Judge Refuses to Lift Injunction on Law Protecting Clerks Who Decline to Issue ‘Gay Marriage’ Licenses

two-menJACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by Barack Obama is refusing to lift his injunction against Mississippi’s Freedom of Conscience Act, requiring clerks within the state to issue “gay marriage” licenses despite their religious convictions.

“Issuing a marriage license to a gay couple is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion,” Judge Carlton Reeves wrote on Friday. “To the extent the preliminary injunction will help alleviate the damage wrought on this State by an HB 1523-caused economic boycott, moreover, that too supports denying a stay of the injunction.”

As previously reported, in April, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law H.B. 1523, also known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act. It was sharply criticized homosexual and transgender advocates.

“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that: marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth,” the legislation, authored by House Speaker Phillip Gunn, reads.

The bill prohibits the government from punishing those who decline to officiate same-sex ceremonies or provide services or accommodations for the celebrations, as well as those whose policies require use of locker and restrooms consistent with their biological gender.

It does not permit persons to refuse service in general, but only to decline forms of personal participation in events that conflict with their faith.

But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a legal challenge over the matter, representing two homosexual men—Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas—who called the law a “slap in the face” to their plans to tie the knot.

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“H.B. 1523 has no rightful place in Mississippi or in our history books, and we’re hopeful this lawsuit can stop as much of it as possible before it goes into effect,” ACLU attorney Josh Block said in a statement.

In June, Reeves struck down part of H.B. 1523, while leaving the rest of the law intact. He issued an order stating that all 82 county clerks must issue same-sex “marriage” licenses to homosexuals despite their religious beliefs, opining that an opt-out would run contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges.

The state then asked Reeves to issue a stay of his order while the matter moves forward in court, but he refused.

“A Mississippian—or a religious entity for that matter—holding any of the beliefs set out for special protection in [HB 1523] may invoke existing protections for religious liberty, including Mississippi’s Constitution, Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the First Amendment to the United State Constitution,” he wrote on Friday. “HB 1523’s absence does not impair the free exercise of religion.”

The case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.


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  • Michael D Coxie

    got news for ya if it’s out there and people are talking about it uh…. TOO LATE….. it’s made history folks.

    • Amos Moses

      ???

  • james blue

    Clerks should issue any government document, permit or license to all who qualify regardless of their personal beliefs.
    if they are unable to carry out the duties of their office because those duties conflict with their faith they should seek employment elsewhere.

    In the private sector if a person self employed they should be legally allowed to refuse to do business with whomever they wish for whatever reason. A christian photographer shouldn’t have to do gay weddings, but employers should not be required by law to accommodate our faith and if he was employed by a company that does cater gay weddings he should do the gig or find employment elsewhere.

    • sangrita

      Thank you James. Finally a Christian who GETS it.

      • klgrube

        No they should not! The First Amendment to the Constitution is clear that the state cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. That includes being able to say no to being forced by the state, even if the state is your employer, to undertake acts that violate the clearly stated tenets of your faith. PERIOD! It’s the Constitution, and even the state can’t violate it. The judge was just plain wrong.

        • Robert

          A clerk acting in their official capacity is not exercising their freedom of religion. They are issuing, on behalf of the state (not a church), a secular legal document. No one is forcing the clerk to personally endorse the marriag. In any case, taxpayers are entitled to equal treatment by all state employees serving them.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    So sad. Americans should never be made bend their conscience under any circumstance. Today, USA is just another human rights abuser. No Christianity = No freedom. USA is no exception.

    • sangrita

      Human rights are what is being upheld here, not abused.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Human rights function properly only under Christianity because those are based on the Holy Bible. Western secularism pushes blasphemy, infanticide, and Sodomy, and suicide.

        • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz Chuck Anziulewicz

          So you think Gay taxpayers should help subsidize the paychecks of the very same people who would deny us marriage licenses?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Same-sex “marriage” license is a falsehood. Marriage is only between one man and one woman according to God’s Word. Anything else is not marriage; if anything else is called marriage, everything else would be categorized as marriage and the meaning of “marriage” itself will be gone. Immoral Secular West has been wasting the Christians’ tax money the most for some decades; it kept funding blasphemy and infanticide and sexual perversion against the Christians’ will.

