A town clerk in Montgomery County, New York, denied a marriage license to a same-sex couple Monday, according to a report from The Daily Gazette. The town attorney defended the clerk’s decision, arguing that “Sherrie didn’t process the two men’s marriage license application because they failed to make an appointment with her, as everyone is required by her office to do.” “She has a religious objection and has referred the matter to her deputy clerk, who has no such objection and will issue the license when they make an appointment,” he said, adding that “Of course, the two men are free to go to another jurisdiction to obtain their license.”
The right to same-sex marriage has been on the books in New York since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law in 2011, the Gazette adds; the law mandates that “no application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same, or a different, sex.” Cuomo took to Twitter Wednesday to condemn the clerk’s actions, writing, “The denial of a marriage license to a same sex couple yesterday in Montgomery County is an unconscionable act of discrimination that goes against our values as New Yorkers. I am directing an investigation into this incident to ensure that it never happens again.” The Gazette notes that the couple has since obtained a marriage license from another town, and plans to marry in mid-August. This is not the first time a same-sex couple has been denied a marriage license in recent years: In 2011, a Cayuga County clerk declined to provide one. In 2015, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis made international headlines for her refusal, which defied a U.S. federal court order.