Waymon Hudson

No Wedding Ceremonies for Kern County

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 06, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Ann Barnett, California, Kern County, Marriage Decision

How do you get around marriage Barnett.jpgequality in California? Simply stop performing all wedding ceremonies.

Kern county clerk's office will stop performing ceremonies for any couples -- gay or straight -- after June 13- the Friday before the Supreme Court Decision goes into effect. The office will issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning June 17 as state law requires but will stop solemnizing weddings due to "lack of staff and space."

This announcement came Wednesday, right after the California Supreme Court refused to stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Something smells rotten in Kern County...

According to the Bakersfield Californian:

Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk Ann Barnett repeatedly tried to avoid licensing and performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, interviews and e-mails obtained by The Californian show.

At her request, County Counsel Bernard Barmann filed a brief with the California Supreme Court opposing implementation of the May 15 ruling allowing gay marriage.

She tried to resign her elected position as county clerk -- while keeping her positions as auditor-controller and elections boss. "She really wanted to get rid of it," Barmann said.

And finally, when the ruling came down Wednesday that she had to license same-sex marriages, she decided to stop performing all weddings. That involved canceling 25 heterosexual ceremonies that had been scheduled after June 13, according to her staff.

I think the best response to Barnett's actions came from advocate Whitney Weddell: "Who really wants to be married by a hater?" Indeed.

Despite Barnett's ruling, there will be some couples gathering outside the county clerk's office for their wedding ceremonies June 17. Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kern County said she will be at the office that morning at 8 a.m. to officiate and will continue to perform weddings for free until Nov. 4.

"I would like people to know that I'm more than willing to do this," Tetzlaff said. "Justice for one is justice for all, and I'm glad California is open to this."

Now if only Kern County's Barnett would realize that...

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Allan Brauer | June 6, 2008 2:06 PM

I just called the county clerk's office at 661-868-3743 and was given a non-answer about budget cuts as the reason they will no longer perform civil ceremonies.

Call today and ask for an appointment for a civil ceremony so they can explain it to you as well.

I called the county clerk's office as well, 661-868-3743, to offer my encouragement and support for her to resign, you know, since she wants to anyway.

I was born and raised in Bakersfield, the county seat. I have to say this isn't going over well in the city, as the average income from the ceremonies are about 50k a year. People are now starting to realize that she is taking away programs by cutting the ceremonies. Check out the link here to the local news article.


Kern County includes an enormous natural geological deposit of a special type of clay earth that makes good kitty litter --- and thus kitty litter is one of Kern County's largest industries. In Los Angeles, I learned the local saying that means your career might be ruined: "You'll spend the rest of your life bagging kitty litter in Kern County."

Maybe if this public official objects to doing the job she was elected to do, we should all send her a bag of kitty litter to encourage her to look into the other employment opportunities in her area.

But show a little class and send an unused bag of kitty litter.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 6, 2008 6:05 PM

Time to insist that Der Gubernator activate the California National Guard, assuming they aren't all in Iraq, and send in armed troops to compel this bigot to do her job or resign and to protect the rights of people to get married.

I mean if it’s OK to send American troops anywhere and everywhere to protect businesses why not send a few to protect basic rights in Bakersfield.

Our troops have invaded or attacked, to name a few, Mexico (three times), Cuba (several times), American Samoa (nee Samoa), China, Nicaragua (at least a dozen times), Panama (nee Columbia, several times), Hawaii, Midway, Korea (several times), Haiti (several times), Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Japan, El Salvador, Iran, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Libya, Brazil, the Congo and Zaire, Indonesia, Chile, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and last but not least the US Marine Corps Special Olympics held in Grenada in 1983.

Bakersfield is so much closer.

I looked at the enlarged photo of Ann Barnett. Doesn't she look desperately trans?

FWIW, Bakersfield is probably not only one of the most conservative parts of California, but of the nation.

As far as the $50K in lost revenue, as I've said before greed can be a great motivator for tolerance when it comes to businesses. We'll see if it holds true in the private sector.

@Hazumu - I realize you meant well, but comments about how a woman looks "desperately trans" (i.e. like a man), or about "Mann Coulter" etc. really are pretty offensive to some folks, and not just trans people. Especially since these kind of comments often come from folks who pride themselves on being liberal and who'd never dream of saying someone looks "desperately Asian/black/gay/Hispanic/Jewish/etc." Just sayin'...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 7, 2008 3:21 AM

Hurrah for her for being honest about her hatred. Get the license from her office and go down to your local friendly church and git hitched as you would probably choose anyway. So, she wants to lose one job, the electorate can see to it that she loses three.

This is a perfect example of how some in government think that citizens work for them.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 7, 2008 4:18 AM

or, I only wanted this job when I could tell you what you could not have...

I love AJ's idea of sending Kitty Litter. LOL.

Lena- Thank you for pointing out that Hazumu's comment was insulting and offensive. I couldn't agree more.

And don't forget- if you want to call to express your disapproval of Barnett, call 661-868-3743.

If she doesn't want to do the job, why don't they let her resign? I realize she wants to keep 2/3 of the position, but I think an "all or nothing" response is appropriate here...

Hazumu - don't worry about it. In the Grand Scheme of Things, we have far more important things to worry about than an unfortunate turn of phrase. Real issues, not trifles. De Nada.

She's a total tranny