Skip to comments.New York clerk faces lawsuit for refusing to sign same-sex ‘marriage’ license
Posted on 09/30/2011 2:25:03 PM PDT by NYer
LEDYARD, NY, September 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Another town clerk in New York may lose her job for refusing to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples, the New York Times reports.
Fifty-seven-year-old Rose Marie Belforti has been the town clerk in the small rural town of Ledyard, New York for ten years.
When the state of New York legalized homosexual marriage this past summer, Belforti decided that she could not reconcile signing same-sex marriage licenses with her Christian faith. Instead, she decided to delegate the task to a deputy, who would issue such licenses by appointment.
Now, a lesbian couple is threatening to sue Belforti for discrimination.
To have her basically telling us to get in the back of the line is just not acceptable, said Katie Carmichael, who owns a farm in nearby Springport with her partner, Deirdre DiBaggio.
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Deborah Liu, the general counsel for the People for the American Way Foundation, which is representing Carmichael and DiBaggio, claimed: We totally respect everyones right to have their own personal beliefs, but added that Belfarti cannot relieve herself from doing a major part of her duties.
Belforti plans to fight for her right to retain her position without violating her conscience. She has obtained representation with the Alliance Defense Fund.
This is about religious freedom, she told the Times, citing the first chapter of Romans. This is not about trashing gay people.
In addition to a possible lawsuit, she now faces a challenger in the next election. Ledyard resident Ed Easter says he wants to give the town a chance to vote Belfarti out of office because of her actions.
Belforti is not the first clerk to face the loss of her job in the aftermath of New Yorks new same-sex marriage law.
Laura Fotusky of Barker, and Rosemary Centi of Guilderland both resigned in July when the law went into effect. A third woman, Barbara MacEwen, announced in June that she would not sign licenses for same-sex couples in upstate Volney, where she serves as clerk. MacEwen said that she has written to her senator for help.
The Alliance Defense Fund has issued a legal memo in defense of New York municipal clerks who object to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and officiating the ceremonies on the grounds of religious belief.
Lawsuit? No way. Everyone knows you can’t sue the government.
Why don’t these lesbians try getting married in the Islamic faith? Hey, it’s all about equality right?
It’s not about getting a “Marriage License” for sex deviates, it’s all about FORCING OTHERS to accept their deviance and “honor” it......simple ego-boosting, nothing more.
Decent people are under assault from gay freaks of nature and atheist mutants and the two groups overlap. This must end soon.
I don’t think we’re in America anymore Toto! The brownshirted Ernst Rohm wannabes are now running the asylum. Sign zee paypahs!!!
How long til pastors and priests are forced to “marry” homosexuals or face the wrath of the deviants?
It will certainly end if the Muslims ever take over.
Can she be sued personally? Can she be fired?
The first test: considering the facts” in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, do they show that the [official’s] conduct violated a constitutional right.
If the plaintiffs cause survives that test, the court then applies a second test: whether the right at issue was clearly established at the time of [the official’s] alleged misconduct.
If the court finds that the public officers conduct did not violate a clearly established constitutional right, or if it was objectively reasonable for the officer to believe that his or her conduct did not violate such a right, then the official is protected by qualified immunity.
In determining if a right is clearly established, the Second Circuit said that it looks to whether (1) it was defined with reasonable clarity, (2) the Supreme Court or the Second Circuit has confirmed the existence of the right, and (3) a reasonable defendant would have understood that his conduct was unlawful. Significantly, the court said that The question is not what a lawyer would learn or intuit from researching case law, but what a reasonable person in [the officials] position should know about the constitutionality of the conduct.
Further, said the court, when faced with a qualified immunity defense, a court should consider the specific scope and nature of a defendant’s qualified immunity claim. That is, a determination of whether the right at issue was clearly established must be undertaken in light of the specific context of the case, not as a broad general proposition.
How did that line get started? The right to the redress of grievances is explicit in the Constitution.
The queers are building up a lot of backlash.
Liberal politicians, always seeking to champion something repellant to a society based on Judeo-Christian moral values, eagerly jumped on the 'gay rights' bandwagon, claiming that gays were an 'oppressed minority' that only wanted to 'love' someone of the same sex, and hey, why should you care, anyway? So, more and more laws were passed giving homosexual behavior the status of protected minority. Leftist-inspired 'PC' (Political Correctness) absolutely forbid anything but positive references to anyone practicing homosexual behavior - and Americas meekly went along since they didn't really 'hate gays' and didn't want to appear insensitive. Besides, gay advocates constantly claimed that they 'were born that way', even though not a shred of scientific evidence was produced to validate that spurious claim. Still, many Americans bought into it because, as normal people, they couldn't imagine anyone would willfully choose to 'be gay'. Later studies showed a fatherless home, being sodomized as a child and other experiences certainly played into the choice to express one's sexuality by homosexual acts and, often, for some men, affect an effeminate appearance and mannerisms that really just mimicked real women.
