Ledyard clerk defends religious stance

2011-09-15T03:05:00Z 2011-09-15T08:03:21Z Ledyard clerk defends religious stanceRobert Harding The Citizen Auburn Citizen
September 15, 2011 3:05 am  • 

Ledyard town clerk Rose Marie Belforti used one word to describe her tenure as Ledyard town clerk, which began after she won the 2001 general election.

Quiet.

That all changed in August when Belforti sent a letter to the Ledyard town board two weeks after the Marriage Equality Act became law in New York, allowing same-sex couples to marry. The letter cited Belforti’s religious beliefs as a reason she could not sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Belforti also asked for permission to designate a deputy clerk, who would be responsible for issuing all marriage licenses.

In an interview with The Citizen at her home Wednesday, Belforti said she answers to a “higher court” — God — and teachings in the Bible tell her that same-sex marriage is wrong.

“I am a Christian. I believe marriage was created by God as a blessing to be shared between a man and a woman spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Belforti said. “Man cannot legislate a divinely ordained institution by a majority vote of those who do not recognize the sanctity of marriage, as God intended it to be. My conscience, which is also God-given, does not allow me to endorse same-sex marriage.”

Since her letter was made public, Belforti said she has received many emails from people opposing her position. The emails have not only been sent to her own email account, but to her business email address, she said.

According to Belforti, some opponents of her stance have boycotted her business, Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, and they claim her position is keeping people away from the town.

Belforti does have supporters, including Rev. Jason McGuire. McGuire serves as executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and has started the Courage Fund -- a group created to help support clerks who oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons.

Belforti’s critics say she is discriminating against same-sex couples. One couple, Katherine Carmichael and Deirdre DiBiaggio, attempted to obtain a marriage license from Belforti in late August, but Belforti told them they would have to schedule an appointment and return when the deputy clerk is at the office.

Shortly after she sent the letter to the Ledyard town board, Belforti was told by Ledyard Supervisor Mark Jordan and deputy supervisor Jim Frisch not to issue any -- gay or straight -- marriage licenses. Instead, couples seeking a marriage license would have to make an appointment and a deputy clerk would issue the license.

Arthur Bellinzoni accompanied Carmichael and DiBiaggio to the Ledyard town clerk’s office and accused the town at Monday’s town board meeting of violating state law.

“It is evident that the Ledyard town clerk and the Ledyard town board have violated the law by ignoring the (New York State Department of Heath’s) Clerk Informational Memorandum, and the town board more specifically by falling for the town clerk’s appeal and accommodating her by disregarding state law and the rights of citizens for whom they all work,” Bellinzoni said in his remarks.

But Belforti sees nothing wrong with a deputy clerk issuing the licenses by appointment. Many towns have a deputy clerk issuing marriage licenses, she said, but she does not think Ledyard needs a full-time deputy clerk who would be at the office when it’s open.

“I just don’t think there’s enough work there for a deputy to be there full-time,” she said. “Sometimes I wish she was there a little bit more, but I’m a frugal person. I’m a conservative person and I don’t want the taxpayer money frittered away so I’ve keep things really, really down in my office.”

Despite the increased attention and opponents calling for her resignation, Belforti said she won’t step down.

“I love my job. I love working with the people at my job. To me, it’s not even a job. I go there and it’s just part of my day,” she said.

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(48) Comments

  1. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 22, 2011 12:38 pm
    Farmer's Gal-Thanks for your input-and the link, good article, I think I sense an upset in the polls. Tom- I would be interested in hearing more about your possible plan(s) for further action.
  2. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 22, 2011 9:59 am
    Tom-No apology necessary, we're both upset about the same thing. I too worry about it "coming to town near me". I live in Sennett, and thankfully the Board and Clerk are busy with real issues facing the Town. Please don't get me going on the whole "Christian" thing, I really will shoot my mouth off, and still have a mouthful more, lol.
  3. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 8:31 am
    The write-in candidate is making a whole lot of sense: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/09/20/Write_in_Candidate_to_Challenge_New_York_Town_Clerk/
  4. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 8:05 am
    Dang, where'd I put your contact info, Tom - I could put you in touch with the right people if you want to be involved.
  5. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 8:03 am
    IstandupforJesus said: "What's wrong with standing up for what you believe in? "

