Entire County Clerk Office Resigns Over Same-Sex Marriage

Carlos McKnight holds up a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 26, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

No same-sex marriage licenses are being issued in Decatur County, Tennessee, because the entire county clerk’s office has resigned following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Decatur County Clerk Gwen Pope explained her decision to quit her elected post. “It’s for the glory of God. He’s going to get all the glory,” she told WBIR.

Pope asserted she would rather resign than submit to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She and her two staff members, Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler, have all quit for the same reason. Their last day of work is July 14.

The TV station indicates the phone in the Decatur County Clerk Office “rang nonstop” as “[o]ver and over again, people praised the decision of the three workers who have decided to step down from their positions rather than hand out same-sex marriage licenses.”

Drew Baker of the Tennessee Equality Project said Decatur County is the only county in the state that has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Pope said she and her employees will all look for new jobs. “I honestly believe God will take care of us,” she said.

“These three ladies stood upon their beliefs and they stood upon their morals and no one can fault them,” said Scott King, a Decatur County resident. “Too often we as Christians don’t do that. It’s time we followed the lead of what they showed us.”

Kathy Parrish, who works in Decaturville, also praised the women.

“It (same-sex marriage) is wrong because it goes against the Bible and everything God intended for it to be,” Parrish said. “That wasn’t God’s plan. God’s plan was for men to be with women and women to be with men.”


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