County Official In Grafton Says No To Same Sex Marriage Licenses

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A county official in Grafton, North Dakota has declined to abide by the Federal Court mandate to issue marriage licenses for same sex couples.
However, County Recorder, Diane Link has found a solution to legally abide by her own opposition to same sex marriages.
Some of the duties of a County Recorder include processing marriage licenses and now that also means, processing marriage licenses for same sex couples. But, here in Walsh County, County Recorder, Diane Link has said no.
Diane Link, Walsh County Recorder: “Two years ago I met with the Board during my budget review and let them know that if North Dakota ever approved same sex marriages, I would not be comfortable doing them.”
Link spent 4 years in the Navy after graduating from high school in Grafton. She’s raised a family and has spent 30 years in the County Recorder’s office. She calls herself a Christian, who cannot condone same sex marriages.
Reporter: “You’re willing to say you’re Christian. You didn’t say which denomination, but it’s basically your religious belief?”
Diane Link: “My religious and moral belief.”
Link says this whole issue is about the Supreme Court trampling State’s rights. However, she says she knows all about gay rights. She has gay members of her family.
Diane Link: “I realize they have the legal right and I understand it and accept that. But I’m not comfortable… to me, marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Link says a solution to her moral dilemma was found… State law allows her to turn over the marriage license duties to her Deputy Recorder.
Ernie Barta, Walsh County Commissioner: “We had her at our last meeting and she said she would do it. It’s something we have to do. We weren’t looking forward to doing it. But to be in compliance as a County and offer residents a chance to get a license, we had to do it.”
Whatever your stand on same sex marriages, they’ve worked legally worked out a solution to one woman’s, moral dilemma.
So far, Walsh County has not had any requests for same sex marriage licenses.
Diane Link says 2 other counties in western North Dakota have also accommodated County Recorders, who have beliefs, similar to hers.