Atheists Sue Indiana Over Marriage LawPosted by Phil Ferguson on October 24th, 2012 – 4 Comments – Posted in Uncategorized
Atheists Sue Indiana Over Marriage Law. The Center for Inquiry has filed suit against Indiana’s marriage law.
A nationwide atheist organization has sued the Indiana state government over its marriage statute, which they say forbids them from overseeing marriages.
It appears that the people at the christian post are interested in the story.
Paul Fidalgo, communications director for the Center for Inquiry, told The Christian Post that nonreligious people should be allowed to choose a nonreligious celebrant solemnizing their marriage.
Sounds very simple to me!
“We believe that just because a person is nonreligious, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have the opportunity to be married by the officiant of their choice,” said Fidalgo.
It appears that you cannot have a secular celebrant in the state of Indiana!
According to Indiana Code 31-11-6, titled “Authority to Solemnize Marriages,” those who can perform marriages include a “member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi.”
The code section also specifically lists certain government officials as well, and specifically names the Friends Church, German Baptists, the Baha’i faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and an imam of a mosque as groups and individuals who can solemnize marriages.
Well, isn’t that nice. How about a boat captain? So, why all of the fuss?
“Religious believers are not limited to a handful of government functionaries to solemnize their marriages — they are allowed to have a leader in their faith community perform the ceremony and solemnize their marriage,” said Fidalgo.
Bryan Corbin, Public Information Officer for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, told The Christian Post that …”The state opposes an injunction, and the court has not ruled yet. Because of the ongoing litigation, there is little comment that our office can make about the case at this time,” said Corbin. “We note that the purpose of the statute is for the state to regulate marriage while accommodating religious groups…”
Accommodate religious groups? How about accommodating non religious groups.
“there is no constitutional right to solemnize marriages.”
Huh? Then why give one group preference. The law could just limit it to judges, sheriffs and of course boat captains!
The Center for Inquiry’s case is being handled by the Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. With arguments heard, a decision from the district court is still pending.