Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
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17-07-2016, 09:34 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 09:17 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(17-07-2016 08:47 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  [...] In particular, the fact that it's not a requirement of his job and that this is something the judge has been empowered to do selectively, in his private persona rather than his public office, makes me think it likely IS legal... at least for him. [...]

So if Judge Alexander refused—on solely personal grounds—to marry a white man and a black woman, or two gays or two lesbians, that would be okay with you? It'd be "legal"?

Do you not think those other scenarios would engender an understandable mass outcry? Of course they would, and it's nothing to do with Alexander's repugnant moral beliefs—it's to do solely with discrimination because they're atheists. And if anybody—be it a shopkeeper or a dentist or a judge—discriminates based on religion (or a lack thereof) alone, then that individual is breaking the law (in Australia at least). It's neither here nor there if he or she is a state employee, or private citizen or celebrant.

If the judge refused to perform interracial marriage, do I think it would be legal? Possibly. The nature of the power to solemnize marriage and how it attaches to judges in Kentucky is pretty weird and it's not clear at all how that interacts with various nondiscrimination laws.

Here in the US, discrimination on the basis of religious stance (including atheism) is illegal in cases of public accommodation -- that is, businesses and services that are open to the public -- and also in employment and government function. The laws vary somewhat from state to state, which complicates things, and Kentucky's one of the more regressive states, and does not provide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. But generally speaking, private citizens are still allowed to discriminate in, say, which coworkers they invite over to dinner or who they want to date. We might look down our nose at them for it, but it's legal. The shopkeeper or the dentist falls under the public accommodation category and Kim Davis fell under the government function category. But the really weird way that a judge's marriage powers are set up looks like it's sneaking through a loophole here, because the power, once granted, is NOT tied to his role in government. If that's the case, he would be allowed to discriminate as a private citizen in ways that he would not allowed to be able to do as a business or in his "on-duty" capacity.

Would it be okay with me for him to discriminate on the basis of race or sexual orientation? DEFINITELY NOT. Please do not confuse my attempt to analyze whether this discrimination is legal, or even the degree to which it's a hardship or a major obstacle for atheists, with an endorsement. I stated very clearly that this was a definite problem, and I have to question why you are twisting my post around to mean one thing when I explicitly said the opposite in the very same post.
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17-07-2016, 09:47 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 09:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I stated very clearly that this was a definite problem, and I have to question why you are twisting my post around to mean one thing when I explicitly said the opposite in the very same post.

Nope, I'm not "twisting" anything. You're now attempting to modify your original response.

You stated "In particular, the fact that it's not a requirement of his job and that this is something the judge has been empowered to do selectively, in his private persona rather than his public office, makes me think it likely IS legal... at least for him".

In a nutshell, you're now saying that Alexander's decision not to marry this atheist couple is not discriminatory under the terms of Kentucky state law? You've not made it clear as to exactly what your stance is regarding marriage based solely on atheism, miscegenation, or homosexuality. Withholding of the ceremony is or isn't discriminatory for each of these groups?

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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17-07-2016, 10:18 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 09:47 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(17-07-2016 09:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I stated very clearly that this was a definite problem, and I have to question why you are twisting my post around to mean one thing when I explicitly said the opposite in the very same post.

Nope, I'm not "twisting" anything. You're now attempting to modify your original response.

You stated "In particular, the fact that it's not a requirement of his job and that this is something the judge has been empowered to do selectively, in his private persona rather than his public office, makes me think it likely IS legal... at least for him".

In a nutshell, you're now saying that Alexander's decision not to marry this atheist couple is not discriminatory under the terms of Kentucky state law? You've not made it clear as to exactly what your stance is regarding marriage based solely on atheism, miscegenation, or homosexuality. Withholding of the ceremony is or isn't discriminatory for each of these groups?

The point is that under Kentucky law, not all discrimination is illegal, and that this type of discrimination, by this person, in the vagueness of the role he is in when using his marriage powers, appears like it falls in the "legal" category rather than the "illegal" category.

Also, on closer examination, this case is not really about discrimination per se -- the judge is still offering to marry the couple -- but rather of not making a reasonable accommodation by removing the god-language from the ceremony. Reasonable accommodation is also a requirement for protected classes (like atheists... but not, under Kentucky law, LGBT people) in cases of employment and public function. Yes, that is a modification.

