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ACLU seeks to prevent clergy from performing marriages in Nevada

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posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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This is what happens when you give the government power over a religious institution such as marriage; it opens the doors for all sorts of meddling and interference. The ACLU is trying to block the power of the clergy to perform marriages in the state of Nevada because they say its a violation of the fictional "wall of separation between Church and state".


ACLU Sues to Stop Clergy From Performing Marriages in Nevada

Nevada has long been known as the easiest place in America to get a divorce — and a quick marriage. After a couple has had a “quickie” marriage and the marriage license has been mailed to them, the union is still not technically valid until either a clergyman or a justice of the peace in the state has performed a marriage ceremony and the officiant and the couple have signed the marriage license and it has been mailed to the proper government agency for validation.

All that this law requires is that the clergyman performing the wedding provide proof that he is affiliated with a church or religious organization. The legal role allowed by Nevada law to a man of the cloth, however, is too much for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed suit in Clark County, contending that allowing priests, ministers, and rabbis to marry people in Nevada violates the so-called separation of church and state prohibitions in the Constitution.

ACLU attorney Allen Lichtenstein argued that Judge Pro should strike the religious requirement from the statute. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Raul Martinez and Michael Jacobson — both members of the American Humanist Association — claim they were denied certificates to perform marriages because they are not affiliated with a religious organization.

In his brief, Lichtenstein wrote that the state law in question does "advance religion by providing religiously affiliated individuals a certain degree of standing within the political community, while also sending a message to non-religiously affiliated individuals that they are outsiders from the political community, not worthy of privileges available to religious individuals.’’

In this ACLU case in Clark County, Nevada, what is being questioned is not the right of a humanist to have a marriage ceremony legally performed; in fact, the legal right to have a justice of the peace, who is not a religious official, perform the service seems to specifically embrace the rights of the godless to legally marry. What is being challenged is the right of two Catholics, two Jews, or two Protestants to have this milestone in life superintended by someone recognized by their faith.

The New American


The thing is, the state is not giving the clergy the right to perform marriages, they are merely recognizing the marriage that the clergy have performed. Marriage has been a longstanding religious institution that is recognized by the state because of the benifits it gives to society; a stable family in which children can be reared and raised to become future productive taxpayers.

Besides, last I checked, wasn't Humanism recognized as a religion by the Supreme Court? Maybe if they established some type of national organization with recognized and certified clergy, this would never have been a problem.

Of course that's not what this is all about. What its really all about is the drive to destroy the institution of marriage and further weaken the most basic unit of human society; the family. Without the bonds of family, it will be that much easier to institute total government over the people.




posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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Where does it say that they are trying to prevent clergy from performing marriages? From what you quoted, it just says that they're trying to removing the "religion" requirement.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 
The ACLU and their ilk won't be happy until marriage is replaced by, "State Sponsored Unions".
We could get a union czar
Department of unions



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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Of course that's not what this is all about. What its really all about is the drive to destroy the institution of marriage and further weaken the most basic unit of human society


Marriage is an abstract concept only existing in ones mind. You cant destroy an abstract concept. First of all, you are the only one that can decide what that means to you. They could change the definition of marriage to anything and you wouldn't have to accept it. Because its your mind. So really, if you think about it, merely saying marriage is being destroyed destroys your idea of it.

Also no one is trying to undermine the "Most basic unit of human society". That doesn't even make sense. Unless you are a supervillain.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by TurkeyTots
 


Read it again, the article states the ACLU objects on the grounds that:


the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed suit in Clark County, contending that allowing priests, ministers, and rabbis to marry people in Nevada violates the so-called separation of church and state prohibitions in the Constitution.


They believe that, by recognizing the clergy's role in the marriage ceremony, that the state is conferring some special power on them which is a "violation of separation of church and state."

They don't want clergy to be able to perform marriages in the state unless they get their way and make it so that anyone you pass on the street can perform marriages. They see blocking clergy from performing marriages as a step in deconstructing marriage as an institution and making it into something that just anybody could do.

Marriage is a huge step in a couple's lives and should not be entered into lightly. Clergy and secular officials authorized to perform marriages should have some type of training to counsel couples who want to get married to make sure they are entering into the marriage willingly, responsibly and with full knowledge of what they are getting into.

Letting anyone off the street perform marriages will make marriage less of a serious commitment in the eyes of the marrying couple and will further lead to its downfall as a legitimate institution.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Your biased source has you completely confused... You should have done some research. No one is seeking to prevent clergy from performing marriages, they just want to be more inclusive and let the couple decide if they want clergy or non-clergy to perform the ceremony.

Basically, as the law is now, one has to PROVE they are religious before they can obtain a permit to conduct a marriage ceremony. Not the legal aspect, but the ceremony.

ACLU Sues over Religious Test to Conduct marriage.



State laws allow a person to obtain a certificate of permission to solemnize marriages based on the fact that he or she has a religious affiliation, the suit says.

