When the Maryland law legalizing same-sex marriage goes into effect next week, couples wishing to tie the knot in St. Mary’s County may face some resistance by local officials.
Some St. Mary’s County Circuit Court employees will stop performing marriages, insteading asking others to perform the duty, the Washington Examiner reports.
“There are some [deputy clerks] that have voiced some opposition to doing it — [they have] religious feelings about it … so it’s basically my idea that they won’t do any marriage at all,” said Joan Williams, clerk of the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court. “Some people are just very against same-sex marriages, and I have to respect their reasons and their decisions.”
John Zito, president of the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association, said he is aware of one wedding photographer (who he would not identify) who “didn’t feel comfortable” taking same-sex couples’ photos because he was not used to posing two grooms or two brides together.
And one trolley operator in Annapolis has gotten out of the wedding business altogether in order to avoid discriminating against same-sex couples. His decision has emboldened opponants to lobby for a loophole to the law that would allow for a conscience clause to allow for commercial vendors to not provide services to same-sex couples.