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Second New York Town Clerk Won't Perform Same-Sex Marriages

Another New York town clerk has resigned from her appointment as Marriage Officer rather than perform same-sex marriages. Guilderland, NY town clerk Rosemary Centi submitted a letter of resignation to Town Supervisor Ken Runion, the Times-Union reports:

Centi "This was a personal decision," said Centi of her response to the state's Marriage Equality Law, which takes effect July 24. "I would think everyone who has a personal choice should be allowed to have that personal choice without any kind of backlash."

Runion, however, said as a government official Centi should feel obligated to execute the law, no matter what her personal belief about marriage are.

"We all take oaths to follow the laws of the state and the town and the federal government," said Runion. "Same-sex marriages are permitted under the law and it's our duty to perform them."

Earlier this week, a town clerk from Barker, NY did the same, citing Biblical law as her reason for doing so.

Meanwhile, the NY Times reports, judges from all over the state are signing up to volunteer their time to perform marriages for gays and lesbians on Sunday, July 24, the day the marriage equality law goes into effect:

As one of several dozen judges across the state who have volunteered to play an official role in the new law’s first day, Justice Raffaele is part of one of the most unusual judicial mobilizations in years. From Buffalo to the Bronx and pretty much everywhere else in New York, judges are signing up for rare Sunday duty.

If same-sex couples want to marry that Sunday, only judges would have the authority to dispense with the 24-hour waiting period required by law. And those judges could then officiate on the spot.

(image times union)

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  1. Good riddance.

    Drive them out now before they stink up the joint any further.

    Posted by: Attmay | Jul 15, 2011 1:46:42 PM

  2. This close-minded, hateful, ignorant bigot did NOT quit her job. She just stepped down from ONE of her positions, that of the town's official marriage officer!

    This according to CB6 Albany:

    "The Guilderland Town Clerk has submitted a letter of resignation for her position as the town's official marriage officer, saying her religious beliefs prevent her from marrying gay couples.

    Rosemary Centi advised the town supervisor of her decision earlier this week. Citing her Catholic Faith, Centi will no longer be marrying same-sex couples when the Marriage Equality Law takes effect July 24.

    Centi will remain on as the town's clerk and continue to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples. Her resignation only affects her appointed position as marriage officiant.

    Centi was elected to the town clerk position back in 2000 and was appointed as a marriage officer in 2001. She is up for re-election in November, but is running unopposed.

    She is the latest government official to resign in protest of the marriage equality law."

    Posted by: Jake | Jul 15, 2011 1:49:23 PM

  3. I say good for her. Now if we could only get resignations from our politicians who can't separate their religious beliefs from doing the jobs they have been elected to do, this country would be in a much better place!

    Posted by: cf511 | Jul 15, 2011 1:50:31 PM

  4. @ DEREK IN DC

    Spot on. So true.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jul 15, 2011 1:53:58 PM

  5. I'm glad they quit. I wouldn't want my marriage license issued by a homophobe.

    Posted by: Brian | Jul 15, 2011 1:58:22 PM

  6. Everyone has the right to their moral beliefs and if you have to quit your job to make your point, then that just means there's a BRAND NEW OPENING FOR A GOVERNMENT JOB WITH GOVERNMENT BENEFITS open to someone else.

    Posted by: kevin | Jul 15, 2011 2:01:03 PM

  7. my understanding is that these are all elected offices; if they can't follow their oath of office, resignation is the only option available, and i say good riddance; we have a lot politicians who can't uphold their duties...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jul 15, 2011 2:04:24 PM

  8. She didn't resign as town clerk, she is still going to be signing marriage licenses, but just not officiating weddings. Gays must ick her out--I'm sure she's officiated atheist weddings before.

    Posted by: me | Jul 15, 2011 2:23:53 PM

  9. Yay, More of this.

    Also, Fudge off, Go fudge yourself and get the fudge out!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jul 15, 2011 2:25:27 PM

  10. My concern about this woman is what kinds of prejudice against gays and lesbians she may have engaged in during her years working for the town. Let's face it, these prejudices are probably not new to her, and if she's constantly dealing with the public on a variety of issues --one has to wonder. Bigots should not be allowed to hold public offices because of their bigoted positions which ensure that not all citizens are treated equally under the law. Clearly she couldn't treat gay people equally under the law, so she quit. She expressly has an anti-gay prejudice and were she not to resign, she should be immediately fired from her position. I get the distinct impression that she is going to play the martyr here. What a surprise that she is a Catholic (ugh)!? Not! My guess is that she's not too bright, and that she has some harrumphing males around her (priest? chauvanistic husband?) who are telling her that she should quit. In about 2 weeks she'll be lamenting having lost the job (and the pay check) and having to cater to her chauvanistic Guido husband.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Jul 15, 2011 3:09:37 PM

  11. "I would think everyone who has a personal choice should be allowed to have that personal choice without any kind of backlash."

    Oh, the irony!

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 15, 2011 4:16:45 PM

  12. Poor Innocent Christian. Jesus loves you now more than ever. God Bless your fart. I mean heart. Amens.

    Posted by: kodiak | Jul 15, 2011 4:26:55 PM

  13. Why is this being reported like its a big deal. There are PLENTY of people who are not bigoted or their religion so insecure that they won't perform their work duties.


