State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, who is running for Franklin County recorder of deeds, released a statement in response to criticism he has received in The Missourian over his campaign stance against gay marriage.

Below is his statement in full:

“In response to a recent letter to the editor that accused me of politicizing gay marriage let me say this... Standing up for and defending our Constitution is not a political act, it is the sworn duty of each and every elected official! Like it or not, agree or not, our Missouri Constitution clearly states that marriage in this state shall only be between a man and a woman.

“I was there when the amendment was written and helped with the passage. The Constitution exists largely for the purpose of governing government and any elected official who will not submit to the Constitution should resign.

“For (St. Louis) Mayor (Francis) Slay to perform the same-sex marriages we are all hearing about, the couples had to first go to a recorder of deeds to get the license, right? That recorder should have followed their oath and said no!

“Recorders of deeds take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and what I’ve been saying and will continue to say is simply this... Every recorder had better be ready to stand up to the ACLU, judges, mayors, or any other Constitution violating activists and follow our Constitution by saying no to same-sex marriage!

“If and when the Constitution changes, then and only then can a recorder issue a same-sex marriage license. Anyone who will not fight the ACLU, a judge, or a mayor about this issue should resign or if not yet in office, withdraw.

“If you see strict adherence to the Constitution as political, well, I don’t know what to say but I will continue to fight for, and uphold, our Constitution in what ever office I ever have the honor of holding.

“Long before Mayor Francis Slay, Judge (Joseph) Murphy, and the like, decided to ignore our Constitution — I was publicly stating that I believed Missouri would soon see a constitutional crisis that would put our recorders of deeds at ground zero and on the front lines.

“I’m saddened to tell you I was correct.”

Other candidates for Franklin County recorder of deeds are Republicans Jennifer Metcalf, Langdon Knight, Doris Meyer and Tami Getman and Democrat Judy Carroll.