New York Town Clerk: If Gays Can Marry, I Can’t Do My Job

It hasn’t even been a week since gay marriage was legalized in New York, but already you have people of faith complaining that they won’t be able to do their jobs:

Barbara MacEwen, the town clerk in upstate Volney who is responsible for signing marriage licenses in the town, said she’s morally opposed to same-sex weddings and does not intend to affix her signature to any marriage documents for gay or lesbian couples.

“If there’s any possible way to not do it, legally, then yes, I would not want to put my name on any of those certificates or papers,” MacEwen told POLITICO. “That’s their life, they can do it, but I don’t feel I should be forced into something that’s against my morals and my God.

MacEwen, a 75-year-old Republican, said she will be on the ballot this fall for a fifth full four-year term as clerk of the town of about 6,200 people.

… MacEwen said she doesn’t expect an uptick in activity in her town, which is about 30 miles from Syracuse.

“I don’t know of anybody like that in my town,” she said. “I’m sure that there might be, but I haven’t heard about anybody.”

As if gay people would be anxious to tell her about their sexuality…

Not signing the marriage documents will soon be against the law. I know MacEwen wants to play the Christian Martyr role, but she doesn’t get a choice in this matter.

If she wants to be a bigot and discriminate against gays and lesbians, she can go work for a church. They’re the ones who demanded the exemption to treating all people with dignity and respect.

No one gives a damn about MacEwen’s pathetic morals — morals that are threatened by two people in love.

If she can’t do her job, she can resign or get fired. Good riddance.

  • JimG

    OK Barb, fine with us; go flip burgers. If you refuse to fulfill your job requirements, you just won’t have a job. Good riddance.

  • dj

    Sep of church and state, fool. If you can’t understand that, then you shouldn’t be involved in politics in the first place. Of course I reckon a whole lot of other politicians should be disqualified as well.

  • Shay

    Cool Barb! Get your 5 minutes of fame…and let someone else do your job while you collect your unemployment!

  • dj

    But I’d bet she’ll get re-elected anyway.

  • T-Rex

    75 years old? Old bitty needs to STFU and do her job or retire and move to the bible belt along with all of the other delusional thumpers. F’ing rediculous.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Have fun finding another job, Barb. Or do your damn job. If you refuse to sign a marriage certificate, then have fun fighting against it in court – First Amendment, after all.

  • CelticWhisper

    This is an all-too-rare opportunity to see a christian forced by law into doing something they think is “immoral” and I, for one, find it immensely satisfying.

    I agree with JimG. Do it, Barb, and shut up about it, or get fired. Don’t like it? We don’t care. Your kind pushed your “morality” on us for over a thousand years and it’s time the shoe found itself on the other foot. Don’t feel so good to be the one getting screwed, does it?

    Oh, who am I kidding? They’ll just claim “Look at how we’re being oppressed! Ignore that whole majority-with-unprecedented-political-influence bit, WE’RE OPPRESSED GODDA–erm, GOSHDARN IT!”

  • http://NoYourGod.blogspot.com NoYourGod

    She CAN play the christian martyr roll, and the town will be better off if she does. At least they will have a Town Clerk capable of understanding the responsibilities of the position, and the law.

  • billybobbibb

    This could turn into an interesting legal standoff.

  • http://reedbraden.com Reed Braden

    No one gives a damn about MacEwen’s pathetic morals — morals that are threatened by two people in love.

    Awww!!! Both of Volney’s gay guys are in love now?

    Seriously though, age is no excuse for bigotry. She’s an elected official, and if she doesn’t do her job she should be put in jail. Albeit, for only a night or two and then sent home, jobless, with pension.

  • Claudia

    She hates gay people so much that she simply can’t see herself fufilling her job requirement of marrying them?

    Well, good. Get out of the business. The last thing a happy couple needs on their day is someone seething with bigotry and anxious to let the world know that your love is inferior and immoral.

  • TikiCricket

    I wonder if she’d be as equally offended if a couple showed up in rayon blend wedding garb and told her they were hitting an oyster bar after the ceremony.

  • Kevin S.

    said she’s morally opposed to interracial weddings and does not intend to affix her signature to any marriage documents for interracial couples.

    I thought we settled this mess decades ago. Claiming religion is not a justification for not doing your job.

  • Siobhan

    I imagine she has signed marriage certificates for known adulterers.

