Jewish Journal


June 12, 2008

County clerk refuses to perform same-sex marriages



Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk Ann Barnett—that’s a mouthful—really didn’t want to perform same-sex marriages. So when the California Supreme Court ruled last month that prohibiting the exchanging of vows, official vows not civil unions, was unconstitutional, Barnett began looking for an out. This was the best she could come up with:

“Because of long-term administrative plans, budgetary reasons, and the need to increase security for elections, the Clerk’s office will cease solemnizing weddings, which is discretionary on the part of the County Clerk,” the release said. “As done in other counties, information necessary to solemnize marriages will be made available to those acquiring licenses.”

Problem is, that wasn’t the real reason she wouldn’t be performing same-sex marriages when other clerks begin issuing them Tuesday.

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