BARKER, N.Y. (The Blaze/AP) -- A town clerk in upstate New York was faced with a difficult decision. Should she choose God -- or her job? She opted for the former and says she's resigning over her religious opposition to gay marriage.
Laura Fotusky submitted a letter of resignation to the town board in Barker on Monday, saying her religious beliefs prevent her from signing a marriage certificate for a gay couple, as she'd be required to do as a municipal clerk. The letter was published on the website of the Christian lobbying group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. The Ithaca Journal has more:
In New York, municipal clerks issue and sign marriage licenses — sometimes, they may even perform the ceremony — and that's where Fotusky found herself in conflict. New York's new definition of a marriage includes same-sex couples and she doesn't believe that is what God wants.
"I believe that God designed marriage as a divine institution to protect our families and our culture and our society, and so it goes against his plan," she said Tuesday outside Town of Barker Hall in Castle Creek. "He was the designer. It was his plan. It's his way to provide for the human family, and so I believe that it's up to God if he wants to redefine marriage."
While some like New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms believe that there should be exemptions in the new state law for public employees who do not embrace same-sex marriage, others disagree. Following his signing of the law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said:
"The law is the law. When you enforce the laws of the state, you don't get pick and choose which laws. You don't get to say, 'I like this law, I'll enforce this law. I don't like this law, I won't enforce this law.' You can't do that. So if you can't enforce the law, then you shouldn't be in that position."
The 56-year-old Republican has served since 2007. She says she'll step down on July 21, three days before New York's law allowing same-sex marriage takes effect. She claims that her decision comes as a result of personal conviction on the matter. In an interview with Politico, Fotusky said:
“I would be compromising my moral conscience by participating in licensing same-sex couples. I had to choose between my job and my god.”
According to Slate, part of her letter reads:
"The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God."
While Fotusky is the first clerk to officially resign over the matter, this incident comes on the heels of Volney Town Clerk Barbara MacEwen's statements last month that she opposed gay marriage on religious grounds but would follow the law.