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(The Raw Story)   Pastor: "Yer violating my religious freedom...by not allowing me to officiate at same-sex weddings." Bonus: North Carolina pastor. UltraFark Bonus: Supported by Baptist ministers   (rawstory.com) divider line 270
    More: Spiffy, North Carolina, opponents of same-sex marriage, religious freedom, United Church of Christ, Unitarians  
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6342 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2014 at 3:52 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-28 05:12:17 PM  

king_nacho: phalamir: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

That isn't how the process works.  The priest doesn't do a wedding, and then the state says "we recognize that religious ceremony."  The cleric is acting as a temporary, extremely-limited state actor.  Basically, the government decided that having two ceremonies - a secular one (which counts) and a religious one (that doesn't) - was just useless repetition.  So, it says the priest is an agent of the state for the narrow purpose of validating a marriage license.  When he utters "by the power of Greyskull vested in me by the state of _______" he is turning himself into a government clerk for just a second to meet the legal requirements of the marriage license.  But if there is no valid marriage license, his mumbling and blood sacrifices mean fark-all, because he can't validate something the state hasn't allowed him to.

On the other hand, since these priests aren't actually acting as agents of the state (since there is no valid marriage license), the state doesn't have any reason to get involved in what is a purely religious mummery.  After all, the state doesn't declare a priest can't baptize a child who hasn't been issued a SSN.  As long as no one tries to actually file a marriage license for the wedding(s), it is the state poking its nose into religious practice.

At this nations founding, there was no difference between state and church recognition of the marri ...


Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal (for instance, if the necessary period of notice for the marriage had not been given).

Man, the USA must be old. I didn't know it was founded during the middle ages.
 
2014-04-28 05:12:29 PM  

sprgrss: You have to look at the rest of the statutes.  You cannot limit your look to Amendment One.  Particularly since N.C.G.S. § 51-1.2 states:  "Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina."

Take that in conjunction with, 51-1 which states:  "A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry..."

The definition of marriage in the state is limited and a marriage between same-sex couples is not a marriage by definition in North Carolin and therefore the sanctions found in 51-7 do not apply.

It is open and shut.


I'll give you that you have a much better understanding of NC law than I do (which is to say, zero). But basic canons of statutory interpretation can take a text multiple directions.  A plain meaning interpretation of §51-7 doesn't find any limitation on the word "marry" there, and §51-1.2 doesn't purport to define the term "marry" at all. I'll admit that reading it in pari materia with the other statutes, there's a very good argument that §51-7 only applies to valid marriages, but that's definitely not the guaranteed result. By way of counter-argument, implicit in §51-1.2 is the recognition that "marriage"  can include same-sex marriages, but a rejection of those marriages for the purpose of NC recognition. Therefore, since North Carolina law does recognize the  existence of same-sex marriages in §51-1.2, the word "marry" should be given its plain meaning in §51-7 and include both opposite sex and same-sex marriages.

If §51-7 added the words "valid and sufficient" before "marry any couple", then we would both be in agreement that it's open and shut.
 
2014-04-28 05:13:03 PM  

JusticeandIndependence: EvilEgg: I can't wait to see the logic the derpsters will use to say this isn't religious freedom.

 If I was them I would just call the liberals hypocrites for wanting to defend this religious freedom, but not my bigoted kind. Then the argument would be about them defending themselves.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC Values Coalition, which helped secure the constitutional amendment two years ago, said North Carolina residents overwhlemingly approved the ban on same-sex marriage, and federal judges shouldn't ignore the will of the people.
"It's both ironic and sad that an entire religious denomination and its clergy who purport holding to Christian teachings on marriage would look to the courts to justify their errant beliefs," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "These individuals are simply revisionists that distort the teaching of scripture to justify sexual revolution, not marital sanctity."


He then put back on his cotton-wool blend sports coat and announced that he was inviting everyone to join him for a barbecue lunch, though he would have to leave early to make his haircut appointment.
 
2014-04-28 05:13:45 PM  

Serious Black: Bullseyed: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

So polygamy and pedophilia are in, as long as someone makes a sham church first? NAMBLA?

