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County Clerk's Religious Marriage Poster Removed After Public Outcry

The clerk said it was just a "celebration of marriage," but email records allegedly say otherwise.

A controversial religious poster on marriage hanging in a county clerk's office in Colorado has been taken down.

The poster, which hung above the desks in the Elbert County office where people obtain marriage licenses, read, “… each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” and attributed the line to I Corinthians.

County Clerk Dallas Schroeder told local news channel Denver 7 that he only hung the poster up as a “celebration of marriage.” But the station reported on Monday that they obtained emails that Schroeder wrote to multiple court clerks stating that he created the poster as a response to same-sex marriage.

“My thought process is that they have to see the poster,” he allegedly wrote in the email. “And if they choose to violate God’s written Word, then that is on their head. I have warned them."

Though the controversy is reminiscent of the Kim Davis debacle, Schroeder's office is issuing same-sex marriage licenses, he told Denver 7. 

He told Denver 7 claimed that the poster had been up for more than a year with no complaints, but reporters discovered that at least three people have complained to Schroeder and another group of people met this week to talk about the poster.

The news station reported Friday afternoon that the poster was no longer hanging on the wall, but did not provide further detail. Schroeder did not immediately return a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

At least two advocacy groups, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, called for the sign to come down.

“Schroeder’s job is to issue marriage licenses to every legally qualified couple without bringing his moral disapproval into matters,” AU executive director Rev. Barry W. Lynn said in a Thursday news release. “If he’s unable to do that, he needs to resign.”

FRFF staff attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter about the poster to several state officials in late November. “Mr. Schroeder is displaying words from his religion's holy book to issue a religious warning to all citizens in a government building," he wrote. "This is unconstitutional."

The quote on the poster, by the way, is kind of a weird choice if your goal really is to "celebrate marriage." The line comes from a chapter in Corinthians in which Paul the Apostle is saying that it’s best to stay single (and celibate), and that people should only get married at all if they’re going to be absolutely overwhelmed with sexual temptation otherwise.

Not very romantic.

Contact the author of this article at Hilary.Hanson@huffingtonpost.com

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