When 15+ Florida counties announced they would cancel courthouse weddings rather than offer them to same-sex couples, it struck a chord with our readers. When a group of attorneys out of Jacksonville offered a work-around, you reacted again – some praising the attorneys, some still frustrated with the cancellation of courthouse weddings in the first place.
Here’s a round-up of Watermark reader responses:
From Watermark‘s Facebook:
“I have a really easy fix for this. Fire those who choose to discriminate against the citizens of Florida and hire people who do not. Then order the Clerk of the Court to perform the job of CIVIL marriage to anyone who meets the requirements. Those who didn’t want to do perform their job duties and were fired for it can go and work at the church of their choice.” – Kate Daughter
“Or…. just a thought… Duval County clerks could do the job they were hired to do.” – Phillip Ament-Burroughs
“Great way to get around the bigots.” – Jim Langford
“I really, really like this.” – Larry D. Smith
“I have a really easy fix for this. Fire those who choose to discriminate against the citizens of Florida and hire people who do not. Then order the Clerk of the Court to perform the job of CIVIL marriage to anyone who meets the requirements. Those who don’t want to do that can go and work at the church of their choice” – EV398E
“Your solution would not work unless the law were changed. At present, Florida law does not require the clerks of court (county clerks) to solemnize marriages.
Therefore, the clerks are merely offering a convenience to the public (as well as putting some money in the state’s treasury) and the at least fourteen who no longer offer it are not in violation of the law.
The inconvenience for same-gender couples in the fourteen counties in question (Florida, by the way, has sixty-seven) is minor because Florida law empowers a wide variety of persons to solemnize marriages, including notaries public (for the full list, see paragraph 4 of “Report 38l – Full victory for marriage equality in Florida on 2 January 2015 — the attempts to delay the inevitable have failed” in “Equal Human Rights and Civil Rights for All Persons, No Matter Their Gender, No Matter Their Sexual Orientation: An Interpretive Newsletter, at www.humciv.com).” – Aron Sasportas
“Civil employees must keep church and state separate which continues to be part of the decision process in support of civil, equal rights for all American citizens. The civil employees that try to force their religious beliefs as a reason not to do their jobs should be fired. Religious rules are only for religious institutions, not civil institutions.” – GayEGO
“Ah. I was afraid there was no specific law ordering them to perform marriages. However, interfering with the income of the state, or county should be considered detrimental to an employee’s career, no? Thanks for the explanation of the law.” – EV398E
“EV is partly right. Firing the bigots who refuse to do ceremonies unless they get to discriminate actually would solve the problem.” – uhhuhh
“How about firing the bigot and hiring a clerk who doesn’t think it’s his job to shove his religion down