My own stance on marriage is complicated by the degree to which I think government should get out of the business, but in short, I'm very much in favor of equal access to marriage regardless of race (including interracial couples), religious stance (ie, couples of any religion, no religion, or mixed religions), and homosexuality or heterosexuality or non-traditional-sexuality of the union.
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17-07-2016, 10:29 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 10:18 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  My own stance on marriage is complicated by the degree to which I think government should get out of the business, but in short, I'm very much in favor of equal access to marriage regardless of race (including interracial couples), religious stance (ie, couples of any religion, no religion, or mixed religions), and homosexuality or heterosexuality or non-traditional-sexuality of the union.

The thing with government being involved is that a marriage is a legal contract. So, to some extent there has to be someone to sign off on the marriage certificate in an official fashion. The only way government can get out of the marriage business would be to make marriage a social thing only. After I signed and affixed my seal it was then required of the couple to file the license with the local county so there was a legal record of the union.

When in SC I had the legal authority to perform marriage ceremonies and sign the licenses since I was a Notary Public there. (Which I did twice.) I wasn't required to sign off on any marriage license but I/when I did it was a legal document that was recognized by all legal areas...Social Security, the DMV, insurance policies, etc.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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17-07-2016, 10:33 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
Sure wouldn't want those Godless atheists breeding and making more of the same for the future!
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17-07-2016, 10:34 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 10:29 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(17-07-2016 10:18 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  My own stance on marriage is complicated by the degree to which I think government should get out of the business, but in short, I'm very much in favor of equal access to marriage regardless of race (including interracial couples), religious stance (ie, couples of any religion, no religion, or mixed religions), and homosexuality or heterosexuality or non-traditional-sexuality of the union.

The thing with government being involved is that a marriage is a legal contract. So, to some extent there has to be someone to sign off on the marriage certificate in an official fashion. The only way government can get out of the marriage business would be to make marriage a social thing only. After I signed and affixed my seal it was then required of the couple to file the license with the local county so there was a legal record of the union.

When in SC I had the legal authority to perform marriage ceremonies and sign the licenses since I was a Notary Public there. (Which I did twice.) I wasn't required to sign off on any marriage license but I/when I did it was a legal document that was recognized by all legal areas...Social Security, the DMV, insurance policies, etc.

And if that was all the government was doing, confining itself to the contractual aspect of marriage, that would be great. I don't want government out of marriage entirely (though maybe renaming that aspect of it as civil unions would unruffle a few feathers), but I do want it out of the moral-imperative-from-God side of things. If government treated marriage... or, rather, the part of marriage that it deals with... as just a matter of contracts and who has guardianship over children and so on, I would be very happy.
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17-07-2016, 10:39 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 10:33 AM)Born Again Pagan Wrote:  Sure wouldn't want those Godless atheists breeding and making more of the same for the future!
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17-07-2016, 10:43 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 10:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(17-07-2016 10:29 AM)Anjele Wrote:  The thing with government being involved is that a marriage is a legal contract. So, to some extent there has to be someone to sign off on the marriage certificate in an official fashion. The only way government can get out of the marriage business would be to make marriage a social thing only. After I signed and affixed my seal it was then required of the couple to file the license with the local county so there was a legal record of the union.

When in SC I had the legal authority to perform marriage ceremonies and sign the licenses since I was a Notary Public there. (Which I did twice.) I wasn't required to sign off on any marriage license but I/when I did it was a legal document that was recognized by all legal areas...Social Security, the DMV, insurance policies, etc.

And if that was all the government was doing, confining itself to the contractual aspect of marriage, that would be great. I don't want government out of marriage entirely (though maybe renaming that aspect of it as civil unions would unruffle a few feathers), but I do want it out of the moral-imperative-from-God side of things. If government treated marriage... or, rather, the part of marriage that it deals with... as just a matter of contracts and who has guardianship over children and so on, I would be very happy.

This would be a non-issue if the ceremony part of it was removed.

Of course it's a different thing with that Kim Davis witch who wouldn't allow the license to be issued at all.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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17-07-2016, 10:45 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
Why get angry when you can get even?

Bring your entire wedding party to the court to witness your marriage. Have someone inform the wedding party (very loudly, and in front of the judge) that for the purposes of this ceremony, Satan will be referred to by just his formal title