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Maine Notaries Told ‘You Shall Not Discriminate’

For notaries in Maine the message on same-sex marriage is quite simple. They cannot discriminate. Notaries who can officiate weddings have been told that they cannot exclude same-sex couples, and cannot claim any religious exemption or pass the buck. They have been told that the Maine Human Rights Act prohibits them from doing so, and the while the new law that goes into effect at month’s end exempts religious clergy, it does not exempt them.

Cathy Beaudoin, the person in charge of licensing notaries in Maine, stated “If you are a Notary Public who performs marriages and you refuse to perform a marriage for a couple due to a person’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, creed, age, ancestry or national origin, you may be subject to a claim of discrimination. The new law authorizing same-sex marriage does not provide any exemption from liability for Maine Notaries who refuse to perform marriages for same-sex couples.”

Some notaries have already quit over the new law much to the anger of the National Organization for Marriage and other Religious Conservatives.

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