A group of people that wants to be in a plural marriage according to a church absolutely should be allowed to. That does not translate to a plural religious marriage being legally recognized.

A 50-year-old that wants to be married to a 13-year-old according to a church absolutely should be allowed to. That does not translate to any sexual activity those two partake in not constituting a crime of statutory rape.


Separation of Church and State! Can't interfere with the religious ceremony!
 
2014-04-28 05:13:47 PM  
I don't know how much merit this lawsuit has, but if it's intention was to set the fox among the chickens (and I suspect that's it's main intention) it seems to be doing a pretty good job.
 
2014-04-28 05:14:41 PM  

ciberido: Nabb1: Nabb1: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

What if some minister wanted to marry two siblings? Or a polygamous marriage? Or an arranged marriage involving young children?

And, BTW, I am NOT comparing same-sex marriage to those. Just pointing out that the state doesn't have to recognize marriages solely based on the fact there was a religious ceremony.

There's a difference between the state recognizing a marriage and the state forbidding someone from officiating at a wedding.  A wedding is a ceremony (often but not necessarily religious).  Why does North Carolina have any laws at all regulating who can and cannot officiate at a ceremony?


The officiate signs the license, thus noting the ceremony as complete, and the participants are married. Usually there are laws stating who can sign the license to ensure that some level of ethics exists in the process.
 
2014-04-28 05:15:35 PM  

Rincewind53: Bullseyed: Except that issuing a marriage license is not part of a marriage ceremony.


Read the law more carefully. The law makes it illegal for a Minister to "marr[y] any couple without a license being first delivered to that person, as required by law..."

No one is saying that this case involves ministers issuing their own marriage licenses. Just marrying people  without one, which same-sex couples by law cannot get in NC.


As stated in the thread, marriage in Georgia is specifically defined as between a man and woman and a couple is defined as a man and woman. Ergo, two men or two women are not a couple and ergo the law does not apply to them.
 
2014-04-28 05:15:40 PM  

Rincewind53: sprgrss: You have to look at the rest of the statutes.  You cannot limit your look to Amendment One.  Particularly since N.C.G.S. § 51-1.2 states:  "Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina."

Take that in conjunction with, 51-1 which states:  "A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry..."

The definition of marriage in the state is limited and a marriage between same-sex couples is not a marriage by definition in North Carolin and therefore the sanctions found in 51-7 do not apply.

It is open and shut.

I'll give you that you have a much better understanding of NC law than I do (which is to say, zero). But basic canons of statutory interpretation can take a text multiple directions.  A plain meaning interpretation of §51-7 doesn't find any limitation on the word "marry" there, and §51-1.2 doesn't purport to define the term "marry" at all. I'll admit that reading it in pari materia with the other statutes, there's a very good argument that §51-7 only applies to valid marriages, but that's definitely not the guaranteed result. By way of counter-argument, implicit in §51-1.2 is the recognition that "marriage"  can include same-sex marriages, but a rejection of those marriages for the purpose of NC recognition. Therefore, since North Carolina law does recognize the  existence of same-sex marriages in §51-1.2, the word "marry" should be given its plain meaning in §51-7 and include both opposite sex and same-sex marriages.

If §51-7 added the words "valid and sufficient" before "marry any couple", then we would both be in agreement that it's open and shut.


Because 51-1 (not talking about 51-1.2, but 51-1) defines marriage (between a man and a woman) and that definition of marriage is what applies to the remainder of Chapter 51.
 
2014-04-28 05:17:01 PM  

Bullseyed: Serious Black: Bullseyed: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

So polygamy and pedophilia are in, as long as someone makes a sham church first? NAMBLA?

A group of people that wants to be in a plural marriage according to a church absolutely should be allowed to. That does not translate to a plural religious marriage being legally recognized.

A 50-year-old that wants to be married to a 13-year-old according to a church absolutely should be allowed to. That does not translate to any sexual activity those two partake in not constituting a crime of statutory rape.

Separation of Church and State! Can't interfere with the religious ceremony!


What's your point? That you agree with my comments? That you disagree with them?
 
