Town Pays Over $40,000 For Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couple


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The state of New York has reached a settlement with the Town of Root for an incident last year in which the town clerk refused to issue a marriage license to Dylan Toften and Thomas Hurd.

The town attorney said clerk Laurel “Sherrie” Eriksen refused to issue the license because she had religious objections to same-sex marriage.

Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

Same-sex marriage has been legal in New York since 2011 and Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation by the State Division of Human Rights. It announced Friday that a settlement was reached with the town.

The town agreed to pay the state a $20,000 fine. The town must also train all current and future employees on New York’s anti-discrimination law, and must prominently display an anti-discrimination informational poster in the town building.

In a separate legal settlement earlier this year, Root agreed to pay $25,000 to the gay couple who were refused a license.

Root is a town of less than 2,000 people about 50 miles west of Albany.