Courtesy The Advocate...
A county clerk in Arkansas is resigning effective Tuesday rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Associated Press reports.
Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey told the AP she met with Judge Jerry Holmes today and informed him she would resign because she had a moral objection to granting licenses for same-sex marriages.
“It is definitely a moral conviction for me,” she said. “I didn’t announce anything publicly or on social media or anything because I didn’t want my decision to be seen as hateful. I know some people will look at it like that, but this wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. And I do not hate anybody.”
Holmes has “called an emergency meeting of the Cleburne County Quorum Court for Tuesday to address the resignation and discuss interim options,” the AP reports. Guffey has held the elected position of county clerk for 24 years.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Friday directed government offices in the state to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson made it clear Monday that he expects county clerks to follow the law. This is in contrast to neighboring Texas, where Attorney General Ken Paxton said county clerks and their staffs may opt out of licensing same-sex marriages if they have faith-based objections, although he allowed that it would be problematic if all the employees in a given county clerk’s office object to granting the licenses.