A little financial relief is on the way for New York municipal clerks and others who decide their faith is more important than their jobs.
A new law set to go into effect this weekend would have forced them to issue same-sex marriage licenses — in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Although the law was touted as offering religious protections, it offers nothing for town clerks Laura Fotusky in Barker and Ruth Shelton in Granby.
In her resignation letter, Fotusky wrote: “I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure.”
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is setting up a fund to help them out. The Rev. Jason McGuire, the group’s president, said it’s apparent those forced out of work will need some help in a down economy.
“We set up the Courage Fund,” he explained, “to be able to stand up for those clerks, to let them know that they do have rights under the state law, that they have groups and individuals who are willing to stand with them in their defense of marriage.”
He said that when state lawmakers defined who would receive protections, they left out some very important people. He said they offered protections “for ‘religious professionals’ if you will, (such as) pastors, but not the average person in the pew, a town clerk, a photographer.”
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Find out more about the Courage Fund.