An open letter to Barbara Mac Ewen, Town Clerk for the Town of Volney in Oswego County, New York.

Ms. Mac Ewen stated that as Town Clerk she can’t sign marriage licenses for same sex couples because it goes against her beliefs.

If you would like to drop her a line, she can be reached through the Town of Volney website.

By the way, Earl and I have no intentions on getting married in the Town of Volney. At about 70 miles away, we have much more hospitable town clerks to choose from closer to home. The Town of Volney is near my hometown, and that is why this caught my attention. Their biggest newsmaker used to be the landfill.

Ms. Mac Ewen:

As a former resident of Oswego County, I am always excited when the towns around my hometown make the national news. Usually it’s the record amount of snowfall in the Town of Redfield or a huge salmon in the Town of Richland, but with this go-around, the Town of Volney made the news with your declaration that your faith will not allow you to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples.

This is quite unfortunate.

Setting aside the fact that you were elected to serve the people by the people, and this includes ALL the people in the Town of Volney, there is the clear separation of church and state, something that you seem to have lost in your many years as Town Clerk.

Your unfortunate choice of words when referring to gay and lesbian couples in the Town of Volney, (I believe you referred to them as “anybody like that”), help perpetuate the belief that Central New York is still in the dark ages and inhospitable to anyone that isn’t part of a straight, white family.

While my heart sinks when I read about the type of prejudice and hate that a part of your religious beliefs, I am joyful and thank all that is holy that you were not elected Fire Chief, for one must wonder if you would leave a gay couple of burn in a house because rescuing them would go against your beliefs.

I mentioned before that I am often happy to see the small towns of Oswego County make the national news. Unfortunately, this is not one of these occasions. I am thankful that I was able to move out of the area to a New York town where they understand the separation of church and state.

Best regards and blessed be,
J.P. Wing

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