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Franklin Graham Voices Support For Mississippi Circuit Clerk Who Resigned Following Same-Sex Marriage Decision

( [email protected] ) Jul 06, 2015 06:23 PM EDT
Rev. Franklin Graham has announced his support for Grenada County, Mississippi Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette, who resigned from her position following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Grenada County, Mississippi Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette resigned from her position following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
WABG-TV

Rev. Franklin Graham has announced his support for Grenada County, Mississippi Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette, who resigned from her position following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

"The Supreme Court's decision violates my core values as a Christian," Barnette wrote in a letter to the board of supervisors. "My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God's plan and purpose for marriage and family."

Barnette, who had been the circuit clerk for 24 years, announced that her resignation was effective immediately.

"I want to thank the citizens of Grenada County for giving me the honor of serving as their circuit clerk...I choose to obey God rather than man," she concluded.

"It just goes against everything I believe, my core values, everything I believe in," she explained of her opposition to same-sex marriage in a later interview with Sean Hannity. 

According to a report from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Barnette, who is Southern Baptist, has in the past worked on several of Franklin Graham's evangelistic Festivals. Her husband, Sherman, also recently retired after three decades of service with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is described by Rev. Franklin Graham as a "close friend."

On Monday, Graham took to Facebook to voice his support for Barnette and to warn Christians that they will soon be facing the same kind of decisions in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

"I have known Linda for many years," Graham wrote. "I appreciate her boldness to stand firm for her sincerely held religious beliefs. More and more Americans will be facing decisions like this as our nation continues to go against God's laws and standards."

Barnette's pastor, Dr. Brian Robertson, told Fox News contributor Todd Starnes that while he is "saddened in the fact that we are losing a wonderful county clerk" and "grieved as a minister and Christian because of the circumstances that have caused her to have to resign," he is encouraged by Barnette's dedication to her Christian values. 

"I applaud her as a brother in Christ," the pastor said. "Her testimony to the Lord is more important to her than serving man."

The Mississippi pastor echoed Rev. Graham's warning in stating that Barnette is simply the first of many to lose their jobs because of their Christian faith.

"Political propagandists want to force Christians who do not agree with the liberal mindset out of office," he said, "I pray that I am targeted...I will use the statement Joshua made many years ago. As for me and my house - we will serve the Lord."