"Similarly-situated persons without such religious affiliation are specifically prohibited from obtaining such certificate. This requirement violates both the United States Constitution and the Nevada Constitution," the suit alleges.


People should have anyone they want conduct their ceremony. (My husband and I conducted our own) As long as there are witnesses and all the legal papers are signed, then it shouldn't matter who conducts the ceremony. It should be the couple's choice.



A provision in state law regarding certificates of permission to perform marriages says in part that applications must: "Show the date of licensure, ordination or appointment of the minister or other person authorized to solemnize a marriage, and the name of the church or religious organization with which he is affiliated."


Truth is, not all people who marry are religious. Many religious people like to claim that marriage is a religious institution, but the truth is, there is LEGAL marriage and religious marriage. MOST people have a legal marriage, but many like the added aspect of religion in their union and they are free to do so. But marriage doesn't belong to the religious or to religion. That's just something you're going to have to deal with. Accept it or not, that's the way it is.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


ROFL... again, you're reading it the wrong way. They are trying to get more people to be officiates, not fewer. They are saying that using religion as a requirement violates the separation of church and state.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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The state has no business being involved in marriage one way or the other.

What the ACLU is doing here is a good thing. It might shine a light on that fact and finally push governments nose the hell out of interpersonal affairs.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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I'm not sure what the big deal is about this.

This is how marriage operates in Alberta, Canada.

You can't stroll up to a clergy member and just get married, although many clergy members are registered marriage officiants (a seperate course that almost anybody can take if they wish).

You need a marriage license, a registered officiant, and 2 adult witness'.

We haven't had very many problems so far.

Btw, In Alberta, marriage is completely seperate from religion. All marriages require the same 3 items stated above, anything beyond that is personal and has no bearing, in the governments eyes, on the marriage.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by TurkeyTots
 


They believe that, by recognizing the clergy's role in the marriage ceremony, that the state is conferring some special power on them which is a "violation of separation of church and state."

They don't want clergy to be able to perform marriages in the state unless they get their way and make it so that anyone you pass on the street can perform marriages. They see blocking clergy from performing marriages as a step in deconstructing marriage as an institution and making it into something that just anybody could do.



you guys are reading this all wrong.
sorry to break it to you.
Nevada, unlike many states has a REQUIREMENT of clergy to legitimizer all marriages.
This means you aren't married, even with lisc., untill you go to "any clergyman" to get it authenticated.
They wish to eliminate the REQUIREMENT.
this is the issue.
If you wanna have a curch wedding, they will not stop you. nothing changes, except people who are NOT religeous, now can get married without having to ask a random clergyman to authenticate it.

Nevada's law is archaic.
Most states do not have that requirement.


I never went to a church when I was married in Florida.
Got lisc., and a notary pulic winessed our signatures. Very legal, very valid..just ask my divorce attorney.. no church or clergy needed.

The ACLU is simply saying the state cvannot REQUIRE you to go to a clergyman to have a legal marriage in the eyes of the law.

sheesh.. doesnt anyone READ?



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
Clergy and secular officials authorized to perform marriages should have some type of training to counsel couples who want to get married to make sure they are entering into the marriage willingly, responsibly and with full knowledge of what they are getting into.


No! It's none of their business! The justice of the peace shouldn't also be required to be a marriage counselor! That just brings the state MORE into the privacy of people's lives.



Letting anyone off the street perform marriages will make marriage less of a serious commitment in the eyes of the marrying couple and will further lead to its downfall as a legitimate institution.


Well, maybe YOUR marriage, but trust me, NOTHING about anyone else's marriage will EVER affect my marriage, because it's mine. WE define our marriage and no amount of Britney-style weddings will change what we have. I'm secure in my marriage.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Of course the whole reason the State got into recognizing religious authority in regards to marriage was because the State was being careful not to state that some religions had the authority while others do not!

An example is like this: A Deacon of a Church in one denomination has the authority to marry and does not have that authority in another denomination. Likewise, even if the clergy has the authority in the eyes and laws of the denomination, the State will not recognize it without license. So, if the license document exists that the State recognizes, the marriage is legal if the clergy had the authority, but not if the clergy did not have the Church's authority. Why?

Then again, if the legal document (license) does not exist, and the clergy has the Church's authority, the marriage is not legal. That one make sense.

What is the alternative?

I think the obvious alternative is to have civil marriage which is legal based, and a religious marriage which is faith based, and either is optional and neither binds the other.

The problem is that the State has long said, "If the Church says you are married, that is good enough for us."

An example of the problem with that is the same-sex marriage issue:

There are absolute legal advantages to being married. So since the various States do not recognize same-sex marriage, the battle for those legal advantages got fought in and through the Church-- and it was not any of the Church's business to decide what was legal in that regard.

I happen to agree with the Church's position on same-sex marriage IF (and only if) the Church sees the union of man and woman to have a spiritual significance that no other relationship manifests. I like steak and beer better than bread and wine, but bread and wine, alone, are used in the Sacrament-- it is not a value judgment, it is a very specific usage. For that matter, my church has a rule that candles used on the Altar must have at least 51% bees wax. Not that bees wax is "better" but that animal fat suggests an animal sacrifice-- but only the deeply spiritual know why that is important. The rules exists for a reason, but few people know what they are, and the rules of marriage in the Church are not for the reason most people give.