    She's not being faulted for standing up for what she believes -- that is her right. The issue is her refusal to do her job as sworn by oath and by law. She can stand up for her beliefs on any street corner she likes, but she can't refuse to follow the law and expect to keep her government job.

  6. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 8:01 am
    Tom said: "She has in fact broken her Oath of Office and IS engaging in illegal activity by refusing to issue Marriage Licenses."

    I see what you are saying -- she has broken the law, and breaking the law is breaking the law, period -- and the Board should do something about it. But the other side will say she is not breaking the law, and until it goes to court, it's up in the air. The Board should remove her as creating an untenable position, but I suspect they haven't the backbone -- because it WILL become a national case.

  7. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 7:58 am
    Tom said: "Town boards all too often treat the towns like their own personal fiefdom."

    I don't know about all of Ledyard, but Aurora has always been run just like it's a little medieval fiefdom of a small handful of people. Regardless -- I think the Town Board is out of their depth and terrified they'll be liable, so they are trying to distance themselves and disclaim responsibility. That cowardly stance will bite them in the rear if they don't wise up. But it's still not the people of Ledyard....

  8. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 22, 2011 7:54 am
    guitardude62 said: "Tom: Showing up in "droves"?? Have you looked at a map of the Town recently? Just so you know, it's not exactly what you'd call a densely populated area, it's not quite NYC. Do you know the population of the Town? A little over 1800 people live there."

    It's only 1800 if you count the 500+ students at Wells -- and the summer homes. There aren't any where near that many full-time, year-round residents.

    I wasn't at the meeting, as I don't live in Ledyard anymore, though I did for most of the 25-30 years I've lived in this area. But I heard it was very well attended, and I'll bet dollars to donuts there are lots of phone calls and letters. As close to "droves" as you can get in a tiny town, and townspeople organizing a drive to get her either removed or voted out of office.

  9. Tom
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    Tom - September 21, 2011 5:32 pm
    guitardude62:
    You actually are in agreement on the issue and I'm snarking at you. I apologize.

    To your point of why I don't sue the town or take other action, I truly wish I could. Unfortunately I'm not an aggrieved party or resident of the town and have no standing to take action (although I am looking into a couple possibilities).
    You're right that I'm angry about it. If it's allowed there, it will be used as a precedent and can be done elsewhere in the State. It's a wrong that, given the actions of the so called "Christians" today, I have no doubt will spread. I don't relish the idea of it "coming to a town near me".
    BTW: I agree totally with your response to ISUFJ. Very well said.
  10. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 21, 2011 4:02 pm
    istandupforjesus-You can stand up and defend Jesus, but please don't be like Ms Belforti and speak for him. If we should all love thy neighbor, like Jesus, then what's Ms Belforti's problem? Do as she says, but not as she does? or is it the other way around? She can believe what she likes, she can stand on the street corner and kneel in church and shout out her beliefs, and even petition the state to reverse their new law, she can even tell same sex couples she disapproves of their union, while does her job and processes their marriage license and hands it to them, although that would seem to be extremely rude,hmm would Jesus condone rude in the name of himself? One must ask the age old question- WWJD? If he was the Town Clerk, he would love all and be forgiving, just like his daddy is supposed to be. We're all taught that God and Jesus are forgiving, no one's asking them to "love someone's sins". What kind of word twisting is that? Is that some exception to the rule, Mr ISUFJ?
  11. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 21, 2011 2:11 pm
    Well Tom,if you're so versed in political law,then what's stopping you from retaining an attorney and sue the pants off the Town of Ledyard in the name of the constituents of Ledyard,or better yet,bring them up on criminal charges for aiding and abetting a known criminal.I get it,she's not following the law,which some on here think is debatable, maybe you should be petitioning the Board in person,have you attended their monthly meetings at least?Contact the State AG's office,are you writing/calling local elected officials of the County?State? I'm not disagreeing with you about the issue itself, but it almost seems like you have some personal beef with the Town, and are very angry about it.I hear you, but I think your battle should be taken to a more proactive level.I still don't understand how you know what action the Town is currently taking, in the process of, or plans to take.I know for a fact that what we hear in the news is no indicator of what may be going on behind closed doors.
  12. IstandupforJesus
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    IstandupforJesus - September 21, 2011 12:29 pm
    Sorry - I left out part:

