I’ve surfed the Internet quite a bit lately, looking at the different articles and a portion of the attached comments about the marriage license-denying county clerk in Rowan County, KY. I probably won’t add anything of substance to the debate, as it seems so many people have already commented, but even so, I’m going to add my voice to the fray.
No matter what one believes, if one is in a governmental job, one is required to DO the job. In the US, there is that magical separation of church and state. To wit, the government cannot dictate what church members believe, and the church members cannot dictate to the government. Of course, church members, like any other citizen, have the right to protest decisions they do not agree with, and they have the right to stand for office if they want to try and make changes. But they cannot impose their views onto others via a governmental position/job. If I go to the courthouse to pay my vehicle taxes, for example, I do not expect to be proselytized, or get some kind of scripture lecture. No, I expect to pay my taxes, get my little sticker, and leave quietly.
The Rowan County Clerk (RCC) apparently does not agree with same-sex marriages. Fine, that is her right as an individual (a right protected by the constitution). BUT she does not have the right to deny marriage licenses to people in her county because of her disagreement. Imagine a nurse saying that her religion forbids her from touching blood or any blood products? Or a secretary who claims his or her religion forbids him or her from contact with cellulose? The answer, in my opinion, is simple. They need to find other jobs. If one cannot do one’s job in all good conscience, one should resign. Perhaps her fat salary is more important than that conscience of hers?
But there’s another issue here. It’s the issue of picking and choosing what one believes. The RCC did not, apparently, have any problem with giving marriage certificates to divorcees, to those who were remarrying their spouse, or to those who had once been raped but were not marrying their rapist. Yet, ALL these scenarios are found, and proscribed, in the Bible. I learned today (and I have not been able to verify this) that the RCC is herself on her fourth marriage! This to me fairly sings of hypocrisy.
The RCC was not forced to take the position she has taken. Her mother had it before her, and her son will probably take over when she leaves (nepotism rules, right?). And noone is forcing her to stay. But she cannot be allowed to neglect her duties. She is a public servant and should not be allowed to deny service to those she is supposed to serve. No-one is asking her to actually marry people, simply to do her job, stop forcing her beliefs on those who wish to marry, and issue the licenses.