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NY Gay Marriage Protest: 2 Town Clerks Resign

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 20, 2011 9:46 AM

Protest in New York over the gay marriage laws have taken on a different spin: two New York clerks have resigned their posts in anticipation of the new same-sex marriage law.

For 10 years, Rosemary Centi was the official marriage officer in Guilderland, New York. In Barker, New York, Laura Fotusky had served as the town clerk.

Both women cite their resignation as a result of their religious views, which stand in opposition to the New York same sex marriage law. The law becomes effective July 24, reports The Christian Post.

Centi will no longer be the marriage officer, but will remain as the town clerk where she will continue to issue licenses to all eligible couples. She will no longer marry couples, reports The Christian Post.

Clearly, while the New York same-sex marriage law has passed, the debate over same-sex marriage is far from over. Kathleen Rice, District Attorney for Nassau County on Long Island, said in a statement last week that clerks need to follow the letter of the law, which would include handing out gay marriage licenses and officiating gay marriages if that is what they do. She also warned that some could face criminal prosecution if they decide to go against the law, reports The Christian Post.

The Act does allow for some protections for religious organizations to refuse to perform gay marriages, reports The Christian Post. But, the Act did not contain provisions that would specifically protect individuals.

However, the provisions protecting religious organizations were already in existence. They are generally protected under the First Amendment.

The New York gay marriage protest may soon come to a head. While only two New York clerks have resigned thus far, many believe that more resignations are about to come, reports The New York Times.

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