Friday, January 12, 2007
Rabner to Clergy: No worries on the civil union thing
In what one newspaper refers to as a "setback" for civil unions (a description we don't agree with), New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner issued an opinion yesterday in which he concluded that members of the clergy with "sincerely held religious beliefs" could refuse to officiate civil unions and not run afoul of the state's antidiscrimination law. Rabner stated:
"If those beliefs preclude recognition of civil unions, a religious figure's refusal to solemnize civil unions, even if that religious figure is regularly available to solemnize marriages, would not violate [the Law Against Discrimination]."
Rabner's full letter is here.
But vocal civil union opponent, Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, isn't covered. He'll either need to perform a civil union if asked or give up his marriage officiating duties. Sorry Steve.