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Marriage Equality

Outrage After Same-Sex Couple Denied Marriage License in New York


Two men were forced to travel to another jurisdiction after a clerk refused to grant them a marriage license because of her religious objections.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among others, blasted the decision by a Montgomery County town clerk to reject a marriage license for a same-sex couple.

Dylan Toften (pictured, left) and his partner were recently forced to travel to a neighboring jurisdiction to get their license after Montgomery clerk Laurel "Sherrie" Ericksen refused to grant them a license -- a deputy clerk in Montgomery will grant licenses to same-sex couples, but that employee was not in the office when Toften and his partner came in. Montgomery town attorney Robert Subik told the Daily Gazette that same-sex couples must make appointments because they have a clerk, Ericksen, who refuses to grant them licenses; in other words, the onus is on same-sex couples to work around the clerk's bigotry.

"[Ericksen] has a religious objection and has referred the matter to her deputy clerk, who has no such objection and will issue the license when they make an appointment," Subik told the Gazette.

New York's 2011 marriage equality law doesn't allow clerks to reject same-sex couples.

Cuomo, a Democrat running against out primary challenger Cynthia Nixon for a third term, came to the defense of Toften and his partner, even offering to perform their wedding ceremony.

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