Government workers must perform gay marriages — or get new jobs

Regarding Gayle Myrick’s Feb. 18 Outlook essay, “You can’t make me perform gay marriages”:

Public polling after the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia ended state bans on interracial marriage indicated strong majorities nationwide opposed that decision, citing religious and moral objections to “race mixing.”

Nevertheless, I don’t recollect any states making provisions to let public employees avoid having to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples or perform their weddings at county and city offices. Nor have I ever heard of special provisions being made to spare objecting employees from having contact with other couples against whom they might have objections, such as locally known adulterers or divorced people or anyone else.

Yet Ms. Myrick and others argue they should be able to keep their taxpayer-funded jobs and still refuse to serve same-sex couples exercising their legal right to marry. Will we as a country tolerate this discrimination, or will we require our “public servants” to either serve all of the public or find new jobs?

Kathy Heggemeier, Cary, N.C.

If you’re an official who has legal power to marry people in a civil ceremony in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, then you must perform that duty for anyone lawfully eligible, even if performing civil marriages is only a portion of your workload. Against your beliefs? I respect ethical and spiritual beliefs, but a person cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. The choice is clear: Change the job responsibilities or change your job.

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Diane A. Morris, Reston


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