With New Jersey now allowing civil unions, the state’s attorney general is warning public officials that if they choose to perform marriage ceremonies, they must also perform civil unions for gay couples.
In a legal opinion by N.J. Attorney General Stuart Rabner issued to municipal officials Rabner said that if they conduct ceremonies for opposite-sex couples they must also perform civil unions.
In a separate communication to local officials John M. Carbone, an attorney representing county clerks and surrogates in all 21 New Jersey counties, advises “Either do marriages and civil unions, or do nothing.”
Under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination any official who performs ceremonies for opposite-sex couples but refuses to conduct civil unions could be removed from office and subjected to fines beginning at $10,000 for the first offense Rabner said.
Seems reasonable to me. Regardless of their private views, as government officials they cannot engage in discrimination in carrying out their duties.