  • daakujc

    If enough young people cast their vote, she could be voted out of office.

  • http://www.frommormontoatheist.blogspot.com Leia

    44 years ago, there probably was another 75 year old refusing to sign marriage certificates, but for interracial couples.

    She needs to get over herself and find a more loving and compassionate god.

  • Tom

    What this implies though is that every other thing the government does is in keeping with her moral system. Amazing.

  • WebHybrid

    Well. Isn’t that special?

    Now that this item has appeared here, in Joe.My.God., and no-god knows where else, the town of Volney might become a huge destination for gay couples. Just saying…

    And dear, dear Barb might need a refill on them-there heart pills.

  • Claudia

    44 years ago, there probably was another 75 year old refusing to sign marriage certificates, but for interracial couples.

    44 years ago? Alas

    On the bright side, in 44 years, some moron will refuse a marriage to a gay couple and be run out of office by a chorus of universal outrage from elected officials, liberal and conservative.

  • Patrick

    I’m an attorney, and my brother is a soldier. Where I’m coming from on this, the idea that its ok to have moral objections and refuse to do your job after voluntarily signing up for it is just bizarre. You make your moral choices when you choose whether to take the position, and part of that moral choice is understanding that your future choices will be constrained by what you decide today. And if things change and you don’t like it, you make sure you can resign without hurting anyone, and then do so in order to let someone else take over.

  • T Cubed

    Couldn’t have agreed more Jim – she can join the pharmacists that refuse to dispense certain prescribed medication for the same reason or the driving instructors who refuse to teach women or the teachers who refuse to teach real science.

    The short answer should be – do your job fairly and quit your bigotry or go home.

  • Danish Atheist

    Barb, it is time to retire. Do us all a favor.

  • Steve

    Why the hell are town clerks elected? It’s not like she has any real power. She performs administrative functions. That should simply be like any other employee of a city.

  • jamie

    if you all read the bible it states “ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN FOR LIFE” not ‘TWO MEN OR TWO WOMEN” and we are al suppose to be one nation under “GOD” so then gay marriage is is going against his LAW!!! so get of her back!!! i also do what the bible says and i love those who say they are gay i dont judge them just like jesus having compassion for the drunkerds, hores and all other sinfull things but did not mean he agreed with them he tried to teach them there was a better way!!!

  • JD

    Nobody is asking her to like her job, they’re asking her to DO her job. She’s not actually hurting anyone, nor is she actually party to the marriage. Nobody is forcing her to have gay sex either.

    Think of it as a small corporate merger with benefits that don’t actually concern you.

  • http://www.unreasonablefaith.com Sunny Day

    Send them an email or call them, or use the message system built into their site.

    http://www.townofvolney.com/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=58

    Town of Volney Clerk

    Address:
    1445 Co. Rt. 6
    Fulton
    New York
    13069
    USA

    Telephone: (315) 593-8288
    Fax: 598-6839
    http://www.townofvolney.com

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/secular-curated-news-views plasmaborne

    I worked at a retail store back when retail stores first started opening on Sundays. The Christian employees said they’d never work on Sundays and they would quit before working on Sunday. When our store opened on Sundays every Christian who said they would quit worked their required Sundays. As a matter of fact they were soon volunteering to work on Sundays for the extra money! Christians never let following the commands of their God get in the way of their good lifestyle. ROFL

  • Atheistically Yours

    It would be nice if a local homosexual ran for town clerk against her, and WON! Clearly this woman has “outlasted her effectiveness”. She would have been perfect in denying voter registration to blacks in the south 50 years ago. Too bad her mind never made it past that era, and she is NOT in the south!

  • Trace

    No, no, no. You have it all wrong. The bible belt starts in upstate (with a few urban exceptions).

    It made me laugh that the Politico guy had to explain that she was a R….as if…and no, younger people are not going to vote her out of office, not in a 6K people town in upstate.

    “….anybody like that…”? WT*?

  • Matto the Hun

    So I guess she’ll sign marriage licenses for rapists to marry their victims, so long as they’ve paid their 50 shekels right?

    She’ll marry polygamists right?

  • Rieux

    in 44 years, some moron will refuse a marriage to a gay couple and be run out of office by a chorus of universal outrage from elected officials, liberal and conservative.

    Meanwhile, the Christians of 2055 will point out that everyone knows Jesus supports gay rights, including marriage, and that as a result the GLBT rights movement of 1969-2020 was led by the Christian church. And therefore that “moron” can’t possibly be a Real Christian.