2014-04-28 05:17:13 PM  

sprgrss: ciberido: Why does North Carolina have any laws at all regulating who can and cannot officiate at a ceremony?

Because every farking state does and it is necessary to an orderly administration of marriage to make sure those who are receiving the benefits of marriage are who they purport to be and are entitled to the benefits of marriage.


That is what the license is for.  But a non-licensed marriage is simply two delusional fools having a huckster mumble at them while castrating a farm animal.  And the government is specifically not allowed to interfere with that unless there is a compelling state interest to do so.  As long as no one carries a piece of paper down tot eh local courthouse, the state has no dog in the fight.  It isn't like the state is cracking down on the marathon baby-drowning ceremonies, and those at least offer a small chance of harm (and maybe death) to helpless citizens.
 
2014-04-28 05:17:45 PM  

Bullseyed: "valid and sufficient marriage" is a key term here. If the it is proposed as an invalid marriage, it would be exempt from the legislation.


See my responses above. It's debatable about whether §51-7 includes a "valid and sufficient marriage" clause.

Bullseyed: hey are banned for taking MONEY to perform said ceremonies. If they perform them for free, they can do so as there is no good-service exchange. The state only has the right to regulate marriage because of commerce.


That's certainly not in §51-7, which has no mention of taking money to perform a marriage. Where are you getting that from?

Bullseyed: But most importantly: doesn't someone have to first fall victim to the situation for the matter to be brought before the court? In other words, they cannot challenge the Constitutionality of the law until a minister is arrested for performing a same sex union (which will never happen). Make the people suing pay the lawyer fees for all involved and go home


Usually, but with First Amendment cases you can argue "chilling effect," especially if you can prove that you  would have done an otherwise constitutional action, but for the law which prevented you from doing so. For instance, if Congress passes a law saying that Muslims cannot read the Quran in public, any Muslim who could prove that he intended to read the Quran in public could sue before he was arrested for doing so.
 
2014-04-28 05:19:48 PM  

phalamir: sprgrss: ciberido: Why does North Carolina have any laws at all regulating who can and cannot officiate at a ceremony?

Because every farking state does and it is necessary to an orderly administration of marriage to make sure those who are receiving the benefits of marriage are who they purport to be and are entitled to the benefits of marriage.

That is what the license is for.  But a non-licensed marriage is simply two delusional fools having a huckster mumble at them while castrating a farm animal.  And the government is specifically not allowed to interfere with that unless there is a compelling state interest to do so.  As long as no one carries a piece of paper down tot eh local courthouse, the state has no dog in the fight.  It isn't like the state is cracking down on the marathon baby-drowning ceremonies, and those at least offer a small chance of harm (and maybe death) to helpless citizens.


The problem arises when an innocent couple is putatively married by one of these hucksters and is subsequently denied the benefits of marriage, or an innocent putative spouse enters into a marriage with someone who is barred from marriage (previously married and never received an absolute divorce and the spouse is still alive).  That's why the state is involved in who can conduct marriages.
 
2014-04-28 05:20:23 PM  

Bullseyed: Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal (for instance, if the necessary period of notice for the marriage had not been given).

Man, the USA must be old. I didn't know it was founded during the middle ages.


Yes, and those licenses were granted by an archbishop, bishop or archdeacon, not by state or county official. I said state issues marriage license, not religious issues marriage license. And those licenses in the middle ages were created as a way to allow people to pay the church to expedite the marriage so they didn't have to wait the customary 3 weeks to give the church members the chance to object to the wedding.
 
2014-04-28 05:21:09 PM  

Rincewind53: Usually, but with First Amendment cases you can argue "chilling effect," especially if you can prove that you  would have done an otherwise constitutional action, but for the law which prevented you from doing so. For instance, if Congress passes a law saying that Muslims cannot read the Quran in public, any Muslim who could prove that he intended to read the Quran in public could sue before he was arrested for doing so.


No minister in the state of North Carolina has been prosecuted for conducting same-sex ceremonies.  The "chill" is too attenuated and not justiciable.  The couples, however, are a completely different matter.
 
