Thursday, June 12, 2008

We Had to Destroy Marriage in Order to Save It

Q: How do you save the hallowed institution of marriage from being destroyed by gays getting married?
A: You stop doing marriages altogether.

That's the answer of two California counties, anyway: More...

County officials in at least two California counties say they'll stop performing all wedding ceremonies by next week, arguing that they don't have enough resources to marry both gay and straight couples.

Officials in Kern and Butte1 counties cited budget and staffing constraints as the rationale for halting the ceremonies....County clerks are required by law to issue marriage licenses, but the offices do not have to perform wedding ceremonies....In Kern County, Clerk Ann Barnett announced her decision only after county lawyers told her she could not refuse to marry gay couples. Butte County Clerk Candace Grubb, meanwhile, blamed budget constraints, telling the Chico Enterprise-Record that her decision was made long before the court ruling.
Too bad about the baby, but that bathwater was just so filthy and immoral...

But of course the decision is completely justified by the gay tsunami threatening to engulf the beleaguered counties:
"Bakersfield (the Kern County seat) is not a very safe place to be out," added the Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kern County. "We are not expecting that many couples, maybe 10 or 12"....

At least 25 opposite-sex couples who had weddings scheduled at the clerk's office are also being forced to make other plans, [Kern County Supervisor Maben] said.
Well, that'll show them!

Snark aside, there is at least one hero in this:
After hearing of the decision, Tetzlaff announced she would perform free marriages to same-sex couples until Nov. 4, when voters will weigh in the proposed constitutional amendment.

Next Tuesday she plans to offer her services to all couples getting licenses at the county building. But she said she and other gay-marriage supporters have been told that the police will not allow them to conduct the ceremonies there.

"We are looking at places nearby where we can be, and there are a number of us that are going to be supporting the couples as they go in to get their licenses," she said.
As for Butte County, perhaps our readers will help come to the rescue. If you'd like to donate money so they can go back to performing marriages, call the clerk's office at (530) 538-7691 or e-mail them at Let them know how you feel, and tell them you're willing to help.

1Already the Butte of many jokes.