Some Resistance To Same-Sex Marriage Continues In Maryland
ST. MARY's COUNTY, MD -- The Chief Clerk of the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County, Maryland announced Thursday that a few of her deputy clerks were opposed to the state's new law legalising same-sex marriage based on their religious convictions.
Joan Williams told LGBTQNation that as a result, those clerks will no longer perform marriages as soon as the new law takes effect next Wednesday, January second. According to Williams, she felt that she could respect their religious beliefs while still maintaining her office's ability to carry out its legally defined functions.
"There are some persons in my office that have voiced some opposition to performing same-sex marriage ceremonies -- their religious feelings about the subject are strong ... so it's basically my idea that they won't do any marriage at all," she said.
"Some people are just very against same-sex marriages, and I have to respect their reasons and their decisions."
Although there was opposition in St. Mary's County, other municipalities and government offices across Maryland have embraced the change in the state's laws concerning same-sex couples. Loretta E. Knight, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County in suburban Washington D. C. acknowledged that her office already had six same-sex couples lined up for January 2 to receive their marriage licences.
Carrie Evans, the Executive Director of Equality Maryland, a LGBTQ equality rights organisation based in Baltimore noted that in her opinion, there appears to be nothing discriminatory about changing the policies in the circuit court offices as to which deputy clerks perform marriages.