2014-04-28 05:22:28 PM  

sprgrss: ciberido: Why does North Carolina have any laws at all regulating who can and cannot officiate at a ceremony?

Because every farking state does


That's not an argument.

and it is necessary to an orderly administration of marriage to make sure those who are receiving the benefits of marriage are who they purport to be and are entitled to the benefits of marriage.

sprgrss: I was talking about weddings, not marriage.   As I said, a wedding is a ceremony.  A marriage is not a ceremony.  The difference between the two is key.
 
2014-04-28 05:23:21 PM  

Rincewind53: Bullseyed: But most importantly: doesn't someone have to first fall victim to the situation for the matter to be brought before the court? In other words, they cannot challenge the Constitutionality of the law until a minister is arrested for performing a same sex union (which will never happen). Make the people suing pay the lawyer fees for all involved and go home

Usually, but with First Amendment cases you can argue "chilling effect," especially if you can prove that you would have done an otherwise constitutional action, but for the law which prevented you from doing so. For instance, if Congress passes a law saying that Muslims cannot read the Quran in public, any Muslim who could prove that he intended to read the Quran in public could sue before he was arrested for doing so.


For a recent real world example, the Supreme Court recently heard a trial revolving around an Ohio law that (inaccurate summary alert) required people airing political ads of questionable truth to present them to a board that would determine if the ad contained lies and rule that such ads could not be aired. Part of their argument was that SCOTUS should grant the Susan B. Anthony List standing to sue over the law because of this chilling effect even though no ad of theirs had been barred from airing under the law.
 
2014-04-28 05:23:34 PM  

sprgrss: Because 51-1 (not talking about 51-1.2, but 51-1) defines marriage (between a man and a woman) and that definition of marriage is what applies to the remainder of Chapter 51.


No, it defines what a "lawful and sufficient marriage" is, not what the word "marry" means in all statutes. There's a difference between that and a statutory definition of "marry."
 
2014-04-28 05:24:24 PM  

ciberido: sprgrss: I was talking about weddings, not marriage.   As I said, a wedding is a ceremony.  A marriage is not a ceremony.  The difference between the two is key.


The two go hand in hand.  You cannot be married without a wedding (yes, even the ceremony conducted by a magistrate are weddings).  You are attempting to split a hair that cannot be split.
 
2014-04-28 05:25:01 PM  

sprgrss: No minister in the state of North Carolina has been prosecuted for conducting same-sex ceremonies


Agreed

sprgrss: The "chill" is too attenuated and not justiciable.


This is where it's arguable for me. I think you're  probably right (in that I think the ministers are going to lose, but I don't think it's as close as you do).

sprgrss: The couples, however, are a completely different matter.


Also completely agree.
 
2014-04-28 05:25:23 PM  

Rincewind53: sprgrss: Because 51-1 (not talking about 51-1.2, but 51-1) defines marriage (between a man and a woman) and that definition of marriage is what applies to the remainder of Chapter 51.

No, it defines what a "lawful and sufficient marriage" is, not what the word "marry" means in all statutes. There's a difference between that and a statutory definition of "marry."


Not as far as our statutes are concerned.  Not as far as the Supreme Court of North Carolina is concerned.  I'm telling you how it operates under our statutes and court cases.
 
2014-04-28 05:25:41 PM  

serial_crusher: Nabb1: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

What if some minister wanted to marry two siblings? Or a polygamous marriage? Or an arranged marriage involving young children?

ooh, I've got one.  What if your grandparents show up from The Old Country, and they bring some teenager along who isn't related to you in any way, so it's kind of a mystery why he's traveling with them, but he asks you to walk around the kitchen table with him... then it turns out that in his culture, walking around a kitchen table is considered a marriage ceremony.  Should the government have to recognize that marriage?


I'm going to change my answer: yes, the government should have to legally recognize as married anyone who walks around a table. Bandsaws would be considered instruments of divorce.
 
2014-04-28 05:27:22 PM  

king_nacho: wildcardjack: Well, where do we limit what we call religious practice? Sacramental drugs, animal sacrifice, ritual rape of virgins, pedophilia? You might wind up banning Catholicism, which I understand is approved by a chunk of the southern preachers.

