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Anti-gay NY Town Clerk Still Granting Marriage Licenses Exclusively to Opposite-Sex Couples

Rose Marie Belforti

If you paid any attention to the anti-gay aftermath following New York’s legalization of marriage equality back in 2011, you might recall the name Rose Marie Belforti. She was the Ledyard, New York town clerk who announced at the time that she would henceforth refuse to sign any marriage licenses because her religious beliefs prevented her from signing them for same-sex couples. 

Since that time, however, Belforti has violated her own pledge and gone ahead with signing marriage licenses for heterosexual couples, Gay City News reports:

“I can actually say that I am sorry that I had to do that and I had to violate my own rule,” Rose Marie Belforti, the Ledyard town clerk, told Gay City News in a January 3 phone interview.

In August of 2011, just over one month after same-sex couples began marrying in New York, Belforti refused to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, citing her religious beliefs. In the fall of that year, Belforti and Ledyard’s Republican-controlled town council agreed that she would no longer issue any marriage licenses and a part-time deputy clerk would handle that responsibility by appointment only.

In one instance, the couple needed the license quickly, Belforti said. She offered no explanation for issuing the second marriage license.

“I do make every effort to do what I said I was going to do,” Belforti said. “I was in an expedited situation and I did it for them… I didn’t feel good about that either.”

Previous concerns surrounding county clerks refusing to sign marriage licenses to same-sex couples have shown that Belforti could now be in serious hot water:

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. Fire her! Get rid of her! Throw her out on her ear! Fine her! Punish her! Lock her up in jail and throw away the key! Make her sufferrrrrr! Hopefully her family will go without and suffer along with her, too! Yeah...THAT will teach her and those like her! Now, where did I put my pitchfork?

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 6, 2014 1:44:07 PM

  2. We live in a THEOCRACY!

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 6, 2014 1:47:18 PM

  3. So Jon, it's OK to break the law if you're a Christian. I thought so.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 6, 2014 1:53:30 PM

  4. I'm sick of idiots hiding behind their religion. Before all of this, did she issue marriage licenses to heterosexual couples who were not virgins, not believers, divorced and remarrying?


    And who is the guy in the photo?

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 6, 2014 1:57:46 PM

  5. it's an extra from the Lord of the Rings movie.

    Posted by: crispy | Jan 6, 2014 2:00:37 PM

  6. If you can't do your job, be honest with yourself and resign.
    It's as simple as that

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jan 6, 2014 2:02:29 PM

  7. It is time to prosecute these GOVERNMENT workers, and remove them from their current positions and blacklist them from all future consideration elsewhere in the government.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jan 6, 2014 2:12:40 PM

  8. @Jon: You don't need a pitchfork to fire people who are incapable of doing their job. It happens all the time. Clearly, she is unable to perform hers.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 6, 2014 2:16:23 PM

  9. HaHa. I say purge Muslims from Government, too!!
    (Oh what? So they get to be exempt just because? K.)

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 6, 2014 2:16:30 PM

  10. “...I had to violate my own rule,” Rose Marie Belforti, the Ledyard town clerk, told Gay City News in a January 3 phone interview.

    Her own RULE? What about the LAW? I'm sorry, but if I told my boss that my "rule" was more important than policy (office speak for LAW), I'd probably be fired.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Jan 6, 2014 2:17:32 PM

  11. The county tried to accommodate her 'religious' objections by having her do no marriage licenses so then she flaunts that decision by doing the ones she approves of. And the answer when confronted with her hypocrisy is 'I don't feel good about it'. Then issue marriage license to same sex couples and don't feel good about that either OR here's an even better idea, treat all citizens equal under the law like a civil servant is supposed to and stop hurting people that don't believe as you do.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Jan 6, 2014 2:33:33 PM

  12. Prosecute AND fire her.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jan 6, 2014 2:36:51 PM

  13. What are the authorities waiting for? Get on with it already - enough bigotry is enough!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Jan 6, 2014 2:49:42 PM

  14. Poor thing, always a bride's maid - never a bride. Why is it the most anti-gay people are the most gay looking?

    Posted by: stevetalbert | Jan 6, 2014 2:55:39 PM

  15. throw her ass in jail

    Posted by: Sean | Jan 6, 2014 2:55:39 PM

  16. The reason is the problem noted above; the repugntheocrats run the city council. You think they will step down on her? The city's attorney? I don't know if this city clerk is elected or appointed. If appointed good luck. If elected, the only thing to do to her is wait till the next election cycle or try a recall. I suppose the state AG could nail her but she is a pretty small fry in a big pond.

    Posted by: steven | Jan 6, 2014 2:56:40 PM

  17. Little more detail about the town, 2K people, more women than men but the city council is all men. There is no city attorney listed. She was RE-Elected after her stance was made known. So unless someone sues her for some sort of delay in marriage, etc and shows harm, I cannot tell of a way to 'punish' her. Possibly the NY AG could do something.

    Posted by: steven | Jan 6, 2014 3:06:09 PM

  18. Lawless ingrate.

    Posted by: Sean | Jan 6, 2014 3:23:29 PM

  19. Fire the whore.

    Posted by: RMc | Jan 6, 2014 3:23:55 PM

  20. I don't understand… why is a lesbian refusing to give marriage licenses to gay couples?

    Posted by: Reginald | Jan 6, 2014 3:32:51 PM

  21. Chik-Fil-A is hiring!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 6, 2014 3:34:34 PM

  22. She sets herself up as the moral arbitrator of who should have and who should not have a marriage licence.....

    What a smug self satisfied bigot.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 6, 2014 3:46:16 PM

  23. Could you imagine the outcry if she as a christian would not marry a Jewish couple or bi-national couple? They'd hang her to dry. My religion says she should be put to death for her poor choice in hairstyle. Yet, you don't see executing her by lashings with a hot straight iron.

    Posted by: Todd | Jan 6, 2014 3:48:19 PM

  24. Why does this person still have a job they do not fulfill?

    Posted by: Jeff York | Jan 6, 2014 4:18:19 PM

  25. I'm assuming this isn't an elected position. Civil service protections would make it difficult to fire her.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 6, 2014 4:50:02 PM

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