It appears that folks at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Maggie Gallagher’s personal hate group, is collecting stories of town/county clerks from around New York State who feel put-upon for having to follow the state’s law that all couples are equal under the State’s Marriage laws. As they collect their videos of the horrible (horrible I say) persecution caused these people by being expected to do their civil duties under state law as Agents of The State, we’ll look at them under the light of a Constitutional Republic which is ruled by law, not religion.
We’ll start with Rose Marie Belforti. According to Rose, “this may be the first time in her life she’s had to receive persecution.”
Let’s start with the her statement of “may be.” Apparently she’s not sure, but she certainly wants to make it sound that way, and then there’s the thing about “receiving” persecution. I didn’t know it was sent along in a package via UPS, but, maybe that’s the way the new form of the marriage licenses got to her.
Rose used to have an idyllic life after moving to the rural Ledyard, NY where she builds barns and is the part time town clerk. It’s a town of 2,000 where the record number of marriage license in any given year was seven. Rose assures us that she really does love helping people, and she goes out of her way to make sure everybody gets what they need…but gay people, not so much. They are not welcome in the Clerk’s Office in Ledyard.
Also, despite her strong Christian morals, that whole “thou shalt not bare false witness” thing is apparently just a quaint old saying that doesn’t mean much, because Rose’s video here has some whoppers in it.
Let’s start with the part about how the Legislature just “so quickly…no debate,” suddenly gave gay and lesbian people equal treatment under the law. Sorry Rose, this bill had come to the legislature of New York State several times in previous sessions, and it certainly didn’t pass quickly this time, and there sure as hell was lots of debate and protest marches, and plenty of anti-gay vitriol to go around. I guess things move so slow in the bucolic Ledyard (we know it’s bucolic because NOM takes pains to show us chickens and lots of grain fields) the many months seem like a day.
According to Rose, she has a problem administering the new applications because she’s a Christian, and the Bible tells her that marriage is between a man and a woman. Funny thing about that whole biblical marriage thing though, many biblical characters had multiple (and is some cases many) wives. The woman was considered the property of the man, and then there’s the whole thing of a woman having to marry the brother of her husband if her husband dies before fathering a child. So, them’s the rules, I guess, that the N.Y. Legislature took away. So, it’s no longer biblical marriage there in Leyard.
But I guess Rose is OK with all the other stuff about biblical marriage. What has her knickers in a wad is the idea of gay people getting married. She can’t endorse that, and believes the law is wrong…so, even though she is an agent of the State, she thinks she has a right, based on her religious beliefs, to pick and choose the laws she ignores.
To combat this, the Town apparently attempted to accommodate her by appointing a Deputy Clerk. Here’s the problem with that. City Hall is apparently open only during certain hours, and the Deputy Clerk isn’t there during those hours, so, a gay couple who recently attempted to get a marriage license was told they would have to call to make an appointment with the Deputy Clerk, and come back at a different time. Sort of sounds like a little “separate but equal” to me.
Well Rose, I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it in a Republic which is based on laws. You are claiming that your religious beliefs should be accommodated in respect to your actions as an agent of the government, but it is not a reasonable accommodation when you just flatly refuse to provide the services to a certain class of people who are otherwise legally qualified to receive that government service. The State may make a reasonable accommodation for your religious practices, but are under no obligation to make accommodation for your religious beliefs. There is a difference.
But that whole religious objection thing is just a red herring. That shirt she’s wearing is a cotton/poly blend, and we now also know that she has issued marriage licenses to previously married people…something forbidden in her Bible (except that whole marrying your brother-in-law exception), so good ole persecuted Rose isn’t really being persecuted for her Biblical beliefs, she’s having a problem because she has a problem with treating gay and lesbian people equal under the law.
So Rose, get over yourself, and if you can’t fulfill your obligations as an agent of the government, then you have to go…but it’s not unfair, it’s not persecution, and it’s not you being denied your religious freedom…it’s you wanting to be a martyr. There are indeed a few theocracies left in the world Rose, perhaps you should move to one of them.