Kern County Clerk says "I don’t" to Same Sex Marriage

I live in Kern County, a large, rural, and very conservative county in Southern California. Tuesday, all counties must treat all people the same as regards to performing marriages. Apparently, the Kern County Clerk has decreed that Kern County stopped performing any marriages last Friday. According to the Antelope Valley Press, the Kern County Clerk will not perform any marriages at all, now that they also have to perform same sex marriages.

“The county clerk’s office will not solemnize weddings after June 13, 2008,” according to a post on the county clerk’s Web site. “We will not have the staff or space to deal with an increase in both licenses and ceremonies. Because of long-term administrative plans, budgetary reasons and the need to increase security for elections, the clerk’s office will cease solemnizing weddings, which is discretionary on the part of the county clerk.”

But, the site notes, “the county clerk’s office will issue the new marriage licenses as of June 17 in accordance with California law.”

The move allows the county to avoid performing same-sex weddings while not discriminating against same-sex couples – heterosexual couples won’t be able to say “I do” at county offices, either.

Looks like a case of “well if I can’t get my way, then I’m taking my ball home, so no-one can play.” What absolutely childish behavior. Talk about unprofessional.

Kern County Clerk Ann Barnett, who made the decision to stop performing weddings, declined to comment Friday, referring an Antelope Valley Press reporter to Greg Scott, a spokesman for the Alliance Defense Fund, and Brian Raum, a senior fund attorney. Scott referred questions to Raum, who did not return phone calls Friday.

The Alliance Defense Fund is a conservative Christian legal organization that opposes same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples and abortion, as well as the inclusion of contraception in sex education classes.

Syndicated Christian radio host James Dobson is one of the group’s founders.

Looks like another conservative Christian group is interfering with County buisness. And exactly why is the County Clerk being represented by a right-wing Christian group instead of a state attorney?

Butte County, north of Sacramento, also is ceasing its wedding ceremonies. Like Barnett, Butte County Clerk Candace J. Grubbs said the change has nothing to do with values.

“The decision to discontinue marriage ceremonies is about budgetary issues,” stated a press release from Grubbs’ office. “The decision was made during a budget preparation in early spring when it was determined there were not sufficient anticipated revenues to support all current staff positions.”

I’m calling bullshit on this one. It seems that there was plenty of budget for performing weddings before the decision mandating that same sex couples be allowed marry like hetero couples. Why no money now?

While Kern and Butte counties won’t perform wedding ceremonies, Los Angeles County will open its doors Tuesday, offering extended hours for ceremonies at some county offices. The county clerk’s Lancaster office, 1028 West Ave. J-2, will offer marriage licenses from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Wedding ceremonies are by appointment only.

The county clerk’s office in Norwalk will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will remain open for ceremonies until 8 p.m. from Tuesday until June 27.

The Norwalk office will offer a first-come, first-served wedding event from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 21, with 12 civil marriage commissioners on hand to perform ceremonies.

Good for you Los Angles County. Show those jerks what acting like professionals looks like. It looks like some County Clerks are acting like bigoted jerks. They seem to forget that they are here to follow the laws, not force their personal religious views on everyone.

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