Today, we have all kinds of new laws that effectively celebrate homosexual behavior. The New York state law that legalizes same-sex 'marriages' via issuing a marriage license, is just one of many around the country. Now, longtime, conscientious Town Clerks, often in small towns and hamlets, are being forced to sign these licenses against their religious/moral convictions or be fired and, sometimes, when the 'gay' license-seeker is especially vindictive, sued. The obvious goal is effectively force the social acceptance of homosexual behavior. It's been successful. The 'gay community's' crowning achievement is being able to legally 'marry',thus mocking traditional, normal male-female marriage and sticking a finger in the eye of normal, heterosexual society that still considers 'gays' as freaks but now have to smile and pretend that what they do is somehow 'normal'. It is not and never will be, no matter how many laws they get passed or how many people they sue. Those engaging in homosexual behavior are simply acting out a sexual perversion that is mentally and physically unhealthy and will never be 'normal' in any real sense of the word. I pray that Rose Marie Belforti, the Town Clerk in Ledyard, N.Y. can surmount this challenge to her religious freedom and if not, leave her office with dignity.
Doesn’t her employer have to make accommodations for her religion beliefs? By delegating her responsibilities to someone else?
What is wrong with this? I’m seriously asking.
Excellent question! In Great Britain, one member of Parliament has raised this issue while advocating a response with an interesting twist.
A member of Britains Parliament has declared that Christian churches that do not perform homosexual marriage ceremonies should be denied the right for their pastors to contract a legally-binding marriage on behalf of the government.
If you are a liberal you are authorized to hate and destroy people in the name of your world view. No sect of the left has done this better or hated people more than the militant homosexuals. they’re even better than Maxine Waters using raceial hatred as she does.
In their efforts they will make sure to go out of their way to intentionally use those clerks that are not required just to make example and further get court decisions against them and others.
Remember the goal. Jail for people who even speak homosexuality is wrong. Its what they want. they are demanding through the courts and legislation that religion, a constitutionally protected activity, is subject to their approval.
These are the worst in our society when they act this way. I do not care if they choose to be gay, and make no mistake they choose, but I will forever be their enemy in the public square when through actiosn like this they subvert liberty and freedom.
NNever in our history as so few (less than 3% of population) had so much power over so many.
There should be open season on queers/liberal morons.
Sue the government.
Lack of standing.
At least, that’s what happens whenever WE try it.
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That's nice. I see where it's made the Federal Government honest.
where you gonna find a lawyer who doesn't want to ruin his career? A judge who isn't being blackmailed or bribed?
It's already starting. Just look at the U.K. if you want to see where we'll be in a short time.
Activists are already starting to demand this since ministers are made agents of the state for purposes of finalizing the marriage ceremony, they must be made obligated to the requirements of the state as far as marriage recognition. Mark my words, within two years, churches will be threatened with performing fake same-sex "marriages" or the pastor will be prevented from performing any marriages at all. That, or the church will lose it's tax exempt status - possibly both.
The New York "religious protection" amendments to the marriage law are not severable (how convenient for the sodomites,) so if one is found "unconstitutional" by an activist judge they all go down the drain.
Will Islamic mosques and Moslem clerks be required to comply as well I wonder?
“Now, a lesbian couple is threatening to sue Belforti for discrimination.”
Even though they will still get their license, they want revenge against Belforti. Yet they are discriminating against Belforti for HER beliefs.
Do you know any gay people? just askin’ I don’t. You seem like you lived in San Francisco or somewhere very homosexual.
I live on the east coast and yes, I've known and worked with gay people and never encountered a problem with any of them, nor did I expect to. It isn't individuals or their choice of sexual partners that aggravates me but the homosexual advocacy 'movement' that has turned homosexual behavior from something to be ashamed of to something now treated by the media as if it were somehow noble and uplifting, which is hardly the case. My comments on this thread are based on my observation of the way homosexual behavior has been treated over the years (from shunned to celebrated - by some, anyway) and represents my opinion on how and why U.S. society has moved from a repulsion with homosexual behavior to a quasi-embrace of such behavior that mistakenly assumes it's an immutable genetic trait and so, any criticism of homosexual behavior is deemed 'bigotry' and laws based on human biology are cast aside under the guise of 'equality' for those who desire to 'marry' a person of the same sex.
Obviously, I don't agree with this change because, as I've stated, homosexual behavior is not 'normal' by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly isn't healthy, as statistics prove. Unfortunately, those statistics are never mentioned by the folks advocating for homosexual behavior to be included in our children's elementary school lessons. Although the rise of homosexual behavior from being shunned to celebrated is a thorn in my side, it is not my main focus. Politics are my main concern. Because the actual homosexual population is ridiculously small, it rankles me to see how they've been able to manipulate public opinion, with the eager help of the media, academia, show business (mainly, movies & TV) and the adoption of the 'civil rights' mantle from black Americans, who actually had a civil rights beef. Today, even the U.S. military is open to people wishing to engage in sex with the same gender. I can't imagine that will have a good effect on our military.
I don't necessary want to make homosexual behavior illegal again or throw stones (literally or figuratively) at those who wish to practice such behavior. I simply wish that more Americans saw the downside to this national pretense that a sexual perversion is 'normal' and worthy of 'special' legal protections. Unfortunately, those legal protections are growing into a weapon to punish people that don't condone such behavior or same-sex 'marriage', even on religious grounds. Town clerks, when they demur on issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, being ordered to "do it or be fired" may be legal and proper but it seems to be getting awfully close to an authoritarian rule that stomps on individual religious beliefs. I've often wondered how quick these smug Town Attorneys would be to demand a faithful Muslim, whose religion views homosexual behavior as a sin punishable by death, to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple or resign, immediately. I know that will never happen but it is an interesting hypothetical.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled political discussions.