    Homophobic churches? Of course not; conventional wisdom will have forgotten that those ever existed. As the 2055 public will recognize, anyone who says Christianity is or has ever been against the full humanity of GLBT people is obviously a fundamentalist atheist who just hates religion.

    Lather (abolitionism, women’s rights, workers’ rights, segregation….), rinse, retcon, and repeat. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, and True Christianity has always led the fight for human rights.

  • http://novylen.net Rob Bos

    If I were obligated by my job to do something I felt morally wrong (such as spy on my users on behalf of the police without a warrant, I suppose), I suppose I’d be faced with a similar choice. Refuse to do it, quit, or find someone else who would do it.

    I may not agree with her choice, but I can certainly understand the dilemma.

  • Rieux

    Jamie:

    we are al suppose to be one nation under “GOD”….

    No, actually, we’re not.

  • Richard Wade

    Barbara, if firefighters refuse on “moral” grounds to put out a house fire because a married same sex-couple lives there, should they keep their job?

    If paramedics refuse on “moral” grounds to stop the bleeding of a married gay man who has been shot on the street, should they keep their job? If the hospital staff refuses to allow that man’s spouse to see him in the hospital, should they keep their job?

    Barbara, will you refuse to sign the divorce papers of a married same-sex couple? Or an application for a building permit by a married same-sex couple? How about spousal benefit forms for the same-sex spouse of a city employee? Or a car registration, or a will, or a hundred other pieces of paper that a city clerk in a small town might handle as PART OF HER JOB?, Even if nobody ever gets a same-sex marriage in your town, you won’t be able to avoid this forever.

    There’s the door, Barbara. Enjoy your retirement. There’s a nice little spot you can settle into, right between the Triceratops and the Stegosaurus.

  • Wade

    OK Barb, fine with us; go flip burgers. If you refuse to fulfill your job requirements, you just won’t have a job. Good riddance.

    This is exactly what I was thinking 5 seconds into MacEwen’s quote; although it was much more NSFW in my head.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    It might not be the bible belt, but it could be the bible suspenders.

    I want to go to her office and take all of her pens, and the claim that it is against my religion to allow women to have pens.

  • TheBlackCat

    @ jamie: Would you get upset if the clerk refused to approve divorces? What if she refused to provide marriage licenses for people who were already divorced once?

    For that matter, do you eat shelfish? Have you ever worn clothes made of a poly-cotton blend? Have you every prayed where anyone else could see you?

    How would you feel if a clerk was a Muslim and refused to enter pet dogs into the pet registry? What if a Muslim refused to sign a fully legal permit to build a pig farm?

  • http://www.meetup.com/atheists-463/ Kimberly

    To the person who “follows the bible”… why is it that so-called christians cherry pick the bible? The bible is opposed to many things, not just homosexuality. Why doesn’t the clerk refuse to sign off on marriages of divorced people, the bible is against divorce. Or, men with long hair, the bible is against that. Or people who aren’t celibate before they get married. It is just another case of a “christian” using the bible to support their own bigotry.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    This lady has the same logic as pharmacists who refuse to issue birth control for the same religious reasons.

    Glad to know these individuals know what’s best for the rest of us.

  • Steve

    Lady, retire and get a real life!!!!!!!!

  • http://danialexis.wordpress.com Dani Alexis

    @Patrick: I had a similar thought. My first job out of law school was with an insurance defense firm. I figured out pretty quickly that making up specious reasons to yank people’s insurance coverage out from under them when they were most in need was, for me, ethically nauseating. But I didn’t insist on keeping my job while refusing to represent my clients.

    (Even if I didn’t think such a move would be unacceptably childish on my part, the firm would have bounced me out on my ear if I’d said, “I’m not going to represent our clients or do any work for them anymore. But you had better still keep paying me.”)

    Whether one can handle the moral/ethical questions that come with the job is part of determining whether one can handle all the job requirements. “Willing to sign what you are responsible for signing” is just as important as “being able to lift ten pounds repeatedly” or any other necessary skill. If Ms. MacEwan thinks she can’t do that job requirement, then she is not suited to this job and needs to find one in which she can fulfill all the requirements.

  • Matthew A. Harmer

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that this is happening in Fulton. Shocked, I tells ta!

    If I lived in Volney, I’d run against her, but alas, I’m off by a few miles.

