California county clerk to cut marriage ceremonies in wake of same-sex marriage decision


The county clerk of Kern County, California has announced that her office will perform no civil marriages at all because of the state Supreme Court’s decision not to stay its mandate legalizing same-sex marriages.

Ann Barnett, who in addition to being county clerk is also county auditor and comptroller, had asked the county’s legal counsel to join the motion filed by 10 states petitioning the court to delay its decision mandating same-sex marriages to be performed beginning June 17.

When the court announced on June 4 that it would not delay its decision, Barnett considered resigning as clerk to avoid performing homosexual marriages.

According to the Bakersfield Californian, Barnett decided to instead stop solemnizing all marriages after being advised such a decision would be non-discriminatory. As a county clerk, she is not required by law to provide civil marriages.

 “Because of long-term administrative plans, budgetary reasons, and the need to increase security for elections, the Clerk’s office will cease solemnizing weddings, which is discretionary on the part of the County Clerk,” said a statement from Barnett’s office. The statement said the clerk’s office will issue licenses for same-sex marriages starting on June 17 as it is required by state law. The office will also provide information necessary to solemnize a marriage.

Because of her decision, 25 marriage ceremonies scheduled after June 13 have been canceled.

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