Franklin Graham Stands By County Clerk Who Refused To Participate In Same-Sex Marriages
Linda Barnette is one of the first--but certainly not the last--to face the decision to choose between her faith and her job after the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
She says that once she heard the Supreme Court's decision, she knew she could no longer fulfill her duties as county clerk and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In this powerful interview with Sean Hannity, Linda says, "I strongly believe in the Bible and that God is the final authority. It teaches that it's a man and a woman, and that constitutes marriage."
HANNITY: All right, so this goes against your deeply held religious views and conviction.
BARNETTE: That's right.
HANNITY: All right. So tell us the process by which you realized that you felt you wanted to resign here.
BARNETTE: Well, I was waiting for the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. And when that came down, I knew I could no longer fulfill my duties as circuit clerk and issue marriage to same-sex couples.
HANNITY: Yes, and you were willing to accept the consequence. As I understand it, though, Mississippi is considering getting out of the marriage license business altogether now. Would you be able to get your job back if they did?
BARNETTE: Well, no. I've already resigned my position, and they've appointed one of my deputies that's been with me for 22 years. And so I probably would not.
HANNITY: Yes. Why is this so important to you inasmuch as -- do you feel that you are aiding and abetting something that goes against your conscience?
BARNETTE: Yes, it is. I strongly believe in the bible and that God is the final authority. And just because man chooses to live this way or say we have to do this and follow the laws, make the laws -- and it just goes against everything I believe, my core values, everything I believe in.
In her resignation letter, she wrote, "I choose to obey God rather than man."
Linda and her husband Sherman served with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for over 30 years and helped with many of Franklin Graham's festivals.
Franklin Graham stands in firm support of Linda and is so proud of her. He writes on his Facebook page, "I appreciate her boldness to stand firm for her sincerely held religious beliefs. More and more Americans will be facing decisions like this as our nation continues to go against God’s laws and standards."
What do you think? Do you admire Linda's courage and sacrifice to stand for what she believes? What would you have done in her position? We would love to hear your thoughts!