  • http://www.unreasonablefaith.com Sunny Day

    “if you all read the bible it states… ”

    Funny, I didn’t think biblical scholars wrote like ranting teenagers.

  • Rieux

    Kimberly:

    It is just another case of a “christian” using the bible to support their own bigotry.

    Why put “Christian” in quotation marks? Is there any reason to doubt that Ms. MacEwen is actually a Christian?

    Being a homophobe (or a racist, or a sexist, or a warmonger, or a segregationist, or a greedy millionaire, or a supporter of slavery) is not self-evidently in conflict with being a Christian. Indeed, as MacEwen can probably show you, there are several verses in the Bible expressing disapproval—sometimes brutal disapproval—of homosexuality, and not a single one expressing approval. The Bible’s treatment of racism, slavery, torture, misogyny, theocracy, and murder-on-God’s-command is similarly ugly. (And in several instances it’s Jesus preaching this ugly stuff.)

    It certainly appears to me that Ms. MacEwen is a Christian, not a “Christian.”

  • downtown dave

    What happened to freedom of choice, whether for morals or the lack of them? Is the freedom to choose only good until you get what you want, and then the freedom to choose goes away? I’m telling you, atheism isn’t in this to do away with religion, but to replace God with their own religion. See “Humanist Manifesto I.” Read also: http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/ By the way, you did a great job of verbally stomping on Ms MacGewen.

  • Edmond

    Why didn’t god TELL her this was going to be the wrong job for her? Didn’t he KNOW that legal marriage equality was coming? Why didn’t he give her a “calling” that would be more suited to her “morals”?

  • http://portlandnonsequitur.blogspot.com/ Christopher

    “I don’t know of anybody like that in my town. I’m sure that there might be, but I haven’t heard about anybody.” – Barbara MacEwen, the town clerk in upstate Volney who is responsible for signing marriage licenses in the town.

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. She obviously doesn’t understand because she’s never been exposed. It’s easy to label people “sinners” and “evil” if you’ve never met them and saw for yourself that they are human (just like you) with needs and wants and suffering (just like you). Maybe she would feel differently if she actually got to know some of the people who’s civil rights were being violated, and got to see the extent of their suffering first hand. Maybe then she could see that her cognitive fusion has nothing to do with “gods love” or whatever, and is more about her own primitive, inherited Bronze Age tribalism and xenophobia. Didn’t Jesus teach, “love you neighbor?” I don’t think he said “unless they’re gay.” This is further proof that without understanding there can be no compassion.

  • NotYou007

    TikiCricket Says:

    June 28th, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    I wonder if she’d be as equally offended if a couple showed up in rayon blend wedding garb and told her they were hitting an oyster bar after the ceremony.

    That made me laugh.

  • tim

    As a public servant, her duty is to uphold the state law, not church law. She can resign if she feels her moral duty interferes with legal mandates.

  • http://wings1295.blogspot.com/ Caffeinated Joe

    Gah! So frustrating to read about people like that, with that mind set!

  • ephymeris

    This whole trend of refusing to do the basic duties of your job wihout being fired baffles me. Seems to me, if you want a job, you should be expected to fulfill its basic duties. What kind of world will it be if people are given the okay to do only parts of their job without consequences? The results could be inconvenient and intrusive at least, dangerous at worst. If you can just hide behind your “beliefs” can anyone ever be fired? Couldn’t you just claim to have an ideological issue with whatever I didn’t want to do? Imagining the repercussions of such a precident where I work (in a hospital) is unsettling to say the least.

  • ButchKitties

    If you’re a devout Hindu and you sign up for a job at the slaughterhouse, you don’t get to complain that your job is making you violate your religious beliefs. The same goes for Scientologists working in pharmacies, Jehovah’s Witnesses working in blood banks, kosher Jews working for the Bacon Cheeseburger Emporium, and Christians working in marriage bureaus. If your religion forbids you from doing the work, find a different job.

  • Nakor

    This is how we solve the job problem. We legalize all the things that crazy right-wing bigots think should be banned, and then wait until they all quit their jobs over it, and then give those jobs to honest, deserving people.

  • Grifter

    The worst part is that, thanks to the pharmacists, she might NOT be run out of office on a rail. She might actually get an exemption put in.

    Christians are addicted to bigotry, and like all addicts, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the high going.