            It is wrong for a nation to force anyone to conduct falsehood. There is no liberty in such place. The bored West is trying to find a new group for bullying this century – this time the Christians. You guys need something serious to live for instead of partying like madmen for-ever on a dying planet. I feel sorry for the America forefathers of yesteryears who toiled for Sodom’s establishment on earth instead of a civilized Christendom they dreamed. Listen to the Christian leaders in the land. USA is altogether meaningless if it has no Christian morality; secular USA only spreads deadly immorality and not liberty.

          • StillBetter&Better

            Still shilling hate, eh little beast?

          • sangrita

            Chuck Anziulewicz asked you a question, and you responded with your usual tired old platitudes. Clearly a same-sex marriage license isn’t a falsehood if someone’s been given one. Can you just answer his question?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Same-sex marriage license is a falsehood that exists. The God-given definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. Period. Christians pay for everyone who does not believe the same way. LGBT people should do the same. No one must try to bend one’s conscience with falsehood. Your cultural problem is putting the truth and falsehood together in the same category. A culture is not a standard; the Word of God is.

          • Tangent002

            Actually, in America the law is the standard. You can holler all you want about it not being a marriage in the eyes of God, but same-sex marriage is legal. Get over it.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            America became insane by applying racial equality upon sexual immorality. You guys will be forever racists and slave owners and slaves if you don’t follow the Holy Bible. American missionaries gave the copies of the Holy Bible so that the world will not be enslaved by the Western pervs. You guys are being bored from having a full-stomach for the longest time. No submission to bored rich pervs. The Western immorality is the lawlessness. People have rights to morality.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            *facepalm**shakes head* Seriously? You really need to get a life. What you ramble about is so ridiculous, I can only laugh. Good thing not everyone is like you.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Secular West has no children of its own; that’s why the culture does not care about the future and corrupts the population as much as possible. It’s a natural course.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            Secular West has no children of its own

            Uhm, enough kids running around here.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Collapse of family unit brought child-abuse by forcing immorality upon the children. That’s part of the reason God punishes civilizations.

          • Snooterpoot

            I am so frightened of people like you who, without the Bible, would run around stealing and murdering people and raping people because without it you would be savages.

            You don’t know Jesus. You hide behind him to justify your hatred and vitriol. Shame on you. I can assure you that he is not proud of you or of people like you.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Mankind is savages without the Holy Bible. Pre-christian civilizations are illiterate and oppress women and children and Ex-christian secular nations kill unborn children and force Sodomy.

          • Snooterpoot

            What utter nonsense. Some Christians, and you are one of them, are savages who use the Bible as a weapon against people who don’t meet your approval.

            The Bible says God is love. Jesus commanded us to love. As Christians, we don’t have another job. God reserves judgment for himself. You should stop judging and stop hating. When you do, you can walk into the warm and glorious light of God’s love.

          • Snooterpoot

            So, Solomon’s hundreds of wives were not sanctioned by God? No Biblical polygamous marriages were valid.

            You’re guilty of proof texting.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Solomon’s many wives made him sin. God established marriage between one man and one woman and Jesus confirmed it. No other standard is valid according to the Holy Bible. (Genesis ch. 1,2 and Matthew ch.19)

          • Snooterpoot

            Jesus said nothing about marriage. Perhaps you are confusing him with Paul.

            Jesus did, however, specifically address divorce. Do you condemn people who are divorced?

          • Robert

            Don’t purport to speak on behalf of anyone but yourself that the USA has “Christian” morality. The Declaration of Independence speaks in the language of natural rights, not “Christendom” as your falsely assert.

          • klgrube

            Find someone or somewhere else to get your license. No big deal. I’m sure there would be lots of clerks who wouldn’t have a problem with you.

          • Robert

            Separate but equal was thrown out about half a century ago. But I guess it’s still okay for the gays in your world?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Sin has no equality with anything. Sin is slavery. All Earthlings need the Holy Bible for human rights, equality, and wholesome morality. The West has only immorality if it has no Bible.

