Laura Fotusky, the Republican town clerk in Barker, Broome County, submitted her resignation last night, saying she could not sign licenses for same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage becomes legal July 24. Her resignation is effective July 21.
“The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God,” she wrote in her resignation letter, which was posted last night on the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms’ website.
Fotusky is the first clerk to resign over the issue, but Jason McGuire, executive director of the anti-gay-marriage group New Yorkers For Constititutional Freedoms’ predicted, “This is just the tip of the iceberg.” He said the law should have exempted clerks who because of their religious beliefs do not want to recognize same-sex marriages.
“I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure. Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21. I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24,” Fotusky said in her resignation letter. “It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve the Town as Barker Town Clerk.”
Clerks have yet to receive the new marriage licenses that will go into effect July 24, but some clerks—including in Rochester, New York City, Ithaca and Binghamton—are planning to open on Sunday, the 24th to issue the licenses.