy instead of the town clerk.  The clerk explains her actions as simply standing up for what she believes in… she claims that she is not discriminating against anyone because she has relieved herself of all duties regarding the signing of marriage licenses.  She does not sign licenses to heterosexual couples as a matter of equality.  Her decision is a matter of religious freedom and she believes she is doing nothing wrong.  The town clerks are not stopping the marriages and they are not disallowing the license to be signed.  They simply will not sign the license themselves due to their religious beliefs.  So why do the couples care that the individual clerk won’t sign the piece of paper? Should the clerk be forced to sign the license or risk forced resignation or a lawsuit?

2 thoughts on “Are Jobs at Risk Due to Passage of Gay Marriage in New York?

  1. Carrie- I appreciate your comment and have read through the blog post written by my colleagues. While my post did not dive into the intricacies of the issue like the other post, my intention when posting this topic was to bring to the head an issue/consequence of the passing of gay marriage in NY and open the door to more thoughts and research on the topic.Thank you for giving some insight from my colleagues to start the dialogue on these issues!

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