Consenting adults, where no harm is brought to the participants for the purpose of the ritual.


So children are not allowed to practice religion at all, then?  That will upset some folks.
 
2014-04-28 05:28:04 PM  

cretinbob: They get paid to perform weddings

NTTAWWT, and if that's the motivation to take a stand for something right, so be it.


I didn't pay the preacher when I got married. We donated to the church for the use of their facilities, but the preacher didn't get it that I know of and it was shockingly cheap. Mind you, my wife is a member of the church, so that might be a difference.
 
2014-04-28 05:29:32 PM  
Why don't we just separate the idea from marriage from the governmentally recognized contract/tax shelter given to 2 consenting adults?

I think an argument can be made that it is in society's interest that two adults be allowed to enter into a probate/power of attorney/tax relationship that equates to what we call "marriage".  Two consenting adults, regardless of relation or gender, should be able to go to Justice of the Peace and sign the document in front of witnesses to enter into this contract.

Then, if a church wants to call it marriage, the church can.  If they want to call it 'asparagus' they can.  I don't give a flying fark, and neither should the government.

As I said, I think there is a reasonable argument to be made for a simplified contract between 2 consenting adults.  Some might say "why just 2", but that is really a detail to be ironed out. My (non-legally informed) opinion is that you could say that the least complicated version of this contract and least burdensome for medical and legal authorities is just 2 people.  Like I said, the goal should be a simple form that you can go and get in 15 minutes.  Getting out of it should be just as easy, provided both partners consent to dissolution of the contract.  The messy divorce system would remain intact for those who want to fight it out in civil litigation.
 
2014-04-28 05:38:25 PM  

RyansPrivates: Why don't we just separate the idea from marriage from the governmentally recognized contract/tax shelter given to 2 consenting adults?

I think an argument can be made that it is in society's interest that two adults be allowed to enter into a probate/power of attorney/tax relationship that equates to what we call "marriage".  Two consenting adults, regardless of relation or gender, should be able to go to Justice of the Peace and sign the document in front of witnesses to enter into this contract.

Then, if a church wants to call it marriage, the church can.  If they want to call it 'asparagus' they can.  I don't give a flying fark, and neither should the government.

As I said, I think there is a reasonable argument to be made for a simplified contract between 2 consenting adults.  Some might say "why just 2", but that is really a detail to be ironed out. My (non-legally informed) opinion is that you could say that the least complicated version of this contract and least burdensome for medical and legal authorities is just 2 people.  Like I said, the goal should be a simple form that you can go and get in 15 minutes.  Getting out of it should be just as easy, provided both partners consent to dissolution of the contract.  The messy divorce system would remain intact for those who want to fight it out in civil litigation.


So, exactly what exists now? Sounds good.
 
2014-04-28 05:39:11 PM  

sprgrss: Rincewind53: sprgrss: Because 51-1 (not talking about 51-1.2, but 51-1) defines marriage (between a man and a woman) and that definition of marriage is what applies to the remainder of Chapter 51.

No, it defines what a "lawful and sufficient marriage" is, not what the word "marry" means in all statutes. There's a difference between that and a statutory definition of "marry."

Not as far as our statutes are concerned.  Not as far as the Supreme Court of North Carolina is concerned.  I'm telling you how it operates under our statutes and court cases.


What about  Wooley v. Bruton114 S.E. 628 (N.C. 1922), which notes that: "It is true that the marriage is not invalid because solemnized without a marriage license (Maggett v. Roberts, 112 N. C. 71; State v. Parker, 106 N. C. 711; State v. Robbins, 28 N. C. 23), or under an illegal license (Maggett v. Roberts, supra)."

In  Maggett, an 1893 case, the Court noted that "
The only effect of marrying a couple without a legal license is to subject the officer or minister to the penalty of $200, prescribed by Code, § 1817."

These cases definitely appear to still be good law, and they definitely appear to support that proposition that it's entirely possible to violate the law by marrying people without licenses or with improperly-granted licenses. They put the criminal violation at the act of  solemnizing the marriage (as evidenced by the title of §51-7 being "Penalty for solemnizing without license."