    I swapped with someone else who did not believe as I did.
  13. IstandupforJesus
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    IstandupforJesus - September 21, 2011 12:21 pm
    Sorry, I left out part:

    I didn't shirk my duty but did my best to swap with someone else who didn't believe the way I did. That's what Mrs. Belforti is doing.
  14. IstandupforJesus
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    IstandupforJesus - September 21, 2011 12:14 pm
    What's wrong with standing up for what you believe in? I'm proud of Mrs. Belforti! MANY immigrants to this 'free country' came here because they risked being tortured and killed for their religious and/or political beliefs in the countries they came from. When I became a Christian, I was in the US Navy. I always tried to switch duties with someone else so I could attend church and keep the day holy. I didn't shirk my duty but did my best to swap with someone else who That's what Mrs. Belforti is doing. A true Christian loves his neighbor as Jesus did - enough to give his life for him - but without loving his sin. You people sound like a bigoted lynch mob - does "love thy neighbor" not extend to you? She's not talking hate, but you sure are! You want to force her to bow to your beliefs, but she cannot stand up for her own. That is hypocrisy on your part. That's the Nazi/Communist/Satanic way. Are you also planning to tar & feather her before you hang her?
  15. Tom
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    Tom - September 21, 2011 11:04 am
    guitardude62 said:What the board can/can't do,I can't say, and unless you're a Town official,you can only speculate at best."
    There is a specific procedure for removing an elected official for malfeasance. The town board apparently does not want to follow that procedure.
    At a minimum the board can pass a resolution voicing their opposition to her stand. They apparently do not want to do that either.
    Failure to do either of the above is a de-facto sanctioning of her conduct.
    They are allowing her to break her "Oath of Office" and commit a misdemeanor crime under NY law.
  16. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 21, 2011 9:38 am
    Tom:Yes,I know it's a figure of speach,I'm just illustrating the ridiculousness of your blanket statements.Embezzeling funds?I think you are comparing apples and kumquats at best.Do I condone Ms Belforti's actions?NO.If you've read any of my comments,I make clear my disdain for her hiding under the guise of religious morality to cover for her biggoted view,and for refusing to do what she was elected to do.It's not a religious issue for me either,I'm not against people with religious views per say,but when they choose to conveniently isolate one group with 1 religious view and let anyone else in the door who wants to do business with the Town, without morally scrutinizing them,that's where I have the problem, and of course the fact that she wasn't elected to her position on a religious platform to start with, so there would be no expectation of a conflict with ANY religious views.What the board can/can't do,I can't say, and unless you're a Town official,you can only speculate at best.
  17. unkn1
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    unkn1 - September 21, 2011 8:52 am
    Thanks for naming Belforti's business. Boycott Ledyard cheese. Buy KING FERRY cheese ! Visit Keeleyscheeseco.com
  18. Tom
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    Tom - September 20, 2011 6:41 pm
    guitardude62: Droves is a figure of speech and a relative term.
    I would think at least a couple hundred would show.
    The "Board" is NOT playing it safe. They are playing with fire.