  • Marguerite

    Bleah. You don’t have the right to refuse to do your job because you don’t agree with everyone who crosses in front of your desk. People like this are infuriating.

  • Anonymous Christian

    I wrote her a lovely email of support!

    Hi,

    You don’t know me, but I just read your article on a news site and BRAVO! I think you are doing a great thing in God’s work. Also, if you would please mention stoning your children next time. We are trying to get support to bring back this lovely practice of stoning children that misbehave or even talk bad about their parents. It is in the bible, after all (Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17, Psalm 137:9).

    -Your #1 Fan

  • Raven

    With unemployment rates what they are, I have no objection to her resigning and allowing someone else to take over that position. Good luck finding a new job, Barbara!

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com/ gloomcookie613

    Let’s see. If I’m working somewhere and I don’t perform my job duties, I get fired.

    So simple, isn’t it?

    DO YOUR JOB or GET FIRED.

    That’s the way the world goes ’round, Granny, get used to it or GTFO.

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    Amish Bus Driver rule. (If you refuse to do some job, you can’t demand to be hired for it.)

    This is interesting, though, since the job requirements changed underfoot for her. She originally took the job with the understanding that none of it went against her beliefs (at least, not so much that she’d refuse to do it), and now that understanding has been changed through no action on her part.

    So, there’s a conflict. But, in this case, other peoples’ rights are the irresistable force, but she is no unmovable object. The law wins. She cannot keep her current job.

    I don’t think she should be “fired”, which is a punitive measure, and she’s done nothing unethical. Perhaps she should be transferred to a different position within the same organization/department or something, one that’s compatible with her beliefs; if that’s not gonna work, then end employment in a non-punitive way (with severance pay, good references, things like that).

    Give her the chance to have the luxury of being bigoted where it can’t affect others.

  • C-Ham

    @TikiCricket Ha Brilliant!

  • Amelia

    Vystrix, that’s true, but she’s choosing to run for re-election for a job whose requirements have changed. It certainly undermines the argument that it’s not her fault the requirements changed since she’s essentially volunteering to keep it. She can’t be transferred, either; it’s an elected position.

    If a job’s requirements change (as when emergency contraception became available in the U.S.), the person doing that job either adapts or has to resign.

  • http://yamipirogoeth.blogspot.com/ Sakura

    If she can’t do what she’s being told to do by the state, then there are 2 things she should be doing:

    1) NOT running for re-election and go become a nun or something of the same

    2) Resign IMMEDIATELY and let someone that has those adult thinking skills take her place that won’t act like a petulant 5 year old that’s throwing a tantrum.

  • Meyekael

    I like to point out that she did say she would only refuse to sign these certificates if she could do so “legally.” I presume that means she will sign them if she is legally bound to.

  • Trace

    Hey Matthew A. Harmer. I too live close to Fulton. We should create a godless coven or sumethin with bonfires by the lake.

  • JJR

    …the Blue Oyster Bar?

    *rimshot*

    (old “Police Academy” joke, for those who remember the 1980s)

  • Sandbur

    I do not see a problem. Just resign your office and you will not need to try to obey two masters.

  • http://Facebook Rick

    Time to go ole’ woman!

  • Alex

    Oh, so gays “have a choice of marrying a person of opposite sex”, and that’s fine and dandy, but being “forced” to sign marriage certificates in order to fulfill one’s damn job requirements is “against morals”? Tough shit. Find another job. I’m sure at 75 she can even retire.

  • Suburban Sweetheart

    I wish her the best of luck in finding a new job. Where she never has o interact wi gay people, ever. Seriously, um, good luck.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    Feel free to GTFO, then.

  • Courtney

    Surely she doesn’t sign the marriage licenses for those who are on their second or third marriages?

  • C

    That’s like a vegan saying they won’t serve hamburgers when they work at McDonalds

  • Dan W

    People who refuse to do their jobs for whatever reason should be fired.

  • Rachae

    It’s not about your “god” lady, it’s about the law. Two completely different things.

  • Hugh

    Aaaargh! I’m sick of this shit. If your religion prevents you from doing your job, GET ANOTHER FUCKING JOB!

  • Chris

    Fine. GTFO. Let someone who isn’t so uptight have your job.

  • AxeGrrl

    jamie wrote:

    i love those who say they are gay i dont judge them just like jesus having compassion for the drunkerds, hores

    jamie, you apparently need a little Sesame Street learnin’….

