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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 57
    More: Spiffy, North Carolina, opponents of same-sex marriage, religious freedom, United Church of Christ, Unitarians  
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6358 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2014 at 3:52 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-04-28 02:48:09 PM  
8 votes:

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


Easy: marriage is a secular institution, not a religious one. These clergypeople have the right to perform same sex Weddings all they want, just as they have the right to give Communion, baptize people, perform exorcisms, etc. That doesn't mean that the government has to give any special privileges or immunities to people who have been baptized, exorcized, commune'd, or wed.

Now, of course, that doesn't mean the government has a rational reason to deny  marriage rights to a subset of the population, but that's a due process/equal protection argument, not a free exercise argument. This complaint should accordingly be dismissed.
2014-04-28 02:56:48 PM  
7 votes:

Rincewind53: Theaetetus: This complaint should accordingly be dismissed.

I think you and I are in agreement about 95% of the time.


The remaining 5% of the time is when you're wrong. ;)

There is one slight wrinkle here - there's another NC law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to perform a marriage ceremony for someone without a marriage license. But I'd argue that  that is clearly unconstitutional under the first amendment, just as it would be clearly unconstitutional to make it illegal to perform a baptism, and that that's a separate issue.
2014-04-28 03:54:03 PM  
6 votes:

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
2014-04-28 03:19:59 PM  
6 votes:

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.
2014-04-28 02:45:54 PM  
5 votes:
That's the fun part of religion.  It is whatever you say it is.
2014-04-28 02:49:36 PM  
4 votes:
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.
2014-04-28 04:22:44 PM  
3 votes:

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.
2014-04-28 04:04:53 PM  
3 votes:
Theaetetus:
In a way, this whole article is a hypocrisy trap for liberals: these clergy are advocating for gay marriage, so we should go along with whatever means they use to get there, regardless of the fact that it may be directly opposite to our arguments elsewhere.

It is a strawman to declare that "liberals" are anti-religion or against religious freedom. The majority of liberals in the US still identify as religious.

It is true that most liberals do understand the value of separating church and state and understand that religious-based laws are against the constitution.
2014-04-28 02:30:04 PM  
3 votes:
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.
2014-04-28 06:31:35 PM  
2 votes:

Theaetetus: Rincewind53:
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.

In a way, this whole article is a hypocrisy trap for liberals: these clergy are advocating for gay marriage, so we should go along with whatever means they use to get there, regardless of the fact that it may be directly opposite to our arguments elsewhere.



Bullshiat. How many liberals have demanded that conservative clergy be forced to perform gay marriages in violation of their religious beliefs? It's a right wing straw man and you know it.The lawsuit challenges a law which by its broad terms threatens to criminalize the performance of wedding rites in circumstances where the state won't issue marriage licenses, in conflict with religious rites which allow for solemnization of same-sex relationships.You know better.
2014-04-28 04:33:56 PM  
2 votes:
Comes down to it: freedom of religion, equality under the law, and the right to privacy are all bound up in the issue of marriage equality.

There are no good arguments, other than some folks' interpretations of texts, and essentially the ban on marriage equality, which then brings it into the realm of religious freedom. Then there's the equality under the law portion of the show, and sad fact, that the state, if it divorces itself from the religious ban, then it has no real vested interest in this sort of ban. In putting this ban up, it then looks to enforce some folks' interpretations of religious texts and beliefs, while denying others. The state is supporting a ban based on religious interpretation, and thus the ban NEEDS to be opposed on grounds of religious freedom. Unless someone can give us a good reason that marriage equality is somehow detrimental to folks. And please provide us with some examples of how Massachusetts and other states have fallen into anarchy, despair, and how the wedding industry has just imploded, and children are just left wallowing in their own filth. Not to mention how many kids are obviously going to become gay from their adopted parents' example, the same way that only straight couples produce straight children, and obviously it's about procreation only, since we forbid old folks and the infertile from marrying, and not to mention that kids can obviously never succeed without a male and female role model--which is why we immediately remove kids from single parent homes, right?

This recockulousness needs to end. It's not about what you approve of, it's not about your comfort zone. If you're not comfortable marrying folks of the same sex in your churches, fine. Have at it. But maybe keep the Hells out of OTHER churches and denominations.