    Let's put this another way. If the clerk were embezzling funds or engaging in other illegal activity, would it be OK to wait till Nov to vote her out? I'll say NO.
    She has in fact broken her Oath of Office and IS engaging in illegal activity by refusing to issue Marriage Licenses.

    The officials who have left their jobs due to their beliefs deserve the utmost respect. This woman DOES NOT. She is attempting to subvert the "Rule of Law" by trying to bend it to accommodate her personal views at the expense of others.
    This is NOT a religious issue for me. I wouldn't care if she hands out pamphlets saying "gays are sinners" to those applying for marriage licenses, so long as she hands out the licenses and DOES HER JOB and OBEYS THE LAW.
  19. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 20, 2011 2:12 pm

    Tom: Showing up in "droves"?? Have you looked at a map of the Town recently? Just so you know, it's not exactly what you'd call a densely populated area, it's not quite NYC. Do you know the population of the Town? A little over 1800 people live there. I'm not sure that even qualifies for one "drove", much less "droves". And how do you know what the Town is doing or planning? Or how do you know how many residents have either called, emailed, contacted the board in some way, or haven't? Maybe the board is just playing it safe until November, as mad as everyone may be, I wouldn't blame them, from a legal standpoint. Maybe they are telling the residents who actually contact them to be patient and wait it out for a few months, and voting will take care of the problem. AND, the board WAS elected, and as you said, and I quote "There's really no way to tell what someone will do once elected." The people had no idea what the board would do anymore than knowing what Ms Belforti would do.
  20. Tom
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    Tom - September 20, 2011 1:01 pm
    Farmer's Gal said: "You are mistaken, Tom -- the residents had no way to know she was going to take this stand on this issue when they elected her, and a great many more are up in arms than are not. There is an effort afoot to get her voted out and I will be very surprised if it does not succeed."

    I didn't mean by electing HER. There's really no way to tell what someone will do once elected.
    But, if the residents aren't showing up in droves to push the BOARD to act, they are in effect giving the board approval to allow her to stay.
    Town boards all too often treat the towns like their own personal fiefdom (by not acting, one has to assume they either agree with her or are just idiots putting the Town at risk) and the only thing they understand is large, very angry mobs of residents directing their ire at them directly. Otherwise they just pooh-pooh it and it's business as usual.
  21. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 20, 2011 12:44 pm
    usecompassion-That's been my point every time there is an article published about this, how can anyone just pick and choose their religious stance, she's just being shellfish.
  22. usecompassion
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    usecompassion - September 20, 2011 11:02 am
    What part of Jesus' commandment to not judge or cast stones and treat people the way you want to to be is so difficult for this woman? Why does she insist on doing the polar opposite of what Christ commanded and pinning it on him? Because somewhere in the old Testament it says eating shellfish and men laying with men is a sin? Does she refuse to marry shell fish eaters, or does she just focus on the passages that match her bigotry?
  23. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 20, 2011 8:51 am
    Tom said: "Actually I think the Town sort of deserves it.The residents put the board in office and are not pushing them hard to remove her. The board obviously agrees with her and the people are allowing it."

    You are mistaken, Tom -- the residents had no way to know she was going to take this stand on this issue when they elected her, and a great many more are up in arms than are not. There is an effort afoot to get her voted out and I will be very surprised if it does not succeed.

  24. Tom
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    Tom - September 19, 2011 10:12 am
    liberal karl said: "Yes, Bigotry SHOULD have consequences--but it sucks that the whole town should have to pay for it!

    Actually I think the Town sort of deserves it.
    The residents put the board in office and are not pushing them hard to remove her.
    The board obviously agrees with her and the people are allowing it.
  25. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - September 17, 2011 3:51 pm
    amishjudy said: "I am pleased to see that so far the comments on this board have overwhelmingly been against the stand Belforti has taken. She is putting the entire town at risk of a lawsuit which they would lose. Additionally, she is making Ledyard and, by default, Aurora, a national laughing-stock. And finally, I have heard that some groups are considering launching a "Boycott Aurora Businesses" campaign. An entire community is being held hostage to the whims of one arrogant, self-absorbed woman who believes she owns the town."Yes, Bigotry SHOULD have consequences--but it sucks that the whole town should have to pay for it!

