Clerk employees in Decatur County, Tennessee, announced their resignations following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that legalized same-sex marriages in all 50 states.
Gwen Pope, Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler will leave their current positions on July 14, their last day on the job. The three county employees have stated that they would rather quit their jobs than issue marriage licenses to any same-sex couples that wish to get married in the county.
However, local news station WBIR reported that no same sex couples have applied for a license so far. When asked why she was leaving her job, Pope cited her religious beliefs.
“It’s for the glory of God. He’s going to get all the glory,” she said. Pope also stressed that her decision to resign was not meant to make headlines or controversy.
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“It’s kind of sort of like you don’t want to draw attention to yourself for any reason. That’s not why we’re doing this. Not doing it in any way to draw attention to us.”
Despite working as the county clerk for more than 20 years, Pope did not have a problem leaving her current post, although she did not have a backup plan.
“I honestly believe God will take care of us,” Pope said.
Those in the community have supported the three county employees by visiting them at their place of employment and giving interviews to local news channels.
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“These three ladies stood upon their beliefs and they stood upon their morals and no one can fault them. Too often we as Christians don’t do that. It’s time we followed the lead of what they showed us,” Scott King, a county resident, told reporters.
Another resident, Kathy Parrish, also agreed with the ladies’ decision to resign.
“It (same-sex marriage) is wrong because it goes against the Bible and everything God intended for it to be. That wasn’t God’s plan. God’s plan was for men to be with women and women to be with men,” Parrish said.
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