Religious freedom, equality under the law, right to privacy. What other folks do in their churches, is none of your concern.
2014-04-28 04:20:29 PM  
2 votes:

Rent Party: Because there is an explicit constitutional prohibition on the state infringing on the rights of people to practice their religion.   North Carolina has on it's books a law criminalizing a religious ceremony.

Why do you hate the Constitution?


See above. Those are two different issues.

We are all in agreement that the law making it a misdemeanor to perform a marriage is likely facially unconstitutional.

However, the question I was responding to was whether there is a First Amendment rightto have the state  recognize a marriage done by a priest (i.e., declare it a legal marriage, with all the attendant rights and benefits). That is an entirely different issue, and you'd be very hard-pressed to find any support for the argument that the State is discriminating on the basis of religion by not automatically recognizing all marriages performed by a priest.

tl;dr version: making performing a religious marriage illegal = unconstitutional, refusing to recognize a religious marriage = constitutional.
2014-04-28 04:16:49 PM  
2 votes:

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."


So basically, in her opinion, their religion is invalid and doesn't deserve to be protected by the First Amendment. Too bad the government is constitutionally forbidden from determining what religions deserve protection per US v. Ballard.
2014-04-28 03:58:54 PM  
2 votes:

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

Easy: marriage is a secular institution, not a religious one. These clergypeople have the right to perform same sex Weddings all they want, just as they have the right to give Communion, baptize people, perform exorcisms, etc. That doesn't mean that the government has to give any special privileges or immunities to people who have been baptized, exorcized, commune'd, or wed.

Now, of course, that doesn't mean the government has a rational reason to deny  marriage rights to a subset of the population, but that's a due process/equal protection argument, not a free exercise argument. This complaint should accordingly be dismissed.


But how can it be supportable for the state to forbid under penalty of criminal law, officiating at a ceremony if the state hasn't first issued a license for the secular equivalent of the status that cermony religiously confers?
2014-04-28 03:24:46 PM  
2 votes:
These guys are my heros!
2014-04-28 03:04:18 PM  
2 votes:

Theaetetus: There is one slight wrinkle here - there's another NC law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to perform a marriage ceremony for someone without a marriage license. But I'd argue that  that is clearly unconstitutional under the first amendment, just as it would be clearly unconstitutional to make it illegal to perform a baptism, and that that's a separate issue


Yep, beat me to it. I'm in agreement that that  particular law is facially unconstitutional, which means that if anything gets struck down, it's that law, not the general prohibition of same-sex marriage. But the Couples Plaintiffs might succeed, just as every other post-Windsor attack has succeeded in District Court.

Theaetetus: The remaining 5% of the time is when you're wrong. ;)


I'm sure it's happened... once or twice.
2014-04-28 03:02:27 PM  
2 votes:

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


"They aren't real Christians" is my guess
2014-04-28 03:02:20 PM  
2 votes:
Ah, so looking a bit more carefully at the complaint (pdf), the plaintiffs divide themselves into three different categories:
1. "Religious Denomination Plaintiff." - the denomination itself (the The General Synod of the United Church of Christ)
2. "Clergy Plaintiffs" and "Minister Plaintiffs" - A collection of named plaintiffs from a number of different religions, including UCC, UUC, Judaism, Lutheranism, and others.
3. "Couples Plaintiffs" - Actual same-sex couples.

Looking at their actual legal argument, they're doing some contorted legal argumentation to say that they're actually forbidden from performing marriages. The North Carolina marriage statute says that a "valid and sufficient marriage is created" when the couple freely consent to the union "n the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate" and "[w]ith the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife."

They then take this definition and apply it to North Carolina Gen. Stat. §51-7, which says that ""Every minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage under the laws of this State, who marries any couple without a license being first delivered to that person, as required by law [is guilty of a misdemeanor]."

Therefore, they are arguing (and it does seem like it's not as bad an argument as first seemed) that if they perform a same sex marriage, they cannot legally give that couple a marriage license, and therefore would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

They're basing their entire First Amendment claim on this aspect; that by their reading of the statute, they are barred from even performing religious marriages. They've also tacked on a general  Windsor 14th Amendment attack on behalf of the "Couples Plaintiffs."
2014-04-28 02:58:35 PM  
2 votes:
Rincewind53:
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.