    This just goes to show that we should start recognizing NOW that there needs to be a renewed push to stop Christian abuse-of-Law and we can start by reaffirming the "Wall" between Church and State with our votes! STOP voting in overtly, proselytizing, religious candidates! This kind of stuff is happening more and more and it has to STOP!

  26. amishjudy
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    amishjudy - September 17, 2011 11:36 am
    I am pleased to see that so far the comments on this board have overwhelmingly been against the stand Belforti has taken. I am hoping that this is indicative of the feelings of the majority of people in Ledyard and they will vote her out of office in November. She is putting the entire town at risk of a lawsuit which they would lose. Additionally, she is making Ledyard and, by default, Aurora, a national laughing-stock. And finally, I have heard that some groups are considering launching a "Boycott Aurora Businesses" campaign. An entire community is being held hostage to the whims of one arrogant, self-absorbed woman who believes she owns the town.
  27. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 17, 2011 8:27 am
    I can just imagine if I told Ithaca College that I just can't do monthly budget reports because they are such a grind and my religion doesn't allow me to do things I don't like, so you'll have to hire a temp for that work. Yeah, right.
  28. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - September 17, 2011 8:24 am
    The solution, Robbie, is that if she feels she cannot do her sworn duty because of her religion, she needs to step down. The deputy thing is NOT working out, nor is it really right. And now that her decision to defy the law has put her entire community at risk of a big lawsuit, the Town Board needs to stop trying to hide behind a lame-oh excuse that they can't do anything about it and they need to remove her. Chances are good she will be voted out of office -- let's hope that's not too late for the damage to be done.
  29. amishjudy
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    amishjudy - September 17, 2011 12:05 am
    The problem with the town hiring a Deputy Clerk as a solution to this problem is that the taxpayers would be subsidizing this woman's personal religious beliefs.

    In a previous story, Belforti estimated that Ledyard issued about 10 marriage licenses per year. Why should they hire an additional person for such a small task? They already pay BELFORTI to perform that task. How many of us could submit to our supervisors a letter saying that we will no longer perform core functions of our jobs and be rewarded by our employers hiring an additional employee to relieve us of these duties? I am sorry, but this woman is amazingly arrogant and self-centered.

    One has to wonder how well a woman with such an exaggerated sense of entitlement serves her community. She is behaving as if Ledyard is HERS and she gets to call the shots.
  30. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 15, 2011 5:26 pm
    onewho apparently DOESN'T know, I would say it if it was my brother-in-law, and he was a devout Church of Scientologist, or Muslim. It's not the religion we are attacking, it's the person exploiting the religion for their own gain, whatever their motive is. Religion is about your relationship with God, Hare Krishna, or whoever, and how you live your life, not about how everyone else needs to bend their lives, laws, jobs around you. By forcing your belief, you are in essence forcing someone else to follow your belief, and that is not what religion is about, contrary to what the street corner preachers are attempting. She can believe what she wants, no one is trying to change her or anyone, at least I'm not. I'm just against people exploiting religion to make a stink, and if I was a religious man, I would call THAT blasphemous.
  31. Tom
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    Tom - September 15, 2011 4:26 pm
    onewhoknows said: "is she were a member of the Muslim faith none of you would be saying a word, but since she is christian, attack! "

    I've said this before. If she were Muslim, we wouldn't HAVE to say anything as the Christian Right would be screaming bloody murder about it.
    And I still want to know, what happens if the deputy clerk decides to "get religion" and refuse gays their rights?
  32. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - September 15, 2011 3:48 pm
    onewhoknows said: "is she were a member of the Muslim faith none of you would be saying a word, but since she is christian, attack! "

    Well now, that brings up a very interesting point, doesn't it?

