Anti-Gay Marriage Commissioner To Appeal Fine
Orville Nichols, a civil marriage commissioner from Saskatchewan, is going to appeal a $2,500 fine he received for refusing to do his job for a gay couple. Nichols claims that performing a non-religious, civil marriage for the gay couple violated his religious beliefs.
Marilou McPhedran, the Chief Commissioner of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Commission explained the case matter-of-factly:
To allow public officials to insert their personal morality when determining who should and who should not receive the benefit of law undermines human rights in Saskatchewan beyond the issue of same-sex marriages.
Succinctly and correctly put.
Nichols’ services are on behalf of the government, not his church. Religious officials acting within their own church are free to decide to whom they provide services (many churches refuse to marry inter-faith couples, for example), but it is not correct to claim this freedom applies to followers performing their public duties. Frankly, I think it’s a stretch to claim that one’s religious beliefs forbid anyone from interacting with same-sex couples at their job in the first place.