In a way, this whole article is a hypocrisy trap for liberals: these clergy are advocating for gay marriage, so we should go along with whatever means they use to get there, regardless of the fact that it may be directly opposite to our arguments elsewhere.
2014-04-28 02:43:38 PM  
2 votes:
That's so crazy, it just might work.
2014-04-28 02:39:53 PM  
2 votes:
Ahhhhhahahahahahahahaha!

Unintended consequences are a biatch.
2014-04-29 03:59:58 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: In reality, what this all comes down to is the fact that you don't think that the government should use the term "marriage". And since you have no possible justification for that - not even the "confusion" justification that BMFPitt tried - then we must assume that it's bigotry.


Guys, I think there's just miscommunication going on here... Did you miss this bit:

RyansPrivates: You can have polyamorous marriages. You can have same-sex marriages. You can have opposite sex marriages. These are all kinds of marriages.
You can have college room-mates in "civil relationship contracts". You can have two widowed friends In "civil relationship contracts"


It's clear he's just talking about the "civil relationship contracts" applying to people who don't want to be called married for whatever reasons... People who don't consider themselves romantic partners of any sort, but still want the legal rights and benefits that come along with marriage... This is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure we really need/want such a thing... If people really want the rights that go along with marriage, I say let them get married, even if it's a loveless marriage... I don't see a problem with that... (Or, is it still law that if you never consumate a marriage, it's invalid? I suspect such a law wouldn't really hold up if challenged, though...)
2014-04-29 12:46:45 PM  
1 votes:

RyansPrivates: Theaetetus: BMFPitt: Theaetetus: Ah, so you're really proposing "separate but equal", the same thing you were accusing me of. Hypocrisy, much?

Separate how?

You are literally proposing that a new institution be created, having the "same legal treatment" as marriage, but with a different name. That's the very definition of "separate".

How is it separate if it applies to everyone? I thought separate implied a distinct different process for different groups.  This is the same process for any of the aforementioned groups (polyamorous, friends w/benefits, mere friends, roomates, widowed sister-in-laws, committed same sex couples, committed opposite-sex couples, etc.)


www.outsidethebeltway.com

Everyone gets to drink water, right?
2014-04-28 08:55:51 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Hell, look at RyansPrivates here. Even while acknowledging that there's a religious ceremony on the one hand and a civil contract on the other, and at least appearing to be pro-marriage equality, he still insists on interchangeably using the terms "wedding" and "marriage" for the former.


I would also like to replace government sanctioned marriage with civil unions, which would be open to any combination of consenting adults.
2014-04-28 08:20:18 PM  
1 votes:

RyansPrivates: Theaetetus: RyansPrivates: Theaetetus: Three things:
(1) What you're proposing is an institution with all the rights and privileges of marriage, but, for some reason, not called "marriage". Why? Marriage currently exists. Why abolish it and create something exactly identical (albeit open to more people), but with a different name? Why not just, say, open marriage to more people?
It's almost as if you're conceding the point that gay people shouldn't be allowed to get "married", just "civilly yoon'ed".

Hence my distinction between ideal and real.  Ideally, the whole concept of union called marriage wouldn't be on the books.  The word is loaded.

Yes, that's what I'm saying: you're proposing a new institution,  exactly 100% identical to marriage, but not called marriage, because some people get all in a tizzy if we say that gay people can get married.
Isn't that spitting on gay people?
"Hi, gay folks, we know we talk about equal rights and everything, but those bigots over there get really angry if we talk about letting you get married. And we don't want to piss them off, because they're more important than you are. Sure, your parents were married and your grandparents were married and your great-grandparents are married, and you always dreamed of having access to that institution, but we're literally going to abolish it. Just so that you can't get married. Oh, you'll have the same rights, but you won't be allowed to sully the glorious institution of 'marriage' by calling yourselves married."

Any way you look at it, it's a dick move.

Dick move how?  I don't see it.  Everyone, gay or straight would have to go through the same process.


You are abolishing an institution just so that gay people can't say "we're married". That's a dick move, even if you replace it with a new institution with a different name. It's also a dick move to straight people who have no problem with gay people calling themselves married. The only purpose for it is to placate bigots. And placating bigots is a dick move.

And marriage is a religious thing.  Always has been... Marriage, as I have always taken it, is the social institution (in our society, derived from a religious institution)  + the civil contract.

