On Same-Sex Marriage, Cuomo Says Clerks Have To Follow The Law


Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded this afternoon to news that the town clerk of Barker, Broome County, resigned because she didn’t want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying that clerks need to follow the law or leave office.

“The law is the law. When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get pick and choose which laws,” Cuomo said after signing into law the texting-while-driving ban. “You don’t get to say, ‘I like this law, I’ll enforce this law. I don’t like this law, I won’t enforce this law.’ You can’t do that. So if you can’t enforce the law, then you shouldn’t be in that position.”

Cuomo also responded to reports of protests in advance of same-sex marriage becoming legal on July 24. He said people have a right to object to the law, but to him it’s a matter of equal rights for all New Yorkers.

“We had this debate. We talked about it at length,” Cuomo said. “I understand the opposition, and I understand both sides of the argument.”

Meanwhile, the clerk, Laura Fotusky gave an interview to the Press & Sun-Bulletin this afternoon, saying she spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best course for herself.

“I feel like the personal rights of our people in this nation and in this state have not been protected so that we can stand by our religious convictions and do we feel is right before God, and I had to choose between my God and my job,” Fotusky said today. “It was a struggle for me. It’s taken a little while for me to be able to research everything and whether there was any provision for me to still be able to stay and still keep my regard for my moral conscience. But I am not able to. I am not protected enough for me to be able to stay. So I’ve made my choice, and no one means to me what Jesus means.”


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  1. Too bad Ms. Fotusky’s understanding of Jesus is that he stood for the marginalization and mistreatment of minorities. It baffles me how celebrating the love and commitment of two people for one another is supposed to be anything other than honoring to God.

  2. Bob Dellacona on

    Same old same old Christian claptrap. I’m tired of hearing it. Love Jesus and hate your fellow humans. Of course, that’s what your Jesus preached – but not mine. Above all else, love thy neighbor. That’s going to get you a great seat in heaven Miss Fotusky. You’re in for a big surprise when you finally meet your maker.

  3. How hyprocritical of Cuomo to say you can’t pick and choose which laws to follow, and he is a cafeteria Catholic, who picks and chooses whioch teachings he wants to follow. There is excellent commentary on this issue by and others by Deacon Dan Gannon at http://www.catholicurrent.com/index.html#/.

  4. My sincere sympathies to Ms. Fotusky because I suspect that she will have to seek employnment that doesn’t offend her conscience. When in Rome….. etc. However, that holds true for Cuomo, too regarding the Ctaholic church… when in the church, one does as the church requires or one should leave. No one makes anyone stay in the church. No one makes Cuomo stay in the church. The bishops need to enforce the canon. The enforcement of Canon 915 will declare to all Catholics that politicians do not dictate church doctrine. By the way… Canon 915 is not about excommunication! It is about the reception of the Holy Eucharist only.

  5. Just because someone believes that the homosexual inclination is morally disordered does not mean that they lack any love or compassion for people with this inclination!? We faithful Catholic Christians will never back down on stating that homosexuality is a disordered state. And we will never stop praying for the disordered morality of ALL people, ourselves included!

    Everyone of us are sinners, we all have aspects of ourselves that are morally disordered. This is what we Christians stand for….the TRUTH. You can try to pull the wool over our eyes but by God’s grace we’ll never ever join you.

    Good for Laura Fotusky! When you stand up for the God’s truths and are persecuted for loving God this way our Lord surely blesses such crosses.

    For all of you that can’t see how the homosexual inclination is a disordered state…shame on you! You don’t need to be religious to understand this truth, NATURE testifies to this truth!
    But….as Saint Thomas Aquinas once stated “sin clouds the intellect” and it appears that so many Americans have “foggy” brains today.
    We must pray harder fellow Christians and never, ever back down from God’s truth. He will protect us, even if we must be martyred.

  6. Governor Cuomo is pretty solid on telling those that issue marriage licenses that they must follow the law or leave office. I suggest the governor follow his own advice. He publicly claims to be a Catholic. But Catholic law (doctrine) condemns homosexual relationships as disordered. When can I expect the governor to follow his own advice and resign from the Catholic Church?

  7. She did the right thing by resigning her position gracefully rather than making a big legal stink about it. After all, she wasn’t getting her paycheck from her church, she was getting it from the government. And New York’s government says that marriage certificates are just as legal for Gay couples as they are for Straight couples. Part of her job description is to sign marriage certificates for couples who are allowed to legally marry. If she can’t do the job she was hired to do, she needs to look for a new job.

  8. Inconsistency from Cuomo the hypocrite. He runs roughshod over the laws of the Church then has the audacity to present himself for Communion and call himself Catholic.

    Similar to the silly advice he puts forth to his clerks, Cuomo either needs to get his mind right or stop pretending to be Catholic.

  9. Apparently some people don’t remember when John F. Kennedy was running for President, and, because he was a Roman Catholic, one of the big issues for many Americans was that the U.S. would be ruled by the Papacy in Vatican City.

    Neither the State of New York nor the United States of America are ruled by the Roman Catholic Church, nor by any other religious organization.

    If Governor Cuomo’s church deems his position on gay marriage to be untenable, they have the right to excommunicate him. Other than that, it’s nobody’s business.

  10. You’re right. NYS is not run by the Vatican. It is run by municipal and school unions.

  11. The “Roman Catholic Church”, whether you believe it or not, is God’s Church. God’s vessel on earth that, guided by the Holy Spirit, will always teach perfectly on issues of faith and morals.

    You can dream that the State of New York or any country is free from theses teachings but it’s nothing but your own fairy tale. When your heart beats its last you will know that God’s precepts should have been followed by all countries, all states and ALL men & women. If you live your life ignoring or denying this truth you risk everything. And I mean everything, because when time & space give way to eternity, our little lives will appear as a passing shadow.

    Pray fervently for God’s help. I’m confident that He will help us all to see and understand…so that we can ALL make choices that are founded on His divine wisdom.

    If you actually think that Govenor Cuomo’s vote is nobody’s business, you are sadly mistaken. Grave choices of this type affect us all, they affect in a very serious way the moral integrity of our society. Homosexual inclinations are disordered, they are sins. To endorse this disorder is to be a man that champions SIN. If this governor actually attends a Catholic mass, he most certainly should be denied holy communion.