Some parts of the workday just aren't as agreeable as others. That, as the saying goes, is why they call it work. So, although we recognize that county clerks throughout California have a complicated job ahead gearing up for same-sex marriages -- such as, what should the license call what used to be "husband and wife"? -- one thing that should be simple and clear is that, beginning June 16, public employees who perform marriage ceremonies have a legal obligation to do so for gay and lesbian couples, no matter how they feel about it.
In response to a May 15 decision by the California Supreme Court declaring the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, officials in at least one county — San Diego -- are planning to allow employees with moral or religious objections to the marriages to be excused from presiding over them. That's plainly improper in its acceptance of bigotry as a basis for discretion by public employees. Some workers may have problems with interracial marriage too, but no one is suggesting that they be allowed to opt out of the duty to perform those constitutionally protected unions.
Government employees are paid to do their jobs. If the job involves performing marriages, that's what they do, regardless of personal sentiment. If they can't handle their jobs, they're free to apply for new ones elsewhere.