And I'm telling you that you've taken it wrong. Marriage wasn't even a sacrament for the first millennium and a half of Christianity. The church stayed out of marriage until the Council of Trent. You've been misinformed.

Just because the government was involved prior to now doesn't make it right.

For millennia, marriage has been about transfer of property between families and the legal replacement of kinship. Just because the church interceded so that they could exert more dominion over the home and enforce their religious dogma doesn't mean that the secular institution needs to be abolished.

Religion needs to be exorcised completely from the government.   And as I said: ideally.  Realistically, it won't be: so open the damn thing up.  Are you capable of seeing the distinction between what we should have versus what we do have?

Or, we can just open the secular institution of marriage to gay people. We did it in Massachusetts. It's not hard. The sky didn't fall.  We already have what you're saying won't happen.

So just to get this clear: you are saying that marriage is  justa civil contract?  If so, we have been arguing back and forth at each other around semantics.  Marriage, as I have always taken it, is the social institution (in our society, derived from a religious institution)  + the civil contract.

Or, more correctly, there is a social institution called wedlock and a civil contract called  marriage. You even acknowledge this, even though you aren't using the right words:
So the 2  widows wouldn't get married, they would be under civil contract.
i.e. they are married, but not wed.

And, as you said, plenty people have weddings (get married) without concern for a civil contract.
i.e. they are wed, but not married.
Others do the opposite, get married (civil) without weddings.
i.e. they are married, but not wed.

The civil contract is the portion that the government has.
i.e. the marriage.

The social institution is the community/religion/cult/toastmasters/etc's business.
 i.e. the wedding.

Seriously, what you're describing is  exactly what we have right now. However, for some reason, rather than using the proper terms - "wedding" and "marriage" - you're redefining 'marriage' to mean "wedding" and saying that we need a new word to describe marriage. And  why do we need a new word? So that gay people can't claim they're married. Hence why it's a dick move.
2014-04-28 07:52:46 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Hence, what importance does that fact have?
Slartibartfaster: None whatsoever


I never claimed it pertained to your claim - dont weave my words dude
2014-04-28 07:15:09 PM  
1 votes:

Serious Black: Yup. If a minister or any other individual wants to preside over a non-legal commitment ceremony between parties as bizarre as, say, a woman marrying a bridge, that should absolutely be their right to do so without risk of punishment by government


a bridge is not able to consent.
2014-04-28 06:42:34 PM  
1 votes:
serial_crusher:Guess we'd have to hear from AmbassadorBooze to be certain. I'd like to know.

Oh, I doubt he'll be returning. If he was actually suggesting getting government out of the institution, then it's because he had no idea what that would actually entail, and having had it pointed out, I doubt he'll confess his own naivete.

I've frequently used "government out of the marriage business" in contexts where I think they have no business (i.e. different tax filing statuses).

Delegating multiple services to multiple people is also where having it be a "marriage" falls short. I want to be able to talk to person X about all the crimes I committed and have it be inadmissible, but have person Y decide whether or not to pull the plug when I'm in a coma. The "marriage" framework makes those an all or nothing deal. Considering them as two separate contracts would satisfy the "government out of marriage" statement without going full on "government out of everything" libertardian.


That actually requires  more involvement, since you're replacing a single regime with (at least) two. It's quite literally the exact opposite of "get the government out of ______".
2014-04-28 06:36:42 PM  
1 votes:

indylaw: Theaetetus: Rincewind53:
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.

In a way, this whole article is a hypocrisy trap for liberals: these clergy are advocating for gay marriage, so we should go along with whatever means they use to get there, regardless of the fact that it may be directly opposite to our arguments elsewhere.

Bullshiat. How many liberals have demanded that conservative clergy be forced to perform gay marriages in violation of their religious beliefs? It's a right wing straw man and you know it.


No, the hypocrisy would be liberals arguing that marriage is a secular institution in many other lawsuits, but agreeing here that banning gay marriage is an imposition on freedom of religion.

The lawsuit challenges a law which by its broad terms threatens to criminalize the performance of wedding rites in circumstances where the state won't issue marriage licenses, in conflict with religious rites which allow for solemnization of same-sex relationships.You know better.

