Follow the Law or Your Conscience?

| July 25, 2015

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements


The chapter assignments provide a scenario which encompasses an ethical question in a practical workplace setting. At the end of the reading, several questions are posed. Please answer the questions as your response. The duration of the response should be no longer than 2 pages. 

On July 24, 2011, it became legal for gay and lesbian couples in New York State to receive marriage licenses. Assume you are an elected town clerk with responsibility to issue same sex marriage licenses but feel strongly from a reli-gious perspective that same sex marriages are immoral. When asked by a friend how you feel about same sex marriage, you say “Based on my Christian faith and my belief in God and what the Bible teaches, I cannot and I don’t support gay lifestyles.” You add: “I may have to resign because protections were not provided for us to be able to practice our freedom of religion in our jobs.”


1.Do you have an obligation as a public official/civil servant to issue the licenses? Or, does this violate your conscience to the point that you refuse to do it?

2. Should you plead for an exemption given your religious views?

3. Should you look for another job?4. What should you do?


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