    Posted by: Dale | Jul 15, 2011 6:42:43 PM

  14. I am glad to see these women resign their posts. If they are unable to treat everyone equally under the law then they should not be at their posts. I am so glad that laws that bring equality are ferreting out these people and getting them to resign. Although the bigots who hide their prejudice behind religion will champion her as a martyr, I, for one, look forward to a time when she is demonized for being unable to separate her personal beliefs from her job to uphold the laws of this great land. People do things that they don't want to do every day all over this great nation.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 15, 2011 7:09:43 PM

  15. @Jake: what exactly does that mean? Do they need to hire a new person to take over the one role this lady relinquished? Does that mean tax payers need to pay for two people instead of one because of this person's bigotry?

    Also since she still handles the paperwork for marriages does that mean she won't process marriage licenses to gay couples even if someone else oversees the marriage?

    Posted by: AedanCloud | Jul 15, 2011 8:33:45 PM

  16. Rosemary Centi is not resigning from her elected position as Guilderland Town Clerk, she is resigning from a separate Guilderland Town Board appointed position as 'Marriage Officer'. Meaning she is expected to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, including those of the same sex, as required in her duties of Town Clerk as defined by Guilderland Town, Albany County, and New York State Laws. She is resigning as a 'Town Marriage Officer' so she won't be required to Officiate the actual marriage ceremony of same sex couples which she belives contradicts her Catholic religion. Her letter of resignation as a marriage officer was very carefully written apparently to avoid being in violation of any existing town, county, or state law.

    Posted by: AVW | Jul 15, 2011 10:55:33 PM

  17. No worries. There are tons of people looking for employment and I'm sure her position will be snapped up quickly. Peace out, bigot!

    Posted by: daws | Jul 16, 2011 9:04:14 AM

  18. I do not know all the particulars of Ms Rosemary Centi’s situation, however I think it is fair to say there is a crucial difference between a Marriage Officer officiating at the civil nuptials of a heterosexual couple who may be divorced, pre-nuptially sexually active, or even biga/poly- mists, and those couples presenting themselves as same sex. The difference is that, with heterosexual couples, Ms Centi has no first-hand knowledge of, nor is it her right or duty to know, what, if any, circumstances contrary to moral law, may or may not be present. However when a homosexual couple present themselves as such, the circumstance is obvious to all and requires a response from those officially involved in the couples’ public actions. That response, morally and ethically, must align with a witness/official’s moral code, or else personal integrity would demand that the witness/official must decline to participate, even to the point of resigning an official position.
    If anyone would be able to present a rational, logical, and respectful argument that homosexual sexual actions (NOT PERSONS, NOT PERSONS, hear me) are not unnatural and ultimately harmful to the participants and human society, I would like to hear it. Listening ends with the first ad hominem or crude remark.

    Posted by: DDPGH | Jul 16, 2011 9:47:57 AM

  19. Biblical law, indeed. I wonder if Rosemary ever ventures outside of her house during her period. Or sells her disobedient children into slavery? Does she eat shrimp cocktails?

    Posted by: Barry C. | Jul 16, 2011 9:48:41 AM

  20. Just weeding out the bigots.....dig, weed, rake....

    Posted by: wimsy | Jul 16, 2011 1:08:18 PM

  21. @DDPGH - Exactly what sexual activity that you label "homosexual" are you talking about? Oral? Anal? Straight people do that, too. So are you really claiming that oral and anal sex are "ultimately harmful for the participants and human society," regardless of the relative sex organs of the participants? Or is it just bad, in your eyes, when two men or two women do things to each other? Please clarify.

    Posted by: Fritz | Jul 16, 2011 2:37:27 PM

  22. A greater pervasiveness of homophobia is in the white religious community. It is a real problem....LOL

    Posted by: CHRIS DACHOCOLATEBEARCUB | Jul 16, 2011 2:43:07 PM

  23. Erotic activity with another of the same sex, as opposed to homosexual orientation

    Posted by: DDPGH | Jul 16, 2011 4:30:37 PM

  24. This women are hypocrites.I commend them if they do not eat pork or ham or shrimps or lobster or clams or oysters since they are abomination to God as per Leviticus but to apply their misguided religious believes to make notoriety is wrong.They just want to appear in the news,nothing else.Anyway their stance against same-sex marriage will not save them from Hell since after the 490th piece of food of the items I pointed out their name has been erased from the Book of Life in Heaven.Jesus made it clear in Mathews that forgiveness is not eternal but only can be given 70X7 or 490 times.That is why He said:Many are called but few are selected.Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    Posted by: Oscar in Miami Beach | Jul 16, 2011 4:33:06 PM

  25. @DDPGH - You didn't address which kinds of activities, and ignored my questions, so: Sorry. It's a free society. Your burden is to prove the harm, especially since you (apparently) have no trouble with the activities as long as they are performed by people of opposite sex. I

    Posted by: Fritz | Jul 16, 2011 6:23:40 PM

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