Only in one count, and it's not really what we're talking about here. Everyone agrees that that law is facially unconstitutional, but it's also not an interesting question. The rest of the thread explains all of this. You should read it, before you start accusing people of not knowing what they're talking about.
2014-04-28 06:24:26 PM  
1 votes:

sprgrss: serial_crusher: I think it's implicit that there would be a similar law requiring a certified health care provider to honor such a class of contracts.

Same law that says "hospitals have to blah blah blah valid marriage certificate" should instead say "hospitals have to blah blah blah Form 139.27.a: 'Acknowledgement of Consent to Delegate Blah Blah Ptivileges'.

Who the hell would want to carry a contract like that around with them at all times?


The same people who carry their official signed marriage certificates with them at all times, I guess.

Or, you could go get it when asked.
/ or, ideally, you'd be able to retrieve said information through your phone or whatever instead of being expected to carry around a sheet of paper or a stone tablet or some other obsolete technology, but yeah it'll be a while before the legal system lets go of paper.
2014-04-28 06:14:05 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: 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.


I think it's implicit that there would be a similar law requiring a certified health care provider to honor such a class of contracts.

Same law that says "hospitals have to blah blah blah valid marriage certificate" should instead say "hospitals have to blah blah blah Form 139.27.a: 'Acknowledgement of Consent to Delegate Blah Blah Ptivileges'.
2014-04-28 06:03:10 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:45:05 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:38:25 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:22:28 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:17:45 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:03:01 PM  
1 votes:

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.

king_nacho: The only information I can find on state issued marriage licenses in the United States claims the first was in Kansas in 1856. So prior to the that, the state allowed the church to marry who they wanted. I've found that some states required a church issued license prior to that date.


It's not a matter of marriage  licenses, it's a matter of state recognition of marriage.It's not that prior to the mid 19th century, States didn't have the power to issue marriage certificates, it's that they generally tended to recognize common-law marriages without requiring a certificate. Marriage licenses themselves date back to the Middle Ages.. The first English law explicitly giving the power to the government to issue marriage licenses actually dates from 1753. In America, states have  always had the power to declare who is or isn't legally married. Licenses are just one aspect of that power.

king_nacho: I've read some claims that the state marriage license came about as an effort to prohibit interracial marriage.


That sounds right. That doesn't mean the State doesn't have the power to declare what marriages it recognizes, though.

king_nacho: The constitution doesn't dictate that the states are responsible for determining what a marriage is, or isn't, the states themselves have assumed that role.


No, but the 10th Amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people) gives the States the power to set their own marriage laws. The Constitution  definitely didn't give the Federal Government a marriage power, leaving it to the States as per tradition.
2014-04-28 05:01:25 PM  
1 votes:

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?


pedophilia involves children, so no, they aren't consenting adults. Polygamy is a much harder line to draw, one that I've actually thought about multiple times, but aside from complexities to the tax code and handling probate, i'm not sure what the real problem is when the group is made up of consenting adults.
2014-04-28 05:01:16 PM  
1 votes:
Merely a spiffy tag? More like a HERO tag.
2014-04-28 04:57:54 PM  
1 votes:

Rincewind53: sprgrss: N.C.G.S § 51-7 only applies to putatively valid marriages.  By the vary nature that same-sex marriages are invalid per se a minister could not be held liable under 51-7 for same sex marriages because those are marriages as contemplated by statute.

This is likely what the State is going to argue, but it's definitely not clear-cut. By its language, it makes it a crime for "Any Minister... authorized to solemnize a marriage... who  marries any couple... without a license." If Amendment One had redefined the term marriage to exclude same-sex marriage, then the argument for the State is much better. However, it didn't do that. It simply stated that "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Therefore, because a religious marriage of a same-sex couple involves a minister, authorized to solemnize a marriage, marrying a couple, it likely falls under N.C.G.S. § 51-7.

I think North Carolina is going to argue along your lines that, practicing the canon of Constitutional avoidance, the law has an implicit "valid marriage" clause. But it's not open and shut at all.


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.
2014-04-28 04:56:11 PM  
1 votes:

serial_crusher: Yeah, this is dumb.  Having the state recognize your marriage and provide benefits is completely separate from attending a ceremony with flowers and cake.  You're still allowed to do that.


Not in North Carolina, you're not.
2014-04-28 04:47:11 PM  
1 votes:

sprgrss: 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

only for putatively valid marriages.  The statute in question is to protect the couple from a priest failing to perform certain obligations.

