Lesbian Couple Threatens to Sue Town Clerk for Refusing to Sign Marriage License
By Jerry A. Kane
A town clerk in a farming community of 1,900 people is being threatened with a lawsuit and may lose her job for refusing to sign a lesbian couple’s “marriage” license. Rose Marie Belforti, who has served as clerk in Ledyard, New York, for ten years, arranged for a deputy to issue all marriage licenses by appointment after the state’s same-sex “marriage” law took effect in July.
She made the arrangements because she could not in good conscience sign a document sanctioning an act that violated the teachings of her religion.
“For me to participate in the same-sex marriage application process I don’t feel is right. … I can’t do what God doesn’t want me to do, just like I can’t steal, or any of the other things that God doesn’t want me to do.”—Rose Marie Belforti
Lesbians Deirdre DiBiaggio and Katie Carmichael appear to be more interested in Belforti’s signature on the license than they are in obtaining a marriage license. They claim that New York’s law requires all clerks to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses, so they are threatening a discrimination lawsuit against Belforti for refusing to issue a license.
Belforti is not the first clerk in the state to face losing her job since four Republican lawmakers joined with senate Democrats to pass New York’s same-sex “marriage” law. Two clerks resigned in July, and another one in upstate Volney is also refusing to sign same-sex “marriage” licenses.
In addition to the threatened lawsuit, Belforti is facing a challenge in the next election. Belforti’s actions so offended Ledyard businessman Ed Easter that he decided to run against her and give the town’s people an opportunity to vote her out of office in opposition to her stance.
Democrat Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who pushed lawmakers to pass the same-sex “marriage,” wants to rid New York of clerks who object to the law. A State Health Department memo warned clerks that failure to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses would result in a misdemeanor.
“When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose.”—Andrew Cuomo
It is likely Ledyard will be a test case for how New York balances a local official’s First Amendment right to religious freedom against a lesbian couple’s claim of discrimination.
“This is about religious freedom. This is not about trashing gay people.”—Rose Marie Belforti
The Founders wrote the First Amendment to protect religious freedom because they understood that only people who are free to follow their conscience can prevent a totalitarian government from imposing totalitarian laws.
Echoing the Founders, Albert Einstein advised Americans to covet religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”
The New York state law that legalizes same-sex “marriages” also gives homosexuals and lesbians the totalitarian power to destroy the livelihoods of town clerks whose morality and religious convictions oppose homosexual practices and behaviors.
The tyrannical laws that are now being applied to New York’s town clerks will eventually find their way to the state’s pastors and priests.
“Discrimination in today’s society should not be tolerated.”—Mike Weatherly, British Parliament member
For more on the story, see New York clerk faces lawsuit for refusing to sign same-sex ‘marriage’ license, Rights Collide as Town Clerk Sidesteps Role in Gay Marriages, Alliance Defense Fund Defends New York Clerks, and British MP: Ban Marriages in “Homophobic” Churches.