Florida Counties End Courthouse Weddings To Avoid Marrying Gays
[su_right_ad]If you want to get married at the Duval (pictured), Baker or Clay county courthouses, you will no longer be able to, because marriages will no longer be performed there.
These counties’ decision to end the long-standing tradition of courthouse wedding ceremonies is due, at least in part, to the continued debate over same-sex marriage in Florida against the backdrop of conservative Christianity. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle could rule any day and make gay marriage legal across the state.
If same-sex marriage is allowed, Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell, Clay Clerk Tara Green and Baker Clerk Stacie Harvey will have no choice but to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. But to avoid performing ceremonies for them, these clerks have decided to end all courthouse weddings.
The clerks said multiple factors contributed to the decision to end courthouse weddings, with gay marriage being just one of them. And they now said the new policies will take effect no matter what the courts decide about gay marriage.
Fussell says the decision came after a series of discussion with members of his staff who currently officiate wedding ceremonies. None of them, including Fussell, felt comfortable doing gay weddings so they decided to end the practice all together, he said.
“It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn’t be any discrimination,” Fussell said. “The easiest way is to not do them at all.”…
Clerks of courts in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties in the Panhandle also made similar announcements that they were ending courthouse ceremonies.[su_csky_ad]