Louisiana won't Recognize Same-Sex Marriages


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DConnell

And if the only clerk available is Christian what should the couple looking to get married / get their license do ?

 

Valid question, one that I don't have a ready answer for. But that doesn't mean that the quick fix of "fire all the Christians!" is automatically the right choice. Just means the compromise needs to be well-thought out.

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DConnell

The thing is, the laws change everyday: the speed limits on a road was lowered from 70 mph to 55 mph, the labeling on the food must indicate that it contains GMO.

It does not matter, people must comply to the new laws.

These people are here to perform a job, and apply the law, not discuss it or apply differently on different people because of their own ideas.

 

A compromise would continue the discrimination suffered by gay people. You would end with whole-milk marriage for heterosexual couple and skimmed-milk marriage for gay couples.          

 

 

Demanding that people check their religion at the door, or that the clerks not be religious is itself discrimination, the very type that the 1st Amendment is designed to prevent.

 

Shifting discrimination from one group to another is not a solution.

 

A well-thought out compromise would be designed to avoid discrimination toward either group.

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ramesees

Valid question, one that I don't have a ready answer for. But that doesn't mean that the quick fix of "fire all the Christians!" is automatically the right choice. Just means the compromise needs to be well-thought out.

 

There is no compromise - the Christian clerk is a public employee and is therefore required to perform their duties as laid out in their contract of employment.

 

They would have no valid legal reason to refuse, if their private beliefs are violated then too bad.

The clerk is still a Christian, they can break out into cold sweats at the thought of two men or two women getting married, they can refuse to look them in the eye as they issue the license / perform the ceremony. But they cannot refuse to perform the ceremony or issue the license - any more than a vegetarian employee in a supermarket can refuse to handle meat products through their checkout.

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DConnell

There is no compromise - the Christian clerk is a public employee and is therefore required to perform their duties as laid out in their contract of employment.

 

 

Unless the contract is redrawn now that the law has changed, that's not valid. Unless an official signed on this week, gay marriage wasn't part of the job requirements.

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ramesees

Unless the contract is redrawn now that the law has changed, that's not valid.

 

I will guarantee you that no one is going to change a contract of employment to allow someone who is religious to refuse to perform their duties.

 

I imagine that is in violation of the First Amendment and rightly so.

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theyarecomingforyou

He was suggesting letting the clerk/whatever switch out with someone else, not restricting or qualifying marriage in any way. How would that compromise be discrimination?

How's that any different from a racist refusing to issue marriage certificates to black people? Just because they can get another clerk to issue the certificate doesn't make it acceptable in any way shape or form. It's still discrimination - the fact it's a religious belief is irrelevant.

 

Valid question, one that I don't have a ready answer for. But that doesn't mean that the quick fix of "fire all the Christians!" is automatically the right choice. Just means the compromise needs to be well-thought out.

Christianity doesn't prevent someone from issuing marriage certificates. There are plenty of gay Christians and plenty of clerks who oppose same sex marriage but who do not have a problem with issuing a certificate to others. What you're talking about is a specific interpretation of their faith that conflicts with the rights of others. The Bible states that if a woman is raped that she must marry the rapist yet you don't see Christians demanding that, do you? If someone's Christian beliefs prevent them from issuing a marriage certificate then they should find another job. 

 

Unless the contract is redrawn now that the law has changed, that's not valid.

Their job hasn't changed. They're still required to marry people as before, the difference is that the criteria for marriage has changed. Can you imagine if McDonald's had to draw up a new contract for employees every time they bring out a new burger? You're being unreasonable.

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DConnell

I will guarantee you that no one is going to change a contract of employment to allow someone who is religious to refuse to perform their duties.

 

I imagine that is in violation of the First Amendment and rightly so.

 

So is firing someone because of their religion, which is what this amounts to.

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FloatingFatMan

And if the only clerk available is Christian what should the couple looking to get married / get their license do ?

 

Simple. If the only clerk objects to issuing the license, that's just tough luck on him; he still must issue it.

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DConnell

How's that any different from a racist refusing to issue marriage certificates to black people? Just because they can get another clerk to issue the certificate doesn't make it acceptable in any way shape or form. It's still discrimination - the fact it's a religious belief is irrelevant.

 

Christianity doesn't prevent someone from issuing marriage certificates. There are plenty of gay Christians and plenty of clerks who oppose same sex marriage but who do not have a problem with issuing a certificate to others. What you're talking about is a specific interpretation of their faith that conflicts with the rights of others. The Bible states that if a woman is raped that she must marry the rapist yet you don't see Christians demanding that, do you? If someone's Christian beliefs prevent them from issuing a marriage certificate then they should find another job. 

 

Their job hasn't changed. They're still required to marry people as before, the difference is that the criteria for marriage has changed. Can you imagine if McDonald's had to draw up a new contract for employees every time they bring out a new burger? You're being unreasonable.

