Tuesday, May 20, 2008

County employees can't opt out of officiating gay marriages


(05-19) 20:42 PDT Los Angeles, calcium (AP) --

The metropolis lawyer said Monday that county workers authorized to execute matrimony ceremonials must be willing to carry on same-sex marriages under last week's landmark tribunal ruling, regardless of their personal positions on homosexuality.

City Lawyer Rocky Delgadillo said in similar letters to the secretary of state and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors that any policy that would let certain workers to carry on only matrimonies between a adult male and a adult female would be inconsistent with Thursday's state Supreme Court determination that legalized cheery matrimony in California.

"County clerks have got no legal standing to allow county employees the authorization or ability to take which matrimonies they wish not to officiate at, based on their personal positions or biases," Delgadillo wrote. The tribunal "has been crystal clear on this issue — same-sex couples must be afforded equal protection under the law."

In its 4-3 ruling, the high tribunal struck down state laws against same-sex marriage. Those matrimonies could get in about a month, the clip it typically takes for the justices' sentiments to go final, although legal and administrative hang-ups could detain that timetable.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that acting Registrar-Recorder Dean Mount Logan said supervisors in his section asked him to see devising processes for county workers who may be uncomfortable officiating same-sex marriages.

However, on Monday the Times ran a rectification on its Web site, clarifying that Mount Logan said a supervisor in his section identified the issue as a possible concern, but that no 1 urged him to let employees to choose out of officiating cheery marriages.

A spokesman for the office, Alice Paul Drugan, said Monday no such as policy was being contemplated. Logan, in a missive released by his office, said "we have got had no employees or military volunteer civil matrimony commissioners raise concerns with this issue at all."

The county is "committed to implementing this tribunal decision, fully and completely," Drugan said.

Kate Folmar, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said the business office have "no function in granting matrimony licences and ... no authorization to supply any instruction manual to county clerks on how to implement the Golden State Supreme Court's recent decision. That authorization rests with individual counties or the lawyer general."

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