Since the state prohibits same-sex marriages and those marriages are invalid per se a minister cannot fall afoul of 51-7 because they minister is not performing a marriage that would otherwise be valid in the state.


Ah, I see. That's a pretty important distinction.
2014-04-28 04:33:53 PM  
1 votes:

Rent Party: It is the issue under discussion.  Hypothetical situations exist in some other, alternate universe.  TFA is about the state criminalizing a common religious ceremony.


Go back and read the post I was responding to more carefully, and the initial discussion about what we  thought this complaint was about before we actually read it. TFA was misleading and didn't even mention the state criminalizing a religious marriage. There is a vague reference to "making it illegal," and then a  very misleading quote from a Pastor saying "But Amendment One denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right." Considering that Amendment One was the amendment barring same sex marriage, the initial discussion in this thread gravitated to a discussion of whether there was a Free Exercise right to have the state recognize a religious marriage, which we all agreed didn't exist. Then  king_nacho said he thought the state  should recognize all religious marriages equally, I responded saying there was no First Amendment right to that, and then you said I hated the Constitution.

Rent Party: There are other tests the state can use.  Consent is a big one, and it tosses most of the turtle marriage arguments out the window.  Two dogs can not legally consent to contract.  Neither can a child.    There is no need at all to bring religion into those cases.


Again, there are two issues being talked about in this thread
1. The constitutionality of the law that makes performing any marriage, even a religious marriage, illegal if you can't get a license, which everyone agrees is unconstitutional.
2. Whether the State is violating the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by declining to grant  legal recognition to some  religious marriages.but not others. This is almost certainly not a violation of the Constitution.

We're talking over each other her. You and I agree on point one, but you think I'm talking about point one when I'm talking about point two.
2014-04-28 04:32:45 PM  
1 votes:

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?
2014-04-28 04:28:46 PM  
1 votes:

Rincewind53: The State is the one that sets the rule about what is, and what isn't, a legal marriage. Religious groups should be free to perform a religious marriage for whomever they want (which is why the statute making it a misdemeanor to perform a marriage without a license is likely unconstitutional), but they don't have a free exercise right to have any of their religious marriages declared legal marriages.


Yup. If a minister or any other individual wants to preside over a non-legal commitment ceremony between parties as bizarre as, say, a woman marrying a bridge, that should absolutely be their right to do so without risk of punishment by government.
2014-04-28 04:24:20 PM  
1 votes:

king_nacho: It seems that it is illegal to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple, and it is illegal to perform a marriage without a license, so the clergy are only allowed to perform state sanctioned marriages, which seems to be restricting the religion practicing their beliefs.


Yes, but that is  entirely different than having a First Amendment right to have the state recognize any religious marriage.

The State is the one that sets the rule about what is, and what isn't, a legal marriage. Religious groups should be free to perform a religious marriage for whomever they want (which is why the statute making it a misdemeanor to perform a marriage without a license is likely unconstitutional), but they don't have a free exercise right to have any of their religious marriages declared legal marriages.

There are religious groups in the United States that perform marriages between 13-year-olds and adults. Do you think that these groups have a First Amendment right to have the State recognize that marriage? No.
2014-04-28 04:24:18 PM  
1 votes:

king_nacho: Rincewind53: Magorn: 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

Read a little further down, I clarified my position.

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

No, why? The state is the one who gets to decide what "marriage" is, not a priest. If a priest holds a marriage ceremony for two dogs, why should the State be forced to recognize that?

Yes, I think the state should recognize the marriage of two male dogs in the same way it recognizes the marriage of a male, and a female dog.

If you rely on clergy to perform marriages, then what allows you to limit what types of marriages those clergy can perform?

It seems that it is illegal to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple, and it is illegal to perform a marriage without a license, so the clergy are only allowed to perform state sanctioned marriages, which seems to be restricting the religion practicing their beliefs.


