Three New York town clerks are claiming that the state’s new marriage equality law has forced them to ‘lose’ their jobs. Two women, Ruth Sheldon and Laura Fotusky, have quit their jobs while the third, Rose Marie Belforti, said she will quit her job if she has to continue signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The three women teamed up with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage to release three videos this Thursday, in which they claim that they face ‘religious discrimination’ in the workplace.
With stories like this one, it is important to remember that marriage is about loving relationships and people being legally able to provide for and protect one another. Media outlets should focus their coverage of this issue on elevating these aspects of marriage, rather than reporting on stories like these that try to distract the public from the real meaning of marriage. Journalists who do cover this story must also be sure to accurately report the details of the case, and not perpetuate the misleading rhetoric of anti-gay groups. It is imperative that the media does not report that these women have “lost” their jobs, or that they face any kind of discrimination whatsoever. The truth is that these clerks are quitting their jobs, because they aren’t allowed to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
GLAAD encourages the public to keep an eye out for irresponsible coverage of this or any other story. If you see any questionable coverage, please report it here.