It's unclear from §51-1 whether  solemnization can't be done to same-sex couples, just that it wouldn't be a legal marriage.
 
2014-04-28 05:39:48 PM  

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Magorn: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

Read again. the law makes it a criminal offense to officiate at any wedding for which a valid marriage license has not been obtained.    That is, in effect telling clergy when and how they may bestow religious sacraments .  Certainly NC has rights,(for now anyway) to refuse to civilly enroll any marriage it finds objectionable under its laws.  But to make it a crime to officiate at such a wedding stomps on the Free Exercise, Free speech and freedom of association clauses of Amendment 1 in a very big way

Out of curiosity, does NC have the right to refuse to recognize the marriage of a white woman to a blah man as well?


Sorry to break this to you, but many white women are married to blah men.  What you propose would effectively nullify most WASP unions.
 
2014-04-28 05:40:19 PM  

vudukungfu: there is no logical or rational or even legal precedent to have legal marriage for anyone.
It is slavery.


Ahh, glad you pointed that out.  It looks like this debate is settled.
 
2014-04-28 05:40:53 PM  
well, I never thought about that angle
 
2014-04-28 05:41:42 PM  

Rincewind53: It's unclear from §51-1 whether  solemnization can't be done to same-sex couples, just that it wouldn't be a legal marriage.


Consider, as an analogy divorced from the first amendment question, that in many places it is a misdemeanor for a notary public to seal a document that they did not witness the execution of. This is true even if the document is not a legal document, such as a contract for slavery.
 
2014-04-28 05:42:18 PM  
Also, wow, NC used to take things seriously. If the penalty was  still $200 in 1893, then that's >$5,000 in modern dollars. Pretty big fine.
 
2014-04-28 05:43:03 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Ahhhhhahahahahahahahaha!

Unintended consequences are a biatch.


but they'll never be the same.
 
2014-04-28 05:43:39 PM  
"Nice try, North Carolina, but still no TAG for you." -- Florida
 
2014-04-28 05:45:05 PM  

Bullseyed: If you ignore the whole part about there being no separation of church and state in the Constitution and pretend there is.


While you ignore the part where the constitution and all the legal implications of it are interpreted by SCOTUS. And SCOTUS has, time and time again, made it very clear that separation of church and state is how they interpret it.

Nobody cares how you interpret it.
 
2014-04-28 05:45:33 PM  

Theaetetus: Rincewind53: It's unclear from §51-1 whether  solemnization can't be done to same-sex couples, just that it wouldn't be a legal marriage.

Consider, as an analogy divorced from the first amendment question, that in many places it is a misdemeanor for a notary public to seal a document that they did not witness the execution of. This is true even if the document is not a legal document, such as a contract for slavery.


Exactly.

I fully concede that I sprgrssis the expert here, and that he's probably right, and I'm sure my amateur law-student-with-access-to-free-Westlaw behavior is infuriating him/her right now, but arguing these things is  fun.
 
2014-04-28 05:48:55 PM  

Rincewind53: What about  Wooley v. Bruton,  114 S.E. 628 (N.C. 1922), which notes that: "It is true that the marriage is not invalid because solemnized without a marriage license (Maggett v. Roberts, 112 N. C. 71; State v. Parker, 106 N. C. 711; State v. Robbins, 28 N. C. 23), or under an illegal license (Maggett v. Roberts, supra)."

In  Maggett, an 1893 case, the Court noted that "The only effect of marrying a couple without a legal license is to subject the officer or minister to the penalty of $200, prescribed by Code, § 1817."

These cases definitely appear to still be good law, and they definitely appear to support that proposition that it's entirely possible to violate the law by marrying people without licenses or with improperly-granted licenses. They put the criminal violation at the act of  solemnizing the marriage (as evidenced by the title of §51-7 being "Penalty for solemnizing without license."

It's unclear from §51-1 whether  solemnization can't be done to same-sex couples, just that it wouldn't be a legal marriage.


Those are all in relation to people who could've been legally married.  The fine punishment would still stay in place.

