Marriage equality comes to Florida on Jan. 6, but at least three counties led by bigots in that state have decided to stop doing all courthouse weddings so they don’t have to do any gay weddings. Because doing gay weddings will make the baby Jesus cry or something.
If same-sex marriage is allowed, Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell, Clay Clerk Tara Green and Baker Clerk Stacie Harvey will have no choice but to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. But to avoid performing ceremonies for them, these clerks have decided to end all courthouse weddings.The clerks said multiple factors contributed to the decision to end courthouse weddings, with gay marriage being just one of them. And they now said the new policies will take effect no matter what the courts decide about gay marriage.
Fussell says the decision came after a series of discussion with members of his staff who currently officiate wedding ceremonies. None of them, including Fussell, felt comfortable doing gay weddings so they decided to end the practice all together, he said.
“It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn’t be any discrimination,” Fussell said. “The easiest way is to not do them at all.”…
There were 1,911 wedding ceremonies performed at the Duval County Courthouse in 2013, compared to 6,342 marriage licenses issued. About 330 Clay County couples are married at its courthouse each year, and Baker averages about 30.
I’m not entirely sure this is legal. If state law requires it, they can’t do this. But I don’t know what state law says on the matter.