BARKER, N.Y.—Although much of New York State has rejoiced at the passage of a new law, the Marriage Equality Act, legalizing same-sex marriage, the town board of Barker was stunned to learn, on July 11, that that law had claimed its first 'victim': Laura Fotusky, the 56-year-old town clerk, who handed in her resignation on that date, stating that it would be "against God" for her to sign a marriage license for a gay couple.
"I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible..." Fotusky stated in her resignation letter. "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... I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure. Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21," three days before the new marriage law is due to take effect.
See, although the law contains an exemption "protecting" clergy from having to perform same-sex weddings, and houses of worship from having to host such weddings or their receptions, apparently the legislature failed to include language to protect the "little people": Wedding photographers, caterers ... and justices of the peace who might be called upon to officiate at such ceremonies, and town clerks like Fotusky, who might be called upon to actually sign their names to marriage licenses for gays.
One can only imagine the horror Fotusky and her fundamentalist fellow clerks would have to go through were they required to find the signature line on the license, pick up a pen and trace out the letters of their own names on a document that, instead of naming one male and one female "as God intended," named two women or two men as "the betrothed." Indeed, in late June, Barbara MacEwen, the clerk of Volney, a tiny town about 10 miles from Lake Erie, announced that she too was determined not to sign such licenses, but eventually agreed simply to let her less-bigoted deputies do the signings.
Of course, although "God" being against same-sex marriage is an axiom of fundamentalist Christians and orthodox Jews, there is in fact nothing in the Bible that states that, although the website ReligiousTolerance.org has identified the seven portions of that text most commonly cited by religious bigots as "evidence" of such a ban. A few of those are worth looking at more closely.
Genesis 19, for example, relates the story of Lot, whom the Bible elsewhere describes as a "righteous man," who finds himself the host of two angels who've come to stay at his house in Sodom—and he soon finds the house surrounded by townspeople who demand, "Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them!" (Of course, in the Bible, to "know" somebody means to fuck them.) This demand apparently is the impetus for God to smite (destroy) the city, sparing only Lot and his family ... but there's a few other things that go on in that chapter before we get to the smiting.
Take verse 8 of this chapter, where Lot's barred his door against the mob, but calls out to them, "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing." Got that? Lot offered the mob his two virgin daughters to do whatever the crowd wanted with them, as long as they left his guests alone. The mob refused the offer, but that doesn't say much about the "righteous" Lot, does it? But wait, it gets better!
Try verses 30-36, which tell of Lot and the daughters (his wife was turned into a pillar of salt earlier in the chapter) living in a mountain cave in Zoar: "And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father."In other words, "Our dad is such a great guy, let's get him drunk, fuck him and get pregnant by him"—and sure enough, that's exactly what they do! And guess who doesn't get smote by God for any of this crap?
Perhaps the most common quote is from Leviticus 18, verse 22: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." Trouble is, as far as Leviticus is concerned, a lot of stuff is "an abomination": Uncovering pretty much anybody's "nakedness," but particularly women (verses 6-19—apparently there was a lot of potential nakedness in those days); fucking the neighbor's wife (verse 20); and fucking animals (verse 23). So apparently, God is an equal opportunity abominator, yet in Leviticus 20, God commands that not only should gays ("a man [who] lieth with mankind, as he lieth with a woman") be put to death, but also everyone who swears at his mom or dad, or who fucks another man's wife—both the fucker and the fuckee get the ultimate shaft here—or who fucks his daughter-in-law (death sentences for both of them as well), or if he fucks a "beast"—yet none of these religious folks are calling for the heads of serial adulterers Newt Gingrich or David Vitter ... or even toe-tappin' Larry Craig!
A couple of other chapters claim that gays will go to hell when they die (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Jude 1:7); that having gay sex makes people "filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" (Romans 1:29-31) (sounds like a lot of Republicans we know); and even that "the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient [like] them that defile themselves with mankind" (1 Timothy 1:9-10).
So just imagine how much of that crap would fall on the head of Laura Fotusky if she didn't give up her $24,205 a year job and signed same-sex marriage licenses!
So just know that we're with ya, Laura—and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!