 

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/mar/14/some_muslim_cashiers_refuse_handle_pork/

 

Note the last line: "Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for a person's religious practices if it doesn't impose an undue hardship." If it applies to Muslims, then it applies Christians as well. The key would be guaranteeing that there's no undue hardship, and I will state right now that this is a requirement that must be met. So there must an alternative clerk/official available, otherwise it would qualify as undue hardship.

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FloatingFatMan

Unless the contract is redrawn now that the law has changed, that's not valid. Unless an official signed on this week, gay marriage wasn't part of the job requirements.

 

I very much doubt their contract says anything about being allowed to ignore law changes if they clash with their beliefs.  Law changes happen all the time, if people could ignore them at will, we'd have had this problem decades ago.

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ramesees

So is firing someone because of their religion, which is what this amounts to.

 

You cannot be fired for being a member of a protected class (race, religion, sexuality, gender etc..) - so if you turned up to work on a Monday morning and said you were Christian and your employer (public or private) fired you then you would be able to sue them for wrongful dismissal / discrimination etc.. and you would win that case all day long. I and others would support you all the way in that case because you are genuinely being discriminated against - your religious faith is the sole reason you are being fired.

 

However you in turn do not have the right to use your private / personal faith as a reason to refuse to perform your duties as laid down in your contract of employment. If you do not agree with gay people being married and you are Christian, you do not have the legal right to deny service to anyone that conflicts with what you believe. You would not be fired for being Christian, you would be fired for failing to do your job, insubordination, etc.. At NO point does you being a Christian even enter into the equation - no lawyer will entertain that as a defence, no judge will allow it in their court room.

 

You may think you are being fired for being Christian but that doesn't make it so.

 

Am I not saying it correctly ? Is there something you feel I've missed when attempting to explain this ? Let me know and I'll try and fill out my answers a bit more.

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DefyTheOutcome

He was suggesting letting the clerk/whatever switch out with someone else, not restricting or qualifying marriage in any way. How would that compromise be discrimination?

Scenario:

Part 1 - A Straight couple comes for a marriage license:

Clerk answers: "Here are the forms. please sign here and here and there. Here is your marriage license. Congratulations"

Part 2 - A Gay couple comes for a marriage license:

Clerk answers: "Huh, let me find someone else because you are ... different? Hah, my colleague is not there today: he has the cooties. Can you come back in a few days once he is here? No, sorry, I really cannot do it for you because ... reasons"

How is that equal treatment of citizens?

Demanding that people check their religion at the door, or that the clerks not be religious is itself discrimination, the very type that the 1st Amendment is designed to prevent.

How nurses/doctors/midwives do when they have to operate on a teenager who needs a C-Section after being knocked up out of wedlock?

How soldiers of the US armed forces do when they press on the trigger, knowing full well what will happened when the military payload is going to reach the intended target?

Did not they put 'Thou Shall Not Kill' in the closet when they found their uniform?

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ramesees

Simple. If the only clerk objects to issuing the license, that's just tough luck on him; he still must issue it.

 

Oh absolutely - they have to suck it up and get on with their job.

 

I've never said otherwise and have always been on that side of the argument :)

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ATLien_0

@DConnell Do you not think these gov worker had religious beliefs before that would prevent them marrying someone of interfaith, inter race or someone who has had multiple marriages before or even sex before marriage. 

 

If you are going to be a government worker that marries people, you will see more than ssm on a daily basis. If so many of these people have belief issues with ssm, then why have they not had issues with the above

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TPreston

Nobody is saying no christians allowed but I you refuse to issue a marriage licence because the client is gay you will be fired for not doing your job. If you grant a religious exemption here you will have to grant it to all religions even the scientologist who thinks the psychiatrist shouldn't marry because will poison. the minds of children

Religious freedom does not work this sat, the comparison to abortion is different because

1 they are a not government employees

2 they are not refusing service because the woman is a slut or not christian etc

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FloatingFatMan

Oh absolutely - they have to suck it up and get on with their job.

 

I've never said otherwise and have always been on that side of the argument :)

 

Indeed. I'm all for being allowing people a -little- leeway in the interests of amity. But if you're the only one available that can do the job, you do the job.

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ATLien_0

Also everyone should take a read at this from Gov Bobby Jindal about the ruling and workers that have issues

 

Governor Jindal Executive Counsel Issues Memo On Religious Liberty Implications In Light Of SCOTUS Ruling BATON ROUGE--The following is a legal memorandum, from Thomas Enright, Executive Counsel to Governor Jindal: TO: Interested Parties FROM: Thomas Enright, Executive Counsel, Office of Governor Bobby Jindal DATE: June 29, 2015 RE: Religious liberty implications in light of same sex marriage ruling On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court held 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges that there is now a constitutional right to same sex marriage. No. 14-566 (2015). While Obergefell will significantly impact Louisiana
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FloatingFatMan

Also everyone should take a read at this from Gov Bobby Jindal about the ruling and workers that have issues

 

http://media.nola.com/politics/other/Governor%20Jindal%20Executive%20Counsel%20Issues%20Memo%20On%20Religious%20Liberty%20Implications%20In%20Light%20Of%20SCOTUS%20Ruling.pdf

 

Again though, can't believe these workers have not had issues about other marriages from inter faith, interracial couples or those that are not following a traditional marriage

 

He's saying what we're saying, though.  the important part is near he end.

