Friday, June 20, 2008

Calif. County Employees Refuse to Perform Civil Same-sex 'Marriages'

-- From "Employees told they could be reassigned" by Craig Gustafson, San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer 6/19/08

At least 14 employees in the San Diego County Clerk's Office raised religious objections to performing gay wedding ceremonies but were told by their boss they couldn't pick and choose between marriage applicants.

“It would unfairly burden other employees and would directly compromise the services we provide to the public, particularly given that so many employees have requested the same arrangement,” Smith's office told 14 employees by e-mail.

In the e-mails, employees were told they would have to perform the ceremonies without discrimination or seek a reassignment within the department or the county.

San Diego was not the only county where religious objections from county clerk employees came up.

In Sutter County, north of Sacramento, three of the four employees who usually perform wedding ceremonies said that they could not do so for same-sex couples, said Cindy McMillan, assistant Sutter County Clerk-Recorder. They were not penalized for their beliefs, and other employees volunteered to perform the nuptials.

By contrast, the issue did not come up in Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area or in Orange County. No county employees who perform civil wedding ceremonies requested to opt out for religious or other reasons, officials said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.