Maryland: Several anti-gay court clerks to stop performing all marriages

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Several deputy court clerks in St Mary’s County, Maryland, will stop performing marriages when same-sex marriage becomes legal in the state next week.

Joan Williams, clerk of the St Mary’s Circuit Court, told the Washington Examiner that some of her employees are opposed to equal marriage for religious reasons.

As a result, she has decided that those deputy clerks who are against the new law won’t perform any marriages at all.

Ms Williams says it’s a way of respecting their beliefs.

All counties in Maryland are legally required to start performing same-sex marriages on 2 January 2013.

In November’s state ballot, 52% of Marylanders voted to approve legalising marriage rights for gay couples.

Carrie Evans of Equality Maryland, a gay rights group in the state, said there appears to be nothing discriminatory about changing which deputy clerks perform marriages.