 

 may not be forced to officiate a same-sex wedding ceremony when other authorized individuals who have no religious objection are available

 

No mention is made of when other authorised persons are NOT available, which pretty much means they'll have to do their jobs.

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DoctorD

So is firing someone because of their religion, which is what this amounts to.

 

No, I don't believe you understand how being a civil servant works.  While civil servants are working / holding / executing  the office that they do they act on behalf of the state therefore they are an extension of the state. When town and city clerks review marriage license applications, they act on behalf of the state, not in their own personal interest.  If they get fired for not doing their job due to personal/religious reasons then they are not upholding the laws that they are by the definition of their job are set to enforce. 

 

 

Here is an example of using 2 straight people: My ex-wife and myself whom were married in a Catholic Church got divorced after 19 years and decide to remarry other folks, the clerk went to the same church as my ex and refuses to issue us new licenses to marry new people based on her ties to the church..... Not happening. 

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ATLien_0

He's saying what we're saying, though.  the important part is near he end.

 

 

 

No mention is made of when other authorised persons are NOT available, which pretty much means they'll have to do their jobs.

Exactly, same sex couples go to the state to get married where they are legally allowed to do so, the state worker will have to uphold the law and if the worker has an issue and no other one is available, that will be the states fault for not providing proper staff. 

I agree no one should be fired due to religious beliefs and they can't, but if the state cannot provide proper staff then they are at fault, and the worker might be able to sue, but not sure.

 

I am sure that there have situations like this long before the same sex marriage debate about other types of marriages that workers have had religious issues with. 

 

Not sure how much simpler and to the point that can be

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theyarecomingforyou

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/mar/14/some_muslim_cashiers_refuse_handle_pork/

 

Note the last line: "Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for a person's religious practices if it doesn't impose an undue hardship." If it applies to Muslims, then it applies Christians as well. The key would be guaranteeing that there's no undue hardship, and I will state right now that this is a requirement that must be met. So there must an alternative clerk/official available, otherwise it would qualify as undue hardship.

The problem is that anyone can claim religious convictions as an excuse for avoiding anything they don't want to do. I'm sure there are Christians who believe it is against their faith for mixed race couples to marry yet there aren't exemptions for them. Why is it that my personal convictions as an atheist aren't protected when someone else can simply claim Religion

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DConnell

Hmm. Something just occurred to me. Jesus is quoted as saying "Render unto Caesar's what is Caesars, and unto God what is God's" (roughly). In context he was speaking of paying taxes, but the wider interpretation is generally that one can perform civic duty without conflict with your religious principles. So that could possibly remove problem for any affected officials - doing their govt. job would not be a reflection on ones religion.

 

Mind you this is a layman's interpretation. It would take a statement from a minister/priest/bishop to make it valid. It'll be interesting to see if there is any such statement made.

 

And no, this isn't backtracking - my concern has always been the possible conflict of interest for officials who might be expected to go against their religion because of the ruling. If my idea here is correct, then there wouldn't even be a conflict to worry about. Of course that wouldn't make a difference to those who wish to use religion to block gay marriage, but deliberately interfering with the law (even one you don't agree with) isn't a stance worth supporting. I'm not interested in excusing obstructionism, just addressing those with a genuine conflict.

 

While I disagree with the opposition on many points, I do agree that religious convictions should not be used as an excuse for legal obstruction.

 

But this idea - gay couples could get their licenses and ceremonies with no inconvenience, and the officials with religious convictions could do their jobs with no worries about a conflict. Everybody would win. Well, except the ones who are just trying to be obstructive, but they don't deserve to in the first place.

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FloatingFatMan

One thing I do wonder... Why is it that objection to gay marriage is so common among American Christians, but quite rare among European Christians?

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Lazy8s

One thing I do wonder... Why is it that objection to gay marriage is so common among American Christians, but quite rare among European Christians?

I read an article (figures I can't find it) that stated that the majority of American Christians faith is tied very tightly to their political ideology. That makes sense to me as a Christian given the politically based schisms I've seen within the faith over the past 20 years or so. There have always been sharp divides within the church (how many denominations are there now? :rofl:  ) but it seems to me to be getting much worse post 9/11.

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TPreston

Translation: The opposition is being way too reasonable. Better prop up the "evil Christian" strawman to beat on. We're suggesting compromises, not demanding our way or else. We're not demanding the upholding of one law at the expense of another, but offering ways that the rights of both parties can be honored.

 

Stinks to blatantly be on the unreasonable side of the argument, doesn't it?

Your compromise is unworkable, It would allow anyone to refuse marriage licences for practically any reason because the courts are unable to say which religious objection is valid and which isn't.
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