KIOWA, Co. — A prominent professing atheist group is taking issue with a poster quoting a Scripture about marriage that is displayed at a county clerk’s office in Colorado.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent email correspondence to several county clerks and two state lawmakers who had been discussing in an email chain this summer how those with religious objections to same-sex “marriage” should proceed with handling the issuance of licenses.
As part of the discussion, Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder explained that he had a poster created last year that cites a Scripture about marriage. The poster partially quotes from I Corinthians 7:2, and reads, “…let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
“I talked with a local artist, who is also a Christian, and he created a beautiful poster which I have had hanging for about a year,” Schroeder replied in the group message. “There is no way to miss it if you are in for a marriage license. It is a picture of a bride standing on a hill with the groom walking up the hill to meet her.”
“I am not denying anyone service,” he said. “My thought process is that they have to see the poster and if they choose to violate God’s written word, then that is on their head. I have warned them.”
FFRF recently sent a letter of complaint to those involved in the conversation, not only to contend that the clerks “must issue licenses to gay couples whatever [their] personal religion,” but to also assert that Schroeder’s poster is unlawful.
“Mr. Schroeder is displaying words from his religion’s holy book to issue a religious warning to all citizens in a government building,” wrote staff attorney Andrew Seidel, according to a news release about the matter. “This is unconstitutional.”
“Mr. Schroeder is abusing a public office to further his personal religion,” he said.
But Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap is rejecting FFRF’s argument, and has refused to listen to the group’s complaint.
“These conversations are initiated to pervert the truth and do whatever is necessary to get the results you want,” Heap replied.
“I’m going to get back to work and I’m going leave the cross in my office, the Bible on my desk and I support the clerk’s constitutional rights,” he proclaimed.