    “one of these things is not like the others”

    If you cannot recognize that a loving relationship between consenting adults of the same gender is _completely different_ than vices like drunkenness, then something is really skewing your judgement.

  • AxeGrrl

    Vystrix wrote:

    Give her the chance to have the luxury of being bigoted where it can’t affect others.

    Beautifully said:) (and not just the above bit, but your entire post)

  • Charles Black

    If she doesn’t like it why doesn’t she hand in her resignation form now?
    People would be better off without her bigoted & hateful views.

  • Niels

    We have a similar issue in the Netherlands, going on for quite some time now. Although gay marriage has been legal for 10 years throughout the Netherlands, Dutch civil servants are allowed to not cooperate with gay-weddings if it violates their beliefs.

    This is quite a pragmatic solution, as a gay couple alsodoes not want someone near their wedding who thinks that what they do (and who they are) is morally reprehensible.

    However, anyone who started working as a civil servant dealing with weddings after the gay-marriage law passed knew that this would be part of their job. Why should they be allowed to refuse, if it was they signed up for?

    A pragmatic solution thus seems that people who are working their now should be allowed to get used to the idea and say no if they feel that this violates what they think (regardless of how odd it is), but new cvil servants should not have that option.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I’m sure that plenty of people would be happy to do the job should she prove unwilling or unable to do it.

    As Vystrix so wisely says “Give her the chance to have the luxury of being bigoted where it can’t affect others.”

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Should she win her re-election, I wonder if she will sign them anyway? She should be put to the test.

  • Slider33

    Christopher Hitchens is right–religion poisons everything.

  • http://butterflystorms.blog.ca Ron

    If she can`t do her job then I suppose she will have to quit. I`m sure there are people without her prejudices that can take her job and do it properly.

  • Pwhite76

    Marriage is not a right, regardless of what some judge said in Loving V. Virgina. (a Case about interracial marriage). Marriage is a privledge, a gift set aside by God for 1 man, and 1 woman, just like true love is. By granting homosexuals their “right” to marry, we are also taking away the rights of anyone who opposes gay marriage. Everyone needs to conform to rules, and normsm and morals.. Homosexuals don’t want to conform, they want to piss and moan like some little 4 year old sissy, until they get their way, and the rules are re-written to suit only their selfish wants, and desires.

    • Theway”eye”seeit

      No one is taking away your right to oppose. you can “piss and moan like some little 4 year old sissy” all you want, but the world is changing and beginning to accept that people in love trump norms… at one point it was the norm to  not marry interracially, that is no longer the case. Times change 

    • Speak_It_Loud

      When marriage became a legally binding contract recognized by the state and U.S. governments, it ceased to be an exclusively religious act. As such, marriage is subject to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 – the wall of separation of church and state, which has been consistently reiterated and upheld since. One of the reasons this country exists is due to the desire to be free of religious oppression. What you believe, as evidenced in your comment above, is a direct threat to that freedom. Religious oppression applies to non-religious individuals and groups. It doesn’t just apply to you, the religious individual and groups.

      As you didn’t state your particular church affiliation, I’m going to assume from this point forward that you believe yourself to be a Christian. If you were, you would know that Luke 6:27-31 states “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those
      who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who
      mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the
      other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking
      your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what
      belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would
      have them do to you.” Luke 6:36 states “[36] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

      You say, “Everyone needs to conform to rules, and normsm and morals.” Are you so sure about that? How would you know what sin was, or how to be good, or how to be kind if you did not not have others different from you to show you how not to be? You say that homosexuals want the rules re-written to suit only their selfish wants, and desires. I believe that we are here for others. I believe that the greatest gift is to love and be loved in return, as eden ahbez so eloquently wrote. When you oppose gay marriage, you deny people who have spent their
      entire lives together supporting and uplifting one another. When you oppose gay marriage, you deny love in any form other than your own strict definition. You deny those different from you the opportunity to say goodbye in a hospital bed.
      You, individually, are responsible for the incredibly destructive pain and grief that is a direct result of your narrowness. You allow, condone and encourage the hatred and damage done by bullies who prey on LGBTQ youth. You allow, condone and encourage the murder of those different from you. You allow, condone and encourage a fourteen year old boy to commit suicide. You,
      individually, are responsible for that. You deny other human beings
      the basic civilities and rights that you so covet for yourself. You,
      individually, are responsible for that.


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