Homosexual Marriage and the First Amendment
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Homosexual Marriage and the First Amendment

| Oct 27, 2015 | Blog |

Maybe you have been paying attention to the plight of Kim Davis. If not, she is the Clerk who has been in jail recently for her refusal to comply with a court order compelling her to issue a marriage certificate to a homosexual couple because of her religious convictions. Regardless of where you land on the issue of homosexual marriage, the situation highlights one of the inherent problems posed by the recent Supreme Court decision on the subject.

As I understand it, Kentucky requires that the County Clerk of a particular county must sign marriage certificates as the issuer. Ms. Davis objected to her name being on the certificate as the issuer if the couple to whom the certificate was issued was a same-sex couple, and thus refused to issue such a certificate in spite of being ordered by a Judge to do so. The Judge, using the Courts contempt power, ordered that Ms. Davis be jailed until she complied with his Order.

The law of the land is now that homosexual marriages must be recognized in every State. The First Amendment allows the free exercise of ones religion. For government workers, there could be conflicts in this matter. This is not the first time that this sort of thing has happened. In fact, the government has found a way to accommodate folks who have certain religious holidays or have found various duties objectionable in their duties. In fact, most attorneys (whether they be LGBT or not) with whom I have discussed this matter or whom I have heard speak on the issue seem to think that there is some reasonable accommodation that could be made in cases like Ms. Davis.

We are on the front edge of this issue and there will be a good bit of legal wrangling that will take place before all of the details are settled. Whether you work in the private sector or government, you may find yourself stuck between a religious conviction and a job duty. When that happens, I would suggest that you seek the advice of an attorney before deciding on a course of action. It may or may not change your mind about what you need to do, but informed decisions tend to be better decisions.

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