September 29, 2015

Pope: Workers Have 'Human Right' to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

In an interview following his whirlwind tour of Washington D. C. and Philadelphia, Pope Francis affirmed that government workers have a human right to refuse to carry out a duty if they have a "conscientious objection." NBC reports that:
While returning from his visit to the U.S., the pontiff told reporters aboard the papal plane Monday that anyone who prevents others from exercising their religious freedom is denying them a human right.
[ ... ]
The pontiff was asked: "Do you... support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?"
[Pope Francis]: "I can't have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection ... but yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, 'this right that has merit, this one does not.'"
I note that in the video accompanying the article, NBC made no reference to the Pope's stance on refusing same-sex marriage licenses.

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