ADF, which has offered to defend any town clerk from threats of to their job or criminal prosecution for conscientious objections to same-sex marriage, says town clerks do have legal recourse, because, with little effort, towns or cities can accommodate their religious belief and may be legally obligated to do so:
"Contrary to what some elected officials have indicated, those with sincerely held religious beliefs do not have to leave their faith at government's door," said the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms.
McGuire points out that the Alliance Defense Fund, a national group supporting proactive expressions of faith, has issued a memo explaining clerks' rights. Employers must make "reasonable accommodation" for an employee's "sincerely held religious beliefs" under law, it says.
In this instance, the memo says, "because New York law explicitly allows a municipality to delegate a clerk's duties concerning marriage licenses to a deputy clerk or any other municipal employee, a city or town should have no reason to deny a clerk's request for an accommodation." --Albany Times Union