The telephone in the Decatur County Clerk Office rang nonstop Thursday morning, and a steady stream of people came into the small room.
Over and over again, people praised the decision of the three workers who have decided to step down from their positions rather than hand out same-sex marriage licenses.
Clerk Gwen Pope and employees Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler all said they were resigning because the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages clashed with their religious beliefs. Their last day will be July 14.
Currently, Decatur County’s clerk office will not issue a same-sex license, the employees said.
According to Drew Baker, area representative for the Tennessee Equality Project, Decatur County is the only county in the state that has said it won’t issue same-sex licenses. As of Thursday there have been no requests for a same-sex license in the county.
Pope said the decision to step down wasn’t made to make news.
“It’s kind of sort of like you don’t want to draw attention to yourself for any reason,” Pope said. “That’s not why we’re doing this. Not doing it in any way to draw attention to us. It’s for the glory of God. He’s going to get all the glory.”
All three will be looking for new jobs. There was no backup plan, they said.
Pope has worked on and off in the office since 1994 and has been the clerk since 2008. Butler has worked in the office since 2002 and Bell has been there since 2009.
Read more: wbir.com