County employees and material cooperation

Come June 16, county employees in California will be faced with a decision: Do I cooperate with the new same-sex marriage regime, or do I refuse and suffer the consequences? County administrators are now trying to figure out how to handle employees who refuse.

San Diego County has announced that employees can refuse to perform “marriage” ceremonies based on religious or moral objections:

“San Diego County plans to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriages but will not force employees to perform the ceremonies if they cite religious or moral objections.

County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk Greg Smith, whose office issues marriage licenses, said he has informed the roughly 115 employees deputized to conduct ceremonies to tell him if they object to same-sex marriages.

Smith said he needs to know if he’ll have to juggle employees around or train more to handle what could be thousands of gay couples arriving at his office after the court’s ruling takes effect next month. He also said it would be unfair for any couple to have a person who objects to their marriage performing their ceremony.”

Los Angeles County, on the other hand, may take a hard line and require all employees to cooperate without regard to their religious beliefs.

County employees suddenly grappling with questions about formal cooperation, fundamental options, double effect, and intentionality are urged to contact Zippy Catholic immediately.


5 thoughts on “County employees and material cooperation

  1. Anyone who has been merrily issuing marriage licenses for the steady stream of divorced and remarried folks who reject their (especially her) fertility shouldn’t have any really big problem with issuing liscenses to any couple or combination of persons…


  2. I don’t know about that. It isn’t the county’s job to investigate or approve the sacramental validity of a civil marriage. That’s up to the couple themselves. Even the unbaptized can marry, and the marriage can be valid though not sacramental.

    Look at it this way. A Catholic in a state of mortal sin goes up to receive communion. The priest, unaware of this man’s condition, is obliged to give him communion. However, if a donkey or a goat attempts to receive communion, the priest must refuse. A same-sex couple attempting a civil marriage is like a donkey attempting to receive the sacrament. The county clerk must refuse because a marriage is impossible.


  3. When you put it that way, I can’t help but agree.

    Please forgive me for succumbing to fatalism and despondancy. Lately – given the media coverage – it has become harder and harder to soldier on given how these events are reported.

    Your response was just what I needed!


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