We've been actively tracking the New York clerks who have announced their intention to resign over SSM. If you know a New York clerk responsible for issuing marriage licenses, please help us bring this to their attention:
According to a recently released Alliance Defense Fund memorandum New York Law requires employers to accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs under Executive Law § 296(10)(a). This section of the law requires employers to accommodate an employee’s religious observance or practice, “unless, after engaging in a bona fide effort, the employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the employee’s or prospective employee’s sincerely held religious observance or practice…without undue hardship.”
Furthermore, a specific provision of New York’s Domestic Relations Law § 15(3) allows all of the clerk’s duties in issuing marriage licenses to be delegated to a deputy clerk or other municipal employee. It would seem reasonable to conclude that a locality could appoint a deputy clerk or another civil servant, that does not have an objection to same-sex “marriages”, to issue these licenses.