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NY Broome County Clerk Resigns Over Same-Sex Marriage, Cites Biblical Law

A county clerk in New York's Broome County has submitted her resignation, saying she won't perform same-sex marriages because it conflicts with her religious beliefs, the Journal News reports.

Barker Wrote Barker Town Clerk Laura Fotusky, in her resignation letter:

“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. I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24.”

At least one DA, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, has told clerks that refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples may land them in hot water. Wrote Rice in a letter to Nassau County clerks late last week:

"The Marriage Equality Act provides that an application for a marriage license cannot be denied on the grounds that the applicant parties are of the same sex and the law affords no discretion to public officials charged with granting marriage licenses. Therefore, any such refusal may be subject to criminal prosecution."

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  1. Sounds fine to me. GO! What an idiot...

    Posted by: Married in MA | Jul 12, 2011 12:32:47 PM

  2. Wish more "BIGOTS" who are Civil Servants throughout this country would do the same thing!

    Posted by: Jirka | Jul 12, 2011 12:35:36 PM

  3. Good riddance to her and may all of a like mind do the same - quickly!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Jul 12, 2011 12:37:08 PM

  4. fantastic, she won't be missed.

    i wonder if she has expressed previous moral issues with marrying non-religious couples or non-Christian ones?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 12, 2011 12:37:08 PM

  5. & in this job market

    ouch for her

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv | Jul 12, 2011 12:37:17 PM

  6. Don't let the exit door hit ya in the ass on the wat out, Ms. Fucktosky.

    You can always get a job flipping burgers at McHomophobe's.

    Posted by: Roger Ramjet | Jul 12, 2011 12:38:10 PM

  7. Cue Maggie's "we are the victim" theme in 3...2...1...

    Posted by: ChrisQ | Jul 12, 2011 12:40:12 PM

  8. Wasn't she the one seen in her cotton/poly blended suit in a restaurant eating a shrimp salad and yelling at her husband on her cell phone?
    Leviticus 19:19
    Leviticus 11:10
    Ephesians 5:21-32

    Posted by: Dale | Jul 12, 2011 12:40:22 PM

  9. I don't get the "good riddance", etc...this clerk is not fighting to change the law back, she is not trying to take away marriage equality. She's simply saying she personally and spiritually does not condone the lifestyle and has changed her career so as not to be a hypocrite.

    Sorry, I think that's admirable and not "idiotic". People have faith and lifestyles that differ...thankfully this is one person not pushing hers on us.

    Posted by: Jason | Jul 12, 2011 12:42:13 PM

  10. Good riddance, I don't want my tax dollars to be paying your salary!

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jul 12, 2011 12:43:16 PM

  11. anyone quoting "biblical law" as actual fact should be nowhere near a court room or civil office. Afterwards, they should go home and stone their wife for "lustful thoughts" and then deliver themselves to the authorities for the "deviant behavior of wearing mixed fabrics" before being resoundedly caned for such a transgression

    Posted by: androjai | Jul 12, 2011 12:45:53 PM

  12. @Jason: Do you think she'd have resigned if her other option wasn't to be in legal hot water with the state?

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 12, 2011 12:46:50 PM

  13. Good riddance means, Jason, that we're imperfect people who despise those who despise us. A woman whose beliefs repulse us couldn't do the job SHE WAS HIRED TO DO, she quits, we gloat. I don't admire her religious integrity, I don't admire anything about her.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 12, 2011 12:47:58 PM

  14. unless this woman has previously objected to marrying non-Christian or non-religious couples, Jason, then she is indeed a complete and utter hypocrite.

    sorry, your chosen "opinion" on this matter is, alas, utterly flawed.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 12, 2011 12:49:22 PM

  15. Good! But why is this even news ,( I'm not referring to here, but NY's news in general)her resignation certainly won't upset anyone wishing for a marriage license by a same-sex couple.

    Someone's morale disapproval over marriage equality is irrelevant. At least this woman concedes to that point and didn't try to stay AND not issue licenses.

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 12, 2011 12:52:06 PM

  16. @Jason: If this woman "does not condone the lifestyle", as you so eloquently stated, then perhaps she should have joined a nunnery or pursued some other career that caters only to her ilk instead of working in a county courthouse.

    Posted by: shaun | Jul 12, 2011 12:52:44 PM

  17. Actually, the Bible says extremely little about marriage at all, and what it does say looks nothing like modern marriage. She's been facilitating "non-Biblical" marriages this whole time, and never had a problem until now. So the "Biblical law" thing is a cop-out; her actual problem is with gay people specifically.

    It's just another example of someone suddenly becoming a Biblical literalist and devotee only when it comes to same-sex relations (and even then, they're reading into the Bible what they want to see). But they don't seem to have a problem with the myriad other ways in which they are failing to live up to Biblical examples and directives.

    Posted by: John Equality Bickford | Jul 12, 2011 12:53:26 PM

  18. How long will it take for this clerk on a her own cross be on NOM's site?

    Posted by: Gus | Jul 12, 2011 12:55:26 PM

  19. @Jason: To add to the pile-on of your rather naïve post, I would note that municipal government officials sign contracts and take oaths to follow the laws of the municipality, NOT those of some bipolar Sky-Daddy who may or may not exist. She can follow her Biblical "higher law" to her heart's content until she steps foot in her place of work.

    Since she doesn't want to do her job as she has promised to execute it, I say:

    Good riddance. Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, beeyotch.

    Posted by: One of the CA 36,000 | Jul 12, 2011 12:55:51 PM

  20. she better not look back lest she turn into a pillar of salt.....

    Posted by: NorthoftheBorder | Jul 12, 2011 12:56:27 PM

  21. This is exactly how the bible tells you NOT to be. This lady is going straight to hell.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 12, 2011 12:57:38 PM

  22. If this woman has become a "Biblical literalist", I certainly hope she has gotten rid of anything in her closet that is a cotton/poly blend. We all know Leviticus' stand on clothing of mixed fibers.... BIG NO-NO.

    Posted by: shaun | Jul 12, 2011 12:58:44 PM

  23. The little red dot is in the wrong spot on the map. The village of Barker in Niagara County is currently tagged but this incident happened in town of Barker in Broome County.

    Regardless, sayonara lady!

    Posted by: brian | Jul 12, 2011 12:58:50 PM

  24. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament): Genesis 2:24, Leviticus 18:6+, and Deuteronomy 24:1+
    In the Christian Scriptures (New Testament): Matthew 5:32 and 19:3+; Mark 10:2, and 1 Corinthians 7:12+.

    At first reading, the key biblical passages on divorce do not appear to be in agreement:
    in agreement
    Some passages actually required inter-faith couples to divorce.
    Others seem to say that divorce can be initiated by the husband only, and for almost any reason.
    Others appear to allow both husbands and wives to initiate a divorce, but only for specific reasons.
    Others seem to say that divorce is not permitted under any circumstances.

    Posted by: Robert in SF | Jul 12, 2011 12:59:00 PM

  25. My above comment got cut somehow:

    I was saying she's clearly a hypocrite is she didn't quit over issuing certificates to divorces persons...

    Posted by: Robert in SF | Jul 12, 2011 1:00:33 PM

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