UPDATE #2: 9NEWS just posted a fascinating original email exchange from last summer between a number of Eastern Plains county clerks, most of them very upset at the prospect of having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples–including the email from Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder where he explains his reasons for posting his discriminatory poster. Most of these messages will not be fondly remembered by history, but we wanted to note the very different response from Christy Beckman, clerk of tiny Sedgwick County in the northeast corner of the state:
I just wanted to comment that we are very lucky in this office as we are all comfortable with issuing same sex licenses. We all have our own religions as well but are very accepting of other peoples choices and therefore are okay with this. I’m sorry that some of you are having a hard time with it and I hope for your sake that something can be figured out.
In a lengthy chain of fairly disgraceful emails between a number of our Colorado county clerks, we were very happy to see this. Original post follows.
UPDATE: Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder cuts and runs–7NEWS reports the offending poster has been removed from public display, presumably after Schroeder met with that lawyer he retained.
Too bad, Mike Huckabee was raring to go.
7NEWS has a story out of beet-red Elbert County that we suspect is going to raise some hackles in the days ahead:
It’s hanging on the wall, above the desks where marriage licenses are issued. That’s why a poster that quotes a Bible verse referencing marriage between a man and a woman is causing controversy in Elbert County.
The poster shows a bride and a groom, with a verse that reads “…each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” The verse is from I Corinthians.
Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder would not appear on camera because he has obtained outside legal counsel, but he says the poster has been up for 15 months without any complaints…
As it turns out that’s not quite accurate, and several Elbert County residents have indeed complained about the poster. And as 7NEWS continues, there’s good reason to be concerned:
[W]hile Schroeder claimed the poster was simply “a celebration of marriage,” an email obtained by Denver7 suggests otherwise.
This summer, Schroeder wrote an email to several Colorado Court Clerks discussing same sex marriage and the poster he had specifically made in response to it.
“My thought process is that they have to see the poster,” writes Schroeder in the email. “And if they choose to violate God’s written Word, then that is on their head.” [Pols emphasis]
And with that, yes, this is a problem. 7NEWS reports that Dallas Schroeder’s office has issued two same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized them nationwide, but in its full context, this poster in the Elbert County Clerk’s office is obviously meant to convey a discriminatory message to same-sex couples in a government-controlled space. Whatever the personal views of the Elbert County Clerk on same-sex marriage, he of course has no right to force residents with obliged to file for this license at his office to view what amounts to bigoted political propaganda.
But something tells us this guy is ready and itching to wage a splashy earned-media battle for just that. Kiowa’s finally going to make the Fox News Channel! Mike Huckabee can’t be far behind.
God bless America.