Temporary Hardship Exemptions

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While religious exemptions have been issued in the past for a variety of issues, from vaccinations to military service, they should not be issued on a permanent basis to elected government officials in regards to gay marriage. Although providing temporary exemptions to elected officials could be beneficial, it cannot be considered a reasonable permanent solution. While it would allow the objectors to complete their term while still complying with their religious beliefs, if they should so choose to want to campaign for reelection, they would have to do so under the Law of the Land. Finally, although the exemptions would be a temporary remedy for the overall issue, they draw the comparison to how interracial marriage was treated in the 1940s,…show more content…
(For example, an accommodation that absolutely exempts clerks from processing an application for a marriage license would hobble a couple’s access in a number of foreseeable circumstances. This might occur when a solitary clerk is available in a hundred-mile radius and he or she objects for religious reasons to facilitating a same sex marriage. An absolute roadblock would also be erected when an otherwise willing clerk is unavailable due to illness or other reason, leaving no other willing clerk to assist the couple. As with any rule that seeks to balance two competing interests, the proposed hardship exemption will involve some line drawing; specifically, what will count as “promptly” or “inconvenience” or “delay.” Such line drawing is best left to the legislative process since different states may want to make different choices depending on the facts on the ground in that state; for instance, how rural or urban the state is, how many state offices process the necessary paperwork, or the length of the requisite waiting period to marry in that state. Such waiting periods vary significantly from state to state. That said, asking same-sex couples to wait several days for a license that heterosexual couples would receive the same day would not be “prompt.” State legislators may want to take the mandatory waiting period in their own jurisdiction as a guide for deciding what is “prompt. “Of course, one can imagine that some legislatures will choose to enact legislation without explicitly defining certain terms, such as “prompt,” as they routinely do in other statutes—and leave it to the courts to construe those terms.) (Wilson)pg.

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