Alberto Arias, the head of the Civil Registry in Argentinean city of Concordia, stated this week that he will not “marry” same-sex couples and plans to exercise conscientious objection. Though the law legalizing gay “marriage” does not allow objection, the official argued that it is part of the country’s legal order.
“Just as the Law on Reproductive Health allows doctors to opt out of performing abortions for reasons of conscience, I assume nobody will be offended if some head of the Civil Registry, like me, says he is not going to do it,” Arias said on Argentinean radio. Arias is a lawyer who works in the diocesan tribunal on marriage annulment cases and has worked in the Civil Registry for over 30 years.
He said that requests for marriage by gay couples would be passed on to other officials and that he would remove himself from such cases.
However, the statements by Arias have already provoked a reaction by city officials, who responded that, “the heads of Civil Registries are public officials and cannot object to the law. We will see what the position of each one is and we’ll analyze it and respond accordingly.”