Workers in the San Diego County clerk's office who object to same-sex marriages may be excused from officiating at gay weddings. County Clerk Gregory Smith says he is considering allowing his employees to opt out of the ceremonies for religious or moral reasons. Smith says no employees have asked so far to be excused from officiating at the ceremonies, but he wants to respect those with strong beliefs. Smith says he doesn't think it's correct "to force employees to do it, and I don't think you would want someone who is hostile to your beliefs performing your ceremony."
What a load of nonsense. If an individual works for the government - all people are paying his or her salary though taxes. Such employees should have no say in who they serve and they don't get the option to choose customers. If they have a problem performing the work in which they are paid or do so with attitude, the appropriate action is to fire them. If these busy bodies want to work for an institution in which they only serve people of a specific belief system, there are plenty of churches that are hiring. They should take applications now.
Let's think about this for a minute.
Do we really want public clerks choosing not to perform interracial marriages because they interpret the Bible to say that the races were not meant to mix? Or, how about fundamentalists who beleive that those who are divorced and remarry are committing an abomination? Can they opt out of performing such marriages? How about Jewish employees snubbing fellow Jews who elect to marry gentiles?
Clearly, there are many grounds in which people may object to unions on the basis of so-called "morality." To let city, state or federal employees opt out creates chaos and is a violation of the basic duty of serving the general public.
The argument that marrying gay couples (or others) is a violation of beliefs is sophistry and subterfuge. Religion in a free, democratic nation can only inform personal acts of morality. If one does not like same-sex marriage, for example, he or she do not have to have one.
However, personal beliefs do not give one the right to be judgmental and discriminatory while on the public clock. These bigots should have no say in the matter and simply do their jobs, as what spouse one chooses is none of their damn business. It is amazing how badly some people want to impose their morality and control other people.
I agree. I work in a business that didnt used to have Sunday hours. Now we do. A very religious employee said she couldnt work on Sundays and instead stamping her feet and threating to go to the union or the press, she rightly and wisely found another job and resigned from our company. Ditto for government employees. If you cant marry same-gendered couples, tough shit! Get the hell out and find employment elsewhere.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/21/2008 3:07 PM
And isn't that public official also the offical of some very conservative people who also contirbute to the paycheck? Allowing someone to not participate is acceptable. Besides why would you want a bigot offciating at a very important event for you. As generations expire and new people fill those positions (just as it was from the 50's to the 70's) things will change. So what, this is a battle we don't need to spend resources on.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/21/2008 6:35 PM
When it comes to government paid employment, be it at the federal, state or city level, jobs that are paid by the tax payer, then one's religious beliefs have no part in the workplace. Would a vegan waiter have the right to refuse to serve meat fish or chicken to a customer? Of course not, he'd lose his or her job, the comparisons are endless. Bigotry and religious beliefs belong in the home, not in the workplace, both are chosen "lifestyles" after all and not state sanctioned either. Its one thing to have freedom of religion but we also have a right to be free from it, especially in the workplace and in government. Nobody should be above the law, religious or not.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
5/22/2008 8:08 AM
My personal religion says work is immoral. It is my right to stay on the couch eating oreos all day.
posted by Eshto, at
5/22/2008 8:28 PM