Pope: Govt workers should be able to refuse gay marriage licenses
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Pope Francis on Monday appeared to side with a Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, saying government employees should have the “human right” to object to acts that violate their beliefs.

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“Conscientious objection must enter into every judicial structure, because it is a right,” he told reporters while flying to Rome following a 10-day tour of the U.S. that ended Monday morning, according to Reuters.

“I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection, but yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” Francis said, in Italian.

“And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” the pontiff added, according to the news service. “Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.’ ”

Francis’s remarks come after renewed national debate over same-sex marriage earlier this summer.

The Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges last June that all 50 states must recognize same-sex marriages nationwide.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis then entered the media spotlight by refusing to issue licenses recognizing the practice.

Davis was subsequently jailed for being in contempt of a court order commanding her to begin certifying same-sex marriages.

She has since been released following public support from GOP presidential candidates such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).

Reuters said on Monday that Francis also addressed whether his warm public reception in American makes him a “star.”

“The media uses this term, but there is another truth — how many stars have we seen go out and fall?” he asked after his trip to Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

“It is a fleeting thing,” Francis added. “Instead, being a servant of the servants of God does not pass.”