Gay couple who were denied the right to marry won legal damages


 Dylan Toften and Thomas Hurd went to the town clerk’s office in Root in July of last year to get a marriage license, but the local clerk Laurel Erikson refused to give it to them as it was contrary to her religious beliefs. Her refusal violated the state’s Marriage Equality Act as well as federal and New York state civil rights laws, according to the couple’s legal representation, Lambda Legal. The couple reached a settlement and the town agreed to pay $25 000 dollars to them as compensation. Erikson read a public statement at a town meeting where she took a full responsibility for her actions, apologized for them and vowed not to discriminate against same-sex couples in future. “We feel vindicated and grateful that the Town of Root has realised its obligation to respect our family and all same-sex couples on the same terms as any different-sex couple who wants to marry,” Dylan Toften said.


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