But we aren't talking about men and women marrying.  We are talking about same sex unions, which North Carolina expressly states are not marriages in the state.

And yes, our courts have used the definition as found in 51-1 for the remainder of chapter 51 and other statutes which use the term marriage.  Same-sex unions are not marriage per se and a minister conducting said service would not fall afoul of the law and no minister has been prosecuted for such.
 
2014-04-28 05:49:56 PM  

Theaetetus: serial_crusher: Nabb1: king_nacho: Rincewind53: It's a nice idea, but I can't see it working. The North Carolina constitution only bans  state recognitionof gay marriage. I'd have to read the lawsuit, but it's a bit a stretch to say that it would ban a church that wanted to perform a gay marriage from doing so. It just wouldn't recognize that marriage legally.

I honestly don't think there's any good argument to be made that priests have a First Amendment right to have the state recognize marriages they perform.

If the state recognizes some marriages performed by that priest, shouldn't they be forced to recognize all?

What if some minister wanted to marry two siblings? Or a polygamous marriage? Or an arranged marriage involving young children?

ooh, I've got one.  What if your grandparents show up from The Old Country, and they bring some teenager along who isn't related to you in any way, so it's kind of a mystery why he's traveling with them, but he asks you to walk around the kitchen table with him... then it turns out that in his culture, walking around a kitchen table is considered a marriage ceremony.  Should the government have to recognize that marriage?

I'm going to change my answer: yes, the government should have to legally recognize as married anyone who walks around a table. Bandsaws would be considered instruments of divorce.


IIRC the solution they came up with on Full House was to have them walk around the table in the opposite direction, but the saw works too.
 
2014-04-28 05:50:58 PM  
in Western District of North Carolina.

Old news.

26.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-04-28 05:53:17 PM  

PunGent: Rent Party: Teiritzamna: Welp looks like the rest of the fark lawyers brigade has this bad-boy well handled.  I love it when all you guys are in one thread.

/Now i can go back to working on my Supreme Court Brief.
//in 26 minutes?

Fark Lawyers (including yourself) all have a specific favorite band, for exactly this reason.

Ooh, what color are we?


Chartreuse!

Although you're not a member of the club yet.    Are you a certified law talker, or holder of a JD from a Real College(tm)?
 
2014-04-28 05:53:39 PM  

MBooda: in Western District of North Carolina.

Old news.

[26.media.tumblr.com image 500x214]


That was Georgia.
 
2014-04-28 05:53:41 PM  

Sgt Otter: EvilEgg: I can't wait to see the logic the derpsters will use to say this isn't religious freedom.

Man, when you've lost the North Carolina Baptist ministers, just let it go, because it is long gone.


There are so many different Baptist groups though and the article doesn't specify which one. I suspect its not the Southern Baptists which are by far the largest group and adamantly anti-gay.

/ recovering Baptist
 
2014-04-28 05:53:57 PM  

sprgrss: Those are all in relation to people who could've been legally married.  The fine punishment would still stay in place.

But we aren't talking about men and women marrying.  We are talking about same sex unions, which North Carolina expressly states are not marriages in the state.

And yes, our courts have used the definition as found in 51-1 for the remainder of chapter 51 and other statutes which use the term marriage.  Same-sex unions are not marriage per se and a minister conducting said service would not fall afoul of the law and no minister has been prosecuted for such.


I'm going to have to concede this one to you. I find my position increasingly untenable. It's been fun, though.

For what it's worth, I never thought that there was anrealistic probability that a minister could be fined for performing a same-sex marriage, just that it was something that was  arguably possible.
 
2014-04-28 05:54:34 PM  

Rent Party: PunGent: Rent Party: Teiritzamna: Welp looks like the rest of the fark lawyers brigade has this bad-boy well handled.  I love it when all you guys are in one thread.

/Now i can go back to working on my Supreme Court Brief.
//in 26 minutes?

Fark Lawyers (including yourself) all have a specific favorite band, for exactly this reason.

Ooh, what color are we?

Chartreuse!

Although you're not a member of the club yet.    Are you a certified law talker, or holder of a JD from a Real College(tm)?


