W.Va. Clerk Condemns Lesbian Couple While Giving Them Marriage License. Would RFRA Protect This?

Feb 12, 2016

Gilmer County Courthouse

Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich received more than a marriage certificate when they went to the courthouse in Gilmer County, W.Va.

Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen also gave them a piece of her mind.

The couple says Allen "for two to three minutes, yelled that what they were doing was wrong in her eyes and in God’s eyes and that no one in Gilmer County would ever marry them." Allen eventually gave them the certificate.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Allen said she briefly and calmly told the couple what they were doing was wrong and that God would judge them, and then continued assisting them as she would other couples.

“I just told them my opinion,” she said. “I just felt led to do that. I believe God was standing with me and that’s just my religious belief.”

Should Allen be allowed to express her religious beliefs as she performs her job? Or is this unacceptable and unprofessional behavior?

Also, the West Virginia Legislature is debating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If this becomes law, would it provide protection for Allen and others who express their religious beliefs in similar situations?

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