Court asks County to pay discriminating Christian

An article from the Register Guard of Eugine, Oregon features a story about a county clerk who lost her job after refusing to sign documents allowing gays to live together legally.

Kathy Slater was an 11-year county clerk’s office employee when she was fired in 2008 for refusing to accept domestic partnership declarations and issue certificates of registered domestic partnership to applicants.

The case unfolded as the county was preparing clerks to begin registering such partners under the Oregon Family Fairness Act passed by the 2007 state Legislature. Domestic partnership confers some of the same legal recognition and rights as marriages of couples who register.

Slater had asked to be exempted from the new duty, based on the fact that she was a “Christian” with the “bona fide and sincerely held religious belief that domestic partnerships are a sin,”

The County reports that over the course of two years, 26 of these documents were filed and they only take 10 minutes fill out. The article also states that of the five people left working in that department, only two worked on these things. It’s not clear if the other three would have cited religious grounds as their reasons for not processing them but it was Slater’s opinion that she should have been able to pass on the papers for that reason and not have it be that big a deal. It’s not like they’d never get processed. She’d just never have to be the one to do it. The judge agreed with her.

“So long as the registration is processed in a timely fashion, the registrants have suffered no injury,” Coffin wrote. “There is no reason to even inform them of Ms. Slater’s religious views or the county’s accommodation of those beliefs.”

The county is paying her a settlement of $145,000 to cover lost wages and “allegedly violating her rights and causing her emotional distress and pain.” They’re also being made to rewrite her employment record so it states she was made redundant, not fired because of a desire to avoid dealing with homosexuals, or whatever wording might have been there before.

Her lawyer got some tips from the Alliance Defense Fund, a group always on the lookout for perceived persecution cases and issues where “family values” (as defined by “proper” Christians) come under fire. Jim Campbell is an attorney with the group.

“Ms. Slater’s case was not an isolated incident,” he said. A dozen Massachusetts justices of the peace resigned after the governor told them they had an obligation to perform same-sex marriages, he said, and adoption workers lost their jobs when Catholic charities there shut down their programs because they refused to place adoptive children with same-sex couples.

May 17th marks the day in Massachusetts where JPs will have to comply with the new state law. If their religion matters more than doing their job, then yes, they should go and find new jobs. They can bitch if they want, but the times they are a changin’.

Catholic adoption agencies have been fighting for years to avoid giving kids to same sex couples. The fact that they would shut down to avoid it shows they don’t really care much about making sure all kids get a good home life. The continued assumption that two homosexuals can’t provide that is complete and utter bullshit. Illinois just shot down a bill that would have let religious agencies deny same-sex couples the right to adopt or foster. And that state’s new civil union law goes into effect on June 1st.

This is why it’s so important to keep religion out of government and law. There’s no decent reason to keep denying rights to same-sex couples or demand they be childless. The only reasons that come up are tied to biblical verses, not case studies or history. They don’t have a logical leg to stand on. All they have are their religious ideologies and beliefs about sin and perceived morality. Those are not reasons to keep people from being married or keep kids from having families. It’s all so ridiculous and sad.


Edit April 18/11 – fixed a blockquote problem. Memo to self: check work more carefully.

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5 Responses to Court asks County to pay discriminating Christian

  1. jonolan says:

    You make the same “mistakes” as all the Godless and the Pro Queer people residing within the borders of America do.

    The Catholics DO care; they care a great deal. They, however, do not believe that queers can provide a good home for children. Since they care, they fight against being forced to place children in such homes.

    You can, with some small amount of factuality, claim some of their fears are misplaced. It specious though to claim that they don’t care about the children.

    As for the clerk though – she broke the law and needs to be punished for it. She’s bloody stupid too since civil unions are no part of any religion and are solely secular in nature.

  2. 1minionsopinion says:

    Their reasoning is based on a faith, a doctrine, a belief and a fear that children raised in a same-sex situation will grow up to be gay, or will be victims of sex abuse or godless or whatever.

    I know they care about the kids. Of course they care. That said, I think there’s an assumption that kids put in those situations will somehow be more at risk than any other child they adopt out. Why would that be true and enough of a reason to say no? Do they have any statistics they can draw on to back that up or are they just touting their “right” to be prejudiced?

    Kids they place in heterosexual families still run the “risk” of growing up gay, for example, since it’s biological. There’s still a chance there will be abuse. There is still a chance they’ll grow up to be godless.

    They don’t have a decent case beyond their notion of a sin.

  3. jonolan says:

    They have studies and statistics to back up their concerns – and pro-Queer factions have studies and statistics to refute those concerns. Since there’s no such thing as an objective study on issues such as this, one set of studies is about as likely to be valid as another IMHO.

    For myself, I think they’re over concerned. While I wouldn’t place a child with homosexuals if there were heterosexual adoptive couples available, I would do so if there weren’t.

    I’m not Christian though, so my concerns are a bit different.

  4. Bee says:

    I don’t particularly think the notion is not to grant same-sex persons children because they are gay, or because the children might be at risk of any form of danger. I think they look at the needs of a child….which is to have a stable upbringing with a father and a mother (which you lack in a same-sex marriage). There are certain values and things that a child learns from each parent. Not only does a son learn how to be a man from his father, but he also learns a lot from his mother. Not only does a daughter learn from her mother how to be a good mother, housekeeper, cook, seemstress etc, but she also learns from her father certain things. I feel a child has to be brought up with both as without one or the other he/she will be handicapped in his/her views on life. No gay man, irrespective of how feminine he is, can teach the things of a woman as only a woman can, and no woman, no matter how butch she is, can teach the things of a man or as a man can. It is important that a child grows up with the right perspective as seen and learned from being brought up with a mother and father.

    As for the Clerk, that someone says she broke the law and should be punished for it??? WAKE UP!! She went against her EMPLOYERS instructions, she didn’t break any law. And personally I applaud her for standing up for something she believes in.

    Does not the USA ANTHEM say:
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Does not the UK ANTHEM say:
    O lord God arise,
    Scatter our enemies,
    And make them fall!
    Confound their knavish tricks,
    Confuse their politics,
    On you our hopes we fix,
    God save the Queen!

    We all sing our anthems saying we trust in God, asking God to help our nations, but what happens when God tells us to do something???…..we are quick to say “up yours!”. I take my hat off to that clerk, for not only singing her anthem, but believing in what she sings, and fighting for it. She is braver than anyone else singing that anthem and then turn around and say its bullshit. Perhaps we must look at ourselves and see what hypocrites we are, claiming in our NATIONAL ANTHEMS to be God-fearing people, when in actual fact the second a true God-fearing person stands up for their believes, we shoot them down!!!

  5. 1minionsopinion says:

    The American national anthem started off as a drinking song. They added those almost unsingable lyrics later.

    Interesting point about kids flourishing with input from different kinds of parents. Still, I think it’s a bad idea to assume that two men or two women can’t provide a kid with that kind of well-rounded upbringing. A lot of heterosexual parents barely put the effort in, you know. If a same-sex couple is committed to being the best damn parents any kid would dream of having, then why do there still need to be obstacles?

    We are all individuals with our own skills and talents and interests that we bring into relationships, as romantic partners or friends. There are women who love to play sports as much as there are men who like cleaning and cooking. Even in heterosexual couples there are guys who’ll clean the stove and do laundry. The idea that interests and abilities must be genderised in order to be proper is pretty outdated.

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