Why are we Chartreuse?
 
2014-04-28 05:54:59 PM  
Maybe it has been said, but this is a perfect argument for separation of religious marriage and state endorsed marriage.

Government should be out of the marriage business anyways.  It should be replaced with contracts, eg. two people have a contract to support each other money wise, or that lets them visit each other in the hospital.  This way, there can be no preferential treatment for singles, gay, strait, polygamous, or other situations.  The government should not be able to say gay and strait marriage is ok but marrying 17 consenting people is not.  Let your freak flag fly!  Be free to love or get into contractual relationships as much as you want!

Let the religions be free to discriminate, and allow them to grow or shrink based on how people feel about them.  Also get rid of tax exempt status for all religion.
 
2014-04-28 05:55:23 PM  

Rent Party: Chartreuse!

Although you're not a member of the club yet.    Are you a certified law talker, or holder of a JD from a Real College(tm)?


I'll be in the latter category in.... 20 days, and the former category in.... well, presuming I don't fail, sometime next year when the New York Bar releases its results.
 
2014-04-28 05:58:26 PM  

Rincewind53: sprgrss: Those are all in relation to people who could've been legally married.  The fine punishment would still stay in place.

But we aren't talking about men and women marrying.  We are talking about same sex unions, which North Carolina expressly states are not marriages in the state.

And yes, our courts have used the definition as found in 51-1 for the remainder of chapter 51 and other statutes which use the term marriage.  Same-sex unions are not marriage per se and a minister conducting said service would not fall afoul of the law and no minister has been prosecuted for such.

I'm going to have to concede this one to you. I find my position increasingly untenable. It's been fun, though.

For what it's worth, I never thought that there was anrealistic probability that a minister could be fined for performing a same-sex marriage, just that it was something that was  arguably possible.


It's always fun.  I could in theory see one of our more enlightened sheriffs attempting to charge a minister for it.  Some of our sheriffs don't take too kindly to the courts saying what is and what isn't constitutional.  We had a sheriff fire a 911 dispatcher for living with her boyfriend (took a court case to say the statute  was unconstitutional before he would back down) and we've had our fair share of police departments charging adults for crimes against nature for consensual gay sex even though Lawrence is pretty clear on it.

In all cases, the DA told them to knock it off before they would finally stop.
 
2014-04-28 06:00:16 PM  

Rincewind53: Rent Party: Chartreuse!

Although you're not a member of the club yet.    Are you a certified law talker, or holder of a JD from a Real College(tm)?

I'll be in the latter category in.... 20 days, and the former category in.... well, presuming I don't fail, sometime next year when the New York Bar releases its results.


You aren't sitting for the July Bar exam?
 
2014-04-28 06:01:00 PM  

sprgrss: MBooda: in Western District of North Carolina.

Old news.

[26.media.tumblr.com image 500x214]

That was Georgia.


Extreme northeast Georgia. Essentially the same place. People living with their farm animals. Kids with possum faces and six fingers on each hand.  Same-sex marriages would not be out of place.
 
2014-04-28 06:03:10 PM  

AmbassadorBooze: It should be replaced with contracts, eg. two people have a contract to support each other money wise, or that lets them visit each other in the hospital.


Hospital Administrator: "Who are you? GTFO, noob."
AmbassadorBooze: "But I have a contract that lets me visit my significant other, who is in your emergency room!"
Hospital Administrator: "WTF are you talking about? I never signed any such contract."
AmbassadorBooze: "No, but my significant other and I did..."
Hospital Administrator: "And WTF should I care? If I didn't sign any contract with you, then why are you coming to me to enforce your contract? Get out of here before I call security."

And  scene.

Or, if you disagree and think that contracts can be used to bind third parties, in the absence of any statute granting particular rights or placing obligations on the third parties, then I just signed this contract with my spouse giving me your car. So, I'll need your- er,  my keys, thank you very much.
 
2014-04-28 06:04:00 PM  
This friendly message brought to you by Depends undergarments. The preferred diaper of Gay Bowel Syndrome sufferers everywhere.
 
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