          • Snooterpoot

            Matthew 25:35-40

            Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
            36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
            37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
            38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
            39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
            40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

            It is no different. Jesus was pretty clear about it.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Christians have been doing it for 2,000 years. Read Matthew ch.5-7. God’s will for man is holiness. Secular Western culture oppresses Christians for opposing slavery of sins this century.

          • Snooterpoot

            Your comments have become incoherent, and your theology is not Biblically sound.

            It is obvious to me that you prefer to wallow in hatred and ignorance than to be a true follower of Jesus.

            I won’t waste any more of my time with you. Frankly, you aren’t worthy of the time I’ve given already.

            Goodbye.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are not Christian and that’s your problem.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            Speak for yourself, thank you.

          • Snooterpoot

            I served my country as a federal civil servant for more than 30 years. I was an IT Support Specialist, and if I had refused to assist any person because of my religious beliefs I would have been fired, and rightly so.

            If these clerks refuse to serve all constituents equally then they should either resign or be fired.

            Like it or not, citizens who are homosexual pay taxes, therefore paying these clerks’ salaries, and they must not be treated as second class citizens.

            Would you feel the same if a clerk who is an atheist refused to issue marriage licenses to Christians? I’m guessing you wouldn’t.

          • LadyInChrist♥BlessedBeTheLord

            He wants to hurt and destroy the lives of everyone who will deny him because it goes against their belief. Instead of finding someone who will.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            What if you live in a small village/town and the next large town where you could get a license is about let’s say, 2 hours drive? For some people it’s a very big deal.

    • Robert

      No one is forcing anyone to bend their conscience.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        The Western culture persecutes the Christians for opposing Sodomy. The West funds immorality around the world. Non-believers with no child of their own do not cherish the future. A pattern. That’s what’s happening in the secular West.

        • Snooterpoot

          Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

          Now, what was that about Sodomy again? According to Ezekiel all of you who refuse to help the poor are committing Sodomy.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Read Jude ch.1 and Romans ch.1 and Leviticus ch.1 and Genesis ch.19. Sodom’s sin is indeed abnormal sexuality as well. Read the entire Bible.

          • Snooterpoot

            Why are you obsessed with the sexual activities of strangers? That seems pretty creepy to me.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Secular West forces Sodomy upon poor nations and enslaves global population with immorality. Human rights abuses being done by immoral West should be addressed properly. Childless West plans to destroy healthy people on earth. Ex-christian culture has no sense at all. The West needs Christianity for truth, salvation, life, and morality.

          • Snooterpoot

            Get help. Your obsession with other people’s sexual activities is creepy and treatable.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Western children need rescue from the Western pervs.

  • StillBetter&Better

    Good!

  • Tangent002

    If you are unable to treat all citizens equally then maybe civil service is not your best career choice.

  • Gena B

    Assuming there is more than one clerk working just hand the form to the other employee, people in every job pass on the stuff to others they don’t want to deal with..big deal.

    • Robert

      Passing undesirable work on and intentionally denying service for unlawfully discriminatory reasons are very different things.

  • Boo

    Good. Hypocrites forcing their personal views on on everyone else deserve to be stopped. How would these hypocrites feel if the were denied fishing or gun or driving licenses based on the clerks personal opinions? Do not like performing the functions of your job then get a new job.

    • Tangent002

      Imagine the hue and cry if a vegan refused to issue hunting licenses!

  • C_Alan_Nault

    one man one woman.
    Frank Dorka this means you too

  • Susan

    Man can make all the laws he desires but Christians who study, believe and live the word of God know that God is the one in which we obey. When the fight about if homosexuals had the right to marry, it was suggested that they could call it a “civil union” and get the same benefits as those that are “married.” It would then not offend Christians who believe marriage was created by God between one man and one woman. But the gay community (whom in the beginning wanted marriage so they could have the same benefits as a married couple) refused it to be titled “civil union.” So, it had nothing to do with being able to have a spouse, nor having the benefits because “civil union” would have covered both of those desires. It was, and indeed is a war against the Word of God. Let man do what he wills because Gods promise is coming and he wins!! Christians may have to live in this world but we are not of this world.