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Christian Clerk Says County Fired Her for Opposing Domestic Partnerships

EUGENE, Ore. (CN) - A former records clerk says Douglas County fired her for refusing to record domestic partnerships because of her "sincerely held religious beliefs" that domestic partnerships "are a sin." The Oregon Family Fairness Act legalized domestic partnerships in 2007.

But Kathy Slater claims she is a Christian who holds the "bona fide" belief that domestic partnerships "are a sin."

Slater says she asked her bosses to excuse her from issuing domestic partnership licenses on religious grounds. But she says her boss, Douglas County Clerk Barbara Neilson, denied the request, saying it would "impose undue hardship" on the rest of the staff - a claim Slater denies.

Two months later, Slater says, the county fired her for refusing to sign a memo about county protocol on processing domestic partnerships.

Slater seeks damages for religious discrimination. She also wants the county enjoined from telling prospective employers that it fired her. She is represented in Federal Court by Brian Pocock.

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