Marriages as recognized by the law have nothing to do with religion. The people have to get a license and the perform the ceremony before a qualified celebrant who can be, but does not have to be, a religious figure. Judges, justices of the peace, and so on, can and do perform civil ceremonies. Basically, the ceremony requires a celebrant, the people getting married, a witness, and some paperwork.
2014-04-28 04:24:00 PM  
1 votes:
Huh.  Christians acting both christian and Christ-like.
2014-04-28 04:13:49 PM  
1 votes:

Nabb1: Theaetetus: There is one slight wrinkle here - there's another NC law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to perform a marriage ceremony for someone without a marriage license. But I'd argue that  that is clearly unconstitutional under the first amendment, just as it would be clearly unconstitutional to make it illegal to perform a baptism, and that that's a separate issue.

Yes, I thought the lawsuit sounded specious until I read the petition itself and saw the actual law in question (for those of you who haven't looked, it's linked in the article - go to paragraph 91 on page 18 of the lawsuit). I get that you don't want qualified celebrants taking peoples money or ripping them off for performing marriage ceremonies that have no legal effect when the people getting married think everything is okay, but as drafted, this makes the mere performance of the ceremony in even a religious context a crime even if the people getting "married" know it won't have any real legal effect under state law. And that should clearly fail any First Amendment analysis. It's one thing to do a ceremony and tell some unsuspecting couple they are married when they really aren't, but quite another to tell people they can't have a religious ceremony to solemnize their union as long as they know it's not legally binding on the state (even though I think those unions should be legal, but that's another issue altogether).


ok, that makes more sense then.  TFA starts off with "The addition to the North Carolina Constitution prohibited the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages or civil unions." which is apparently irrelevant to the case.  Bad reporting.

Yeah, no reason to prevent anybody from performing ceremonies.  Maybe have some kind of truth in advertising law that says somebody performing a "marriage ceremony" has to disclose if/when the ceremony in question doesn't constitute a legally recognized marriage.
2014-04-28 04:05:25 PM  
1 votes:
For the record, those are probably American Baptist Convention ministers/congregations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Baptist_Convention

Those are the liberal brothers. Then you've got the Southern Baptist Convetion, and then you've got the churches too conservative for the SBC, then you've got the Westboros of the world.
2014-04-28 04:04:31 PM  
1 votes:

Magorn: 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


Read a little further down, I clarified my position.

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


No, why? The state is the one who gets to decide what "marriage" is, not a priest. If a priest holds a marriage ceremony for two dogs, why should the State be forced to recognize that?
2014-04-28 04:03:16 PM  
1 votes:

James!: That's the fun part of religion.  It is whatever you say it is.


Kind of like interpreting the Constitution.


/It's scary dangerous to pass any law prohibiting any persons rights, whether you agree with them or not.
2014-04-28 04:01:02 PM  
1 votes:
I am not surprised the UCC is leading this charge. They tend to be on the right side of things.

/Individual UCC churches have been arguing that homosexuality wasn't a sin since the seventies, which was not exactly a popular sentiment for the time...
2014-04-28 04:00:43 PM  
1 votes:

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."
2014-04-28 03:59:21 PM  
1 votes:

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?
2014-04-28 03:15:47 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: There is one slight wrinkle here - there's another NC law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to perform a marriage ceremony for someone without a marriage license. But I'd argue that  that is clearly unconstitutional under the first amendment, just as it would be clearly unconstitutional to make it illegal to perform a baptism, and that that's a separate issue.


Yes, I thought the lawsuit sounded specious until I read the petition itself and saw the actual law in question (for those of you who haven't looked, it's linked in the article - go to paragraph 91 on page 18 of the lawsuit). I get that you don't want qualified celebrants taking peoples money or ripping them off for performing marriage ceremonies that have no legal effect when the people getting married think everything is okay, but as drafted, this makes the mere performance of the ceremony in even a religious context a crime even if the people getting "married" know it won't have any real legal effect under state law. And that should clearly fail any First Amendment analysis. It's one thing to do a ceremony and tell some unsuspecting couple they are married when they really aren't, but quite another to tell people they can't have a religious ceremony to solemnize their union as long as they know it's not legally binding on the state (even though I think those unions should be legal, but that's another issue altogether).
2014-04-28 03:06:10 PM  
1 votes:
Yeah, this is dumb.  Having the state recognize your marriage and provide benefits is completely separate from attending a ceremony with flowers and cake.  You're still allowed to do that.

/ Or, let's go back to my "don't recognize any marraiges" rant.  The great Agnostico says you're violating my religious freedom by not allowing me to claim myself as my own spouse for tax purposes.
 
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