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Marriage Equality

WATCH: Colorado Clerk Courts Controversy With Biblical Marriage Sign

WATCH: Colorado Clerk Courts Controversy With Biblical Marriage Sign

Elbert county Biblical marriage poster

The Elbert County clerk claims the poster has been up for more than a year, but local residents and an email from the clerk himself indicate otherwise. 

A county clerk in Colorado is facing scrutiny for placing a religious verse about marriage in a public area of the office where residents apply for marriage licenses.

Above the marriage license desk of the Elbert County clerk's office, there hangs a cornflower-blue poster, featuring an illustration of a woman in a wedding gown. The image is accompanied by a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians, reading "Each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband," according to Denver TV station KMGH.

Dallas Schroeder, the clerk of Elbert County, a largely rural district southeast of Denver, told KMGH that the poster is simply a "celebration of marriage." He claimed the poster has been visible in the office for the past 15 months, and that he has received no complaints about its religious message in a public building.

But KMGH obtained an email Schroeder wrote this summer to several other state clerks that indicates the he created the poster as a "warning" in response to the Supreme Court's landmark June ruling that solidified a constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.

"My thought process is that they have to see the poster," Schroeder reportedly wrote in the email. "And if they choose to violate God's written Word, then that is on their head."

The TV station also sat down with a group of Elbert County residents who are upset about the poster -- three of whom say they have complained directly to Schroeder. One of the residents who made that request was Lark Fogel, an Elbert County resident and attorney who married her wife in Iowa.

"Everybody who comes in to get a marriage license is entitled to equal protection," Fogel told KMGH. "And that's not what they're getting in Elbert County. They're getting a church service -- it's not right. We don't need another lawsuit, either. He is clearly in the wrong."

Schroeder declined to speak with the station, citing an ongoing lawsuit, although it's unclear if that lawsuit is related to the poster. The clerk maintains that his office has followed federal law and issued marriage licenses to two same-sex couples since Colorado embraced marriage equality in October 2014.

Watch KMGH's report below.

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