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ADF Still Urging Clerks Not to Do Their Jobs

The Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) is continuing to tell government employees in states that allow same-sex marriage that they should refuse to do their jobs and issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it conflicts with their faith.

Alliance Defending Freedom is advising officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses in Rhode Island and Minnesota that they do not have to violate their faith or conscience by personally issuing licenses to applicants who are of the same sex.

Two new legal memos issued Wednesday in Rhode Island and Minnesota advise officials that they can delegate responsibility for issuing the licenses to deputies or assistants who don’t have conscience-based objections to issuing the licenses to same-sex applicants.

“No American should have to choose between their conscience and their job in America,” said Litigation Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects Americans from being coerced to give up their careers to maintain their religious freedom. Religious freedom is guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”

Remember the case in Louisiana a couple years ago when a clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples? Do you remember the ADF coming to his defense? I don’t either. Because virtually no one, even the ADF, would take the position that a clerk could refuse to issue such licenses no matter how “sincere” their religious belief that it’s wrong. But since they share the belief that gays are less than human and can be denied equal rights, they’re fine with it as long as the result is anti-gay discrimination rather than racial discrimination.

And do you think for one second that they would be defending an atheist or Muslim clerk who refused to serve their Christian constituents? Not a chance in hell. The “freedom” they’re defending is, as usual, just Christian privilege.

Comments

  1. exdrone says

    In the vein of Dilbert’s comic on non-essential personnel, administrators should keep track of the number of times an official gets an assistant to do their job for them. Eventually, the official could make the case that their services, or lack thereof, are no longer required.

  2. left0ver1under says

    Ain’t it funny how these clowns won’t take the easiest things? If they don’t want to give licenses to LGBTQ couples, then they can quit. Problem solved.

    Those idiots remind me of people who complain about TV shows, music and movies being “too explicit” yet they keep watching them, they keep going out of their way to “be offended”.

    And just like media busybodies, the ADF don’t want to decide for themselves. They want to decide for everyone else, to become self-appointed censors where nobody wants them.

  3. John Pieret says

    Because virtually no one, even the ADF, would take the position that a clerk could refuse to issue such licenses no matter how “sincere” their religious belief that it’s wrong. But since they share the belief that gays are less than human and can be denied equal rights, they’re fine with it as long as the result is anti-gay discrimination rather than racial discrimination.

    I don’t know that racial discrimination would bother them much. Being seen as racists might bother them since that could cut into donations (at least in theory). But among the ADF’s target audience, discrimination against gays is still more than acceptable. The mere fact that the ADF’s position is logically inconsistent is no barrier whatsoever within its target group.

  4. exdrone says

    I found the footnote at the bottom of the ADF web article a bit peculiar:

    Pronunciation guide: Fiedorek (Fuh-NAT-ik)

  5. raven says

    This is modern day xian maryrdom.

    They love their martyrs. And the best martyrs are always, someone else.

    The ADF don’t want to actually be martyrs. They want to watch and cheer as someone else loses their job.

    Quite the display of courage here.

  6. Larry says

    Application for Marriage License County Clerk:

    Name:

    ________________________

    Address:

    ____________________________

    List of People you hate and are incapable of serving because Jesus:

    ______________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    (if more room required, attach additional pages)

  7. says

    “I don’t know that racial discrimination would bother them much.”

    For some %age<100 a sortabrown'n'tehGAY couple would be some kind of KKKristianist Twofer Happy Hour.

  8. Chiroptera says

    I thought the right wing complaint was that government employees already don’t do any work?

  9. abb3w says

    It might be interesting to see how the case law compares, if you were to change the memos from reading “same-sex couples” to “mixed-race couples”.

    At a first glance (though IAmNotALawyer), the advice seems sound — if a clerk can’t do the job, they can appoint a deputy who will do it for the clerk. (Insert snarky aside on the irony of conservatives adding layers to government bureaucracy.) Of course, the catch is that any clerk with such fanatic objections is also likely to object to appointing someone who would actually do the required job; in analogy to who religious employers who object to contraception object to having an insurance company provide it indirectly.

    Which seems likely to then cause the clerk to do something stupid and unlawful, getting them fired. I wonder if that could lead to some fired clerk suing the ADF for malpractice of law….

  10. JustaTech says

    In this vein, of not doing one’s job because of religious objections, could a Jehovah’s Witness who worked at the IRS refuse to process the return of the Red Cross because the clerk’s religion prohibits blood transfusions?

  11. John Pieret says

    abb3w @ 9:

    Which seems likely to then cause the clerk to do something stupid and unlawful, getting them fired. I wonder if that could lead to some fired clerk suing the ADF for malpractice of law….

    It’s pretty hard to fire county clerks (who usually issue Marriage licenses), since that is usually an elected position … I know it is in my state. What you have to do is bring a proceeding to require the elected official to follow the law and perform his/her duty. That’s quite a burden on the person who just wants a marriage license. But, after a few cases like that, the county attorney will get tired of wasting his or her resources defending the suits, and the courts will get tired of hearing them and will arrange for expedited handling of such petitions. Eventually the fact that the county clerk is wasting money (that could be better siphoned off into politicians’ pockets) will piss off the local establishment and the clerk will not be nominated the next election and/or lose.

    Of course an underling of the clerk who refuses to perform can be fired … if the county clerk wants to.

  12. dan4 says

    “The First Amendment protects Americans from being coerced to give up their careers to maintain religious freedom.”

    No. No, it does not. It just says that the government can’t fine and/or prosecute you for your religious beliefs. It’s not an Employment Protection Amendment.

  13. howardhershey says

    If your job description involves providing the proper forms to legally qualified persons, the only excuse I think would be acceptable is to claim that you can’t do it because of a disability. In this case a form of mental illness.

  14. hunter says

    “Remember the case in Louisiana a couple years ago when a clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples? Do you remember the ADF coming to his defense? I don’t either. Because virtually no one, even the ADF, would take the position that a clerk could refuse to issue such licenses no matter how “sincere” their religious belief that it’s wrong.”

    You’re missing the point: overt racism is a) socially unacceptable, and b) leads to a loss of donations. And I’d be willing to bet that b) is more important to them.

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