I also happen to agree that same-sex marriage ought to have the exact same legal advantages and responsibilities to and of the persons. Since the Church (and other faiths, for other reasons) may not hold a same sex- relation to be marriage, why should the State use that to withhold legal recognition?

So, while I am definitely a faith-based person, I agree with the ACLU-- separate what the Church does regarding marriage and by doing so, get the cultural wars and legal battles out of the Church-- because they do not belong there, and the faith-based organization are relieved of the presumption and arrogance of having responsibility for what the State does.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by BadNinja68

Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by TurkeyTots
 


They believe that, by recognizing the clergy's role in the marriage ceremony, that the state is conferring some special power on them which is a "violation of separation of church and state."

They don't want clergy to be able to perform marriages in the state unless they get their way and make it so that anyone you pass on the street can perform marriages. They see blocking clergy from performing marriages as a step in deconstructing marriage as an institution and making it into something that just anybody could do.



you guys are reading this all wrong.
sorry to break it to you.
Nevada, unlike many states has a REQUIREMENT of clergy to legitimizer all marriages.
This means you aren't married, even with lisc., untill you go to "any clergyman" to get it authenticated.
They wish to eliminate the REQUIREMENT.
this is the issue.
If you wanna have a curch wedding, they will not stop you. nothing changes, except people who are NOT religeous, now can get married without having to ask a random clergyman to authenticate it.

Nevada's law is archaic.
Most states do not have that requirement.


I never went to a church when I was married in Florida.
Got lisc., and a notary pulic winessed our signatures. Very legal, very valid..just ask my divorce attorney.. no church or clergy needed.

The ACLU is simply saying the state cvannot REQUIRE you to go to a clergyman to have a legal marriage in the eyes of the law.

sheesh.. doesnt anyone READ?




No.

You misread (ironic, isn't it?). In Nevada a marriage with license, still requires clergy or a Justice of the Peace-- just like the article says. Clergy are not REQUIRED.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Your biased source has you completely confused... You should have done some research. No one is seeking to prevent clergy from performing marriages, they just want to be more inclusive and let the couple decide if they want clergy or non-clergy to perform the ceremony.


OK, maybe I did get sucked in by a sensational headline. I'll admit it.


Basically, as the law is now, one has to PROVE they are religious before they can obtain a permit to conduct a marriage ceremony. Not the legal aspect, but the ceremony.

ACLU Sues over Religious Test to Conduct marriage.



State laws allow a person to obtain a certificate of permission to solemnize marriages based on the fact that he or she has a religious affiliation, the suit says.

"Similarly-situated persons without such religious affiliation are specifically prohibited from obtaining such certificate. This requirement violates both the United States Constitution and the Nevada Constitution," the suit alleges.



I wonder if the Humanists should even be able to challenge the law in the manner in which they are attempting. The court should throw out their suit on the grounds that they lack standing on the grounds they are pursuing. Humanism has been recognized as a religion by the US Supreme Court and as such, they cannot claim to have been discriminated against due to their lack of religion.

Their suit should focus on the fact that the state of Nevada does not recognize Humanism as a religion and they should work to have the state recognize them as clergy and set up some standards between the state and Humanist organizations to determine who can officially call themselves Humanist clergy.


edit on 9/28/11 by FortAnthem because:



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
I wonder if the Humanists should even be able to challenge the law in the manner in which they are attempting. The court should throw out their suit on the grounds that they lack standing on the grounds they are pursuing. Humanism has been recognized as a religion by the US Supreme Court and as such, they cannot claim to have been discriminated against due to their lack of religion.


They're not claiming discrimination. They're claiming a violation of the Constitution regarding separation of church and state. Requiring a religious affiliation for a state function is pretty clearly a violation. Getting the state to recognize Humanism as a religion just solidifies the TIE between church and state.

I don't know how you feel about that, but I'm all for getting religion out of government and government out of religion.

edit on 9/28/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 02:52 PM
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I've been looking at various states and their marriage laws and it looks like many of them have the same requirement as Nevada... I wonder why the ACLU is only suing in Nevada... I'm going to do some more looking...

I wanted to post this for anyone who might find it interesting:



Usually the state laws provide any recognized member of the clergy (such as a Priest, Minister, Rabbi, Imam, Cantor, Ethical Culture Leader, etc.), or a judge, a court clerk, and justices of the peace have authority to perform a marriage. However in some states even the clergy must be first certified or licensed.


That last bit applies to Nevada.



Some states have laws that permit other persons to apply for authority to perform marriage ceremonies. For example, California law permits anyone to apply for permission to become a Deputy Commissioner of Marriages -- the grant of authority is valid for one day -- and thus officiate at the wedding of family or friends on that one day.


US Marriage Laws
edit on 9/28/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



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