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New York governor Andrew Cuomo orders investigation into same-sex couple denied marriage licence

Lydia Smith August 2, 2018

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The governor of New York has called for an investigation to be launched after a same-sex couple was reportedly denied a marriage licence.

Dylan Toften, from the town of Root, posted on Facebook that he and his partner were rejected for a licence by the town clerk, Laurel “Sherrie” Eriksen.

The incident was confirmed by the town attorney Robert Subik, who told local newspaper the Daily Gazette that the licence was not granted because the couple did not make an appointment and because of the clerk’s religious beliefs.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the incident to be investigated in a statement posted on his official website.

Same-sex marriages have been legally recognised in New York state since 2011 (Theo Wargo/Getty)

“The denial of a marriage license to a same-sex couple yesterday in Montgomery County is an unconscionable act of discrimination that goes against our values as New Yorkers,” he wrote.

“Personally I cannot believe that this could happen anywhere in this country, let alone in the State of New York. Marriage equality is the law of the land, and it has been in New York since we were the first big state to pass the Marriage Equality Act in 2011. I am directing an investigation into this incident to ensure that it never happens again.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I would like to congratulate Dylan Toften and his future husband on their marriage. I invite them to come to Albany, and I would be happy to offer my services as an officiant at their wedding.”

Subik told the newspaper in an email: “She has a religious objection and has referred the matter to her deputy clerk, who has no such objection and will issue the license when they make an appointment.”

Governor Cuomo (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty)

“The clerks are both part-time and don’t man the office Monday through Friday. Of course, the two men are free to go to another jurisdiction to obtain their license.”

Same-sex marriage have been legally recognised in the state of New York since 2011 and has been legal across the US since 2015.

In May, a survey revealed that more than two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans support same-sex marriage.

The results from the poll, published by Gallup, mark the highest level of support the firm has ever recorded in more than 20 years of asking US citizens about their views on the issue.

In 1996, when Gallup first surveyed Americans on same-sex marriage, only 27 percent were in support.

The data showed that 83 percent of those who classed themselves as Democrats said they support legally recognised same-sex marriage – compared to less than half (44 percent) of Republican respondents.

More: gay marriage, Homophobia, New York, Politics, relationships, same sex marriage, US, US

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