New York town clerk Laura Fotusky has resigned from her position, saying that she cannot sign a document supporting same-sex marriage due to personal religious convictions.
Fotusky has stated that she will step down on July 21, which is three days prior to when the first gay marriage licenses will be distributed in New York State.
In her resignation letter, which was distributed to the media by a conservative Christian non-profit group called the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, Fotusky expresses her discomfort in indulging in a practice that she feels the Bible vehemently objects.
Fotusky writes, “The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God.”
Fotusky joins the growing number of individuals who have expressed their discomfort in participating in controversial practices surrounding the introduction of gay marriage. A town clerk in a Syracuse suburb of Volney did not step down but requested that outside help be recruited to sign same-sex marriage licenses due to her Christian faith.
Although the new law exempts religious groups from actually having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, the law does not protect clerks and other government officials from having to sign the licenses if they oppose.
Lobbyists feel that the lawmakers should institute some type of law that relieves government employees from having to engage in any practice that they object to.
According to Reuters, Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson has expressed her desire for a clause to be instituted into law that exempts officials from having to engage in a practice they feel goes against their personal beliefs, just as long as they pose no hardship to same-sex couples.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has rejected this proposal, stating, “When you enforce the laws of the state, you don't get to pick and choose the laws,” as reported by Reuters.
According to the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, Fotusky is the first clerk in the state of New York to resign over objections to the same-sex marriage law.