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View Diary: MD County Clerk reassigns deputies so they won't have to marry gay couples (258 comments)

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  •  I would suggest that none of the instances cited (11+ / 0-)

    were directly applicable. They pertain mainly to capacity to perform duties or hours of work, or religious dress. They do not pertain to accommodations based upon their interactions with third parties and with the dispensing of services to one class of citizens but not to another class of citizens.

    •  The law rarely has situations that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cks175, winsock, MRA NY, Justanothernyer

      are exactly the same as those that come before.  That is what keeps all of us lawyers employed.  

      Instead, the law takes principles -- like "sincerely held" "religious beliefs" and "reasonable accommodation" -- and applies them to new situations as they arise.  

      I am not aware of any situation where an employee who had a religious belief against same-sex marriage and was denied a reasonable accommodation, and challenged it in court.  That's the only way you'd know for sure what the "correct" answer is.  

      What I'm saying is that this particular solution seems like the best solution for everybody under the principles of the Civil Rights laws -- it's the best thing for the Clerk of Court, for the employees, and for the couples seeking to be married.  And, as an added bonus, it avoids the possibility of those religious employees suing under the Civil Rights laws.  No employer wants that, even if the employer thinks he/she will ultimately win.  

      •  Interracial marriage was a religious issue (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, Smoh, skrekk, madhaus

        and why should it matter how many people are in your religion for it to matter?

        For example, if I have my own personal religious beliefs why  would they be any less respected by my government than those of some larger religion.

        This whole argument is nonsense.

        •  There's a whole body of law on what (0+ / 0-)

          constitutes a "religious belief."  As I said elsewhere, if this matter ever came to litigation, those bringing a lawsuit would have to prove a "sincerely held" "religious belief" under the law.  

          The Clerk avoided problems, or even potential litigation, but taking the kind of action that has generally been seen to be "reasonable accommodation" under the Civil Rights laws.

          •  There are two legal issues at odds here (0+ / 0-)

            Sincere religious belief versus discrimination against those seeking public services.  None of your examples address the conflict of rights, only the accommodation for belief.  The Walden case is not for a government agency so they are different issues.  Furthermore counseling is a very different service than a clerk processing paperwork, as it requires the former to empathize with the clients or the work cannot be done effectively.

            Here are some examples of what would constitute the same issues as the Maryland clerk's office.

            Can a city building inspector refuse to certify mosques because he sincerely believes they are an invalid religion and God will strike the building down, causing death and destruction to innocent neighbors?

            Can an Orthodox Jewish county health inspector refuse to certify non-kosher restaurants because they are unclean per Leviticus?

            Can a Saudi-American DMV clerk refuse to grant any women a drivers license per Wahhabist teachings?

            Can a Wiccan public high school principal refuse to allow male students to take certain subjects because such knowledge is "inappropriate to their nature"?

            Can a Creationist public school teacher refuse to accept science papers about evolution because they affront her view of the world?

            Can a Catholic state meat inspector refuse to license stores that thwart teachings and sell meat on Fridays?

            Can an atheist family court judge refuse custody to any religious parents because they are, in her sincere belief, harming the child's worldview?

            I'm sure people can come up with more examples where someone's beliefs may be sincerely held, but shouldn't be acted upon because they would harm members of the public in doing so.

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