After a nation-changing decision Friday morning by the Supreme Court, ripples are felt throughout the country.As you wake up these next few days, whether you agree or disagree with the 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court, you must realize that you are waking up in a different America. Change has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. Everything that follows is a result of what you see here.
With the internet and the world exploding with comments like #LoveWins and RIP Constitution, it is quite obvious there are still two sides of this debate, especially with a 5-4 vote.
With this decision, it is legal, right now, for homosexual partners to be married in all 50 states of America. In any of our three counties, you may go down to your local Probate Court Office and apply for a marriage license.
Many in opposition to the decision have stated they believe in civil rights, but do not believe in forcing those in religious positions to break their faith and perform these ceremonies. In response, lawmakers say this decision is only to allow the marriage and that individual churches are still in control of their decision.
Local Probate Judges have all stated they will begin issuing licenses as they become available. They have assured us at FYN that they are there for the law and will follow it as set forth.
Gilmer County Judge Anita Mullins said, “I am here to uphold the law, that was my oath. My personal feelings would hold no place here.” While she will be issuing the licenses, Judge Mullins has not officiated ceremonies for almost a year.
Pickens Probate Judge David Lindsey stated he is waiting for the Georgia State Council of Probates Judges to send him a notification that the new marriage licenses are available. At that time he will begin issuing the licenses. Judge Lindsey did not comment concerning officiating same sex marriages, but did say his office has officiated several hundred weddings and did not see that his office would discontinue that service.
Fannin Probate Judge Scott Kiker stated he was also awaiting the Georgia State Council of Probate Judges to update the licenses. When the license updates are made available, he will begin issuing licenses. Judge Kiker has previously officiated services, but had no comment on whether this would continue.
A source within the court system who wished to remain unnamed has indicated that these new licenses will be available Monday with one major change including the certificate asking for “Applicant 1” and “Applicant 2” instead of “Bride” and “Groom.”
The source also indicated the certificate may still contain the words “In Holy Matrimony” which would create even more tension among both religious officials and religious people within the court system.
FYN also attempted to contact Chief Superior Court Judge of the Appalachian Judicial District Brenda Weaver. However, she was unavailable for comment.
In further discussion, FYN sat down with Pastor Stephen Dusek of the Orchard who stated first and foremost, Christianity is about love. “We aren’t mad or angry, we love everyone.”
When asked if he would open his church to these marriage ceremonies, Pastor Dusek stated, all couples seeking marriage are required to go through counseling at the church, and he would encourage all interested parties to join with them to participate in counseling for marriage. Pastor Dusek also released an email revealing he will be speaking on this issue Sunday Morning for a service titled “Why do We Stand Where We Stand?”
A decision such as this will continue to affect this country each day. This early there is no way to say everything this debate will touch on. Though many fear the government is stepping too close to interfering with citizens and religious rights, with one poster of Facebook saying, “We are no longer a nation of states rights. That’s the bigger issue”
The ideas of government control have arisen as the greater fear with this issue. The question on everyone’s mind now is the Right to Refuse Services. Can a Pastor, Priest, or other religious authority refuse services based on religious conflicts?
After all, these marriage certificates still say, “In Holy Matrimony.”
For More Information, check the delivered opinions at Obergefell v. Hodges.