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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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  •  Regarding whether EEOC makes allowances for this, (4+ / 0-)

    there have been identical cases in states like NY where clerks have made EEOC claims and to date they've gone nowhere.

    That said, a clerk or county administrator is free to make such job reassignments.    Personally I wouldn't hire someone who can't fulfill a job function, and I'd fire someone who chose not to fulfill that function.

    •  In a purely private business setting a voluntary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, madhaus

      accommodation, even if it offends some customers, is a business decision. As long as whatever religious belief was not actively offensive or could be isolated from other employees and customers I'd expect courts to side with the employee. That is where garb, prayer times and holiday leave comes into play. It would be entirely different if an employee in a restaurant refused to serve customers food without praying over it as employee's right to belief stops with a customer's peaceful meal.

      The issue to me here is whether that clerk, by appearing to endorse prejudicial religious views counter to the state's law and policy for a function of that office, has crossed another line. Has the public support for employees, previously doing a function now wanting to be removed for prejudicial religious reasons, created a "hostile environment" in that public and civil office for citizens toward which such prejudice is commonly directed?

      Realistically the clerk may be something of a victim here. In skating to avoid a possible EEOC lawsuit she may have skated onto thin ice elsewhere. I'd love to hear discussions in ACLU on which side to take!

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:03:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm thinking that while the Maryland marriage (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WheninRome, madhaus

        equality law's provision for a clergy exemption was legally completely unnecessary (although probably required politically to gain passage) and redundant of the 1st Amendment, what's really needed is a state law which says that no public employee can discriminate in their job against any class covered under state or federal non-discrimination law and retain their job, regardless of the stated reason.

        It seems to me that the clerk's actions (and the sentiments of her deputies) is in direct conflict with Maryland's non-discrimination statute, and the teeth in the law need to be stronger.

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