COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. – The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal advocacy group founded by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, is offering Iowa county recorders free legal assistance if they refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Iowa Independent reports today that the ADF sent a letter to each of the state’s 99 county recorders asking them to tell their staffs that they “shall not be required to issue or process a marriage license, or to perform, assist or participate in such procedures, against that individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
The letter, which was sent out in conjunction with the Iowa Family Policy Center, tells recipients that state law protects citizens from being forced to “violate his or her conscience.”
An announcement on the ADF site confirms that letters were sent out asking county recorders to “adopt a policy protecting employee rights of conscience. The policy would protect objecting employees from being forced to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if doing so would violate the employee’s conscience.”
The letter also asks county recorders not to be influenced by the remarks of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller “threatening legal action against any recorder’s office that does not abide by the Iowa Supreme Court’s April 3 decision that struck down the state’s Defense of Marriage Act.”
“Contrary to the threatening statement issued by Attorney General Tom Miller on April 21st, the citizens of Iowa enjoy the protections of the right of conscience guaranteed in the U.S. and Iowa constitutions–the very constitutions that county recorders swore to uphold when taking office,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier said.