    It's NOT a Muslin doing it, is it? Yet all over this country, we have so-called "Christians" doing not only this but affronting the Laws and the separation of Church and State EVERY DAY! Where is your outrage? Where is your indignation? Where is your fidelity to THE LAW?!

    BTW, if it WERE a Muslim doing it, you can bet I'd yell just as loudly. The Law is the LAW!
  33. onewhoknows
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    onewhoknows - September 15, 2011 3:18 pm
    is she were a member of the Muslim faith none of you would be saying a word, but since she is christian, attack!
  34. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - September 15, 2011 2:23 pm
    Robbie said: "She is following her own deeper truth. I happen to strongly disagree with it, however, she should not be compelled to go against her own belief. The deputy clerk solution seems to be a clear solution. Are we to focus on fury and retribution and feeding yet more division,or on a solution to a problem?"
    Robbie, you're completely wrong on this, not even a shadow of a doubt. She can follow any "deeper truth" whatever the heck she likes from the sublime to the ridiculous, but the BOTTOM LINE is that she is refusing to do a job as the job description entails!

    What id you hired a worker to pick your crops and they wouldn't pick the sinful cabbage? Would you go out then and hire a "deputy cabbage-picker" just to make sure ALL your crops get picked? Or would you fire the fool who hath condemned the sinful cabbages and just hire someone who would pick ALL of your crops already?!? Boy--it sounds pretty stupid when you think of it like that, doesn't it?!
  35. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - September 15, 2011 2:18 pm
    michaelcrookblogs said: "Surely anyone can see these hateful ladies are attempting to attack decent society:http://theblog.michaelcrook.org/2011/09/another-hero-emerges.html"

    Citizen Editors, please be aware that this poster is attempting to use the Citizen's website to publicize his own website FOR FREE. This would no doubt be against the rules of the online site?

    On a second note, Michael Crook seems to be a person who is not above LYING in his post in order to funnel traffic into his bigoted, delusional blog. He pretends to condemn Belforti, but in fact holds her up as some sort of perverted "hero" to the Bigoted Cause. If nothing else, this shows without a doubt the TWISTED morality of people like Mr Crook who believe that "a lie told in defense of the Lord is not a lie". OH--how convenient!?

    The best thing is that Mr Crook invites you to comment on his blog, but states that comments that show "hatred in the poster's heart" will not be approved!

    HYPOCRITE!!
  36. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 15, 2011 1:57 pm
    "Deeper Truth"? The truth is, this woman has chosen to pick and choose which of "God's Laws" she wants to exploit for her own gain, attention, whatever. The point I've made before and will make again, is, why doesn't she ask everyone walking in her office door looking for her services, about their morality? In her and God's opinion of course. Does she judge un-married couples with children looking for a marriage license? How about non-religious or other religious types? What if their views and way of life clashes with her and God's beliefs? Surely in her tenure there someone has wandered in that if questioned properly, would reveal some moral ineptitude not worthy of her lofty moral and ethical standards. The bible is full of do's and don'ts, and you're telling me this is what she comes up with? Please. Every religion loves a Martyr, and Ms. Belforti is right up there. Ms. Belforti, you want to suffer? Then do your job and shut up about it. I'm sure you'll be forgiven.
  37. Tom
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    Tom - September 15, 2011 1:43 pm
    michaelcrookblogs said: "Surely anyone can see these hateful ladies are attempting to attack decent society:

    NO!!! Those 2 ladies are trying to ensure that a PUBLIC SERVANT serves the PUBLIC and does not push her religious views on others.
    She needs to leave office immediately if she is unable to perform her lawful duties.
  38. Robbie
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    Robbie - September 15, 2011 10:38 am
    She is following her own deeper truth. I happen to strongly disagree with it, however, she should not be compelled to go against her own belief. The deputy clerk solution seems to be a clear solution. Are we to focus on fury and retribution and feeding yet more division,or on a solution to a problem?
  39. michaelcrookblogs
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    michaelcrookblogs - September 15, 2011 10:07 am
    These two are attacking decent society: theblog.michaelcrook.org/2011/09/another-hero-emerges.html
  40. michaelcrookblogs
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    michaelcrookblogs - September 15, 2011 10:06 am
    Surely anyone can see these hateful ladies are attempting to attack decent society:

    http://theblog.michaelcrook.org/2011/09/another-hero-emerges.html
  41. guitardude62
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    guitardude62 - September 15, 2011 10:05 am
    I'm so sick of listening/reading about this "elected official". I've left many comments on past articles written about this issue, and here's one more. You were elected to a publicly held position to do a job for the Town, period. You were elected by the people, for the people. You are paid by the people. You weren't elected or hired by God, nor does God sign your paycheck. You swore or agreed in some way shape or form to uphold the laws of NYS/Cayuga County, and the Town of Ledyard. You were not elected on a religious platform, and probably not much of a political one either, after all, it's the CLERK's position, not a congressman making laws. If at given time you disagree or your conscious disagrees with ANY aspect of your job, then either put up AND shut up, or if it's too much to bear, then give your 2 week notice. Period.
  42. pjorian99
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    pjorian99 - September 15, 2011 9:59 am
    There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country. If her religious beliefs prevent her from fulfilling the duties of her government position then she needs to step down. Go be a clerk for a church.
  43. Tom
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    Tom - September 15, 2011 9:55 am
    Something no one seems to want to mention is the simple fact that if Ms. Belforti is allowed to do this, there isn't anything to stop the deputy clerk from also refusing to do it.
    Then you get another deputy and they could refuse, and on and on.

    She took an oath of office that she is breaking. She is in violation of State law.
    If she does not resign, the town board can and must remove her for failure to fulfill her sworn obligations.
  44. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - September 15, 2011 9:55 am
    There is no other word for this but "outrageous"!

    What kind of state would New York be if it allowed people to just ignore the Law at their whim?

    The State of New York should file suit against ALL of these this uneducated bigots--Belforti, Fordan, and Frisch--and not only remove them from their posts, but BAN them from holding office in this state hereafter! Their arrogance and contempt for the written Law shows them to be manifestly unfit for public office!

    And another disgusting aspect of this shameful debacle is the disgusting, cynical appellations given to the supporting groups--"New Yorkers for Constitutional "FREEDOMS" and "COURAGE" fund--you might as well start a new chapter of the KKK and call it "the NAACP"!

    These are the kind of people whose bigotry and using-of Religion as a shield to try to excuse it foster anti-Christian hatred. They are an embarrassment to any good moral person who understands the Golden Rule! "Love one another as I have loved you"!
  45. fran
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    fran - September 15, 2011 9:31 am
    I respect your right to stand up for what you believe in, but when you bring your religion into the work place that is wrong. If you can not carry out the responsibilities of your position it is time to step down from that position. Anyone who would discriminate against a large segment of society has no place in a government job.
  46. Me
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    Me - September 15, 2011 9:17 am
    She "loves working with people"? Evidentley not ALL people! What a hypocrite, only her "type" of people she likes working with! Isn't it taught in religion to "love your fellow man"?

    I will bring you back to this point from the very beginning: IF YOU REFUSE TO DO YOUR JOB, YOU LOOSE YOUR JOB!
  47. OldDaveNJ
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    OldDaveNJ - September 15, 2011 9:15 am
    If she doesn't want to see taxpayer money frittered away, why is she openly inviting lawsuits against the town that the town will almost certainly lose?
  48. Floretta
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    Floretta - September 15, 2011 8:44 am
    She may answer to a "higher court" in the next world but in this one she answers to the people, the ones who gave her the job she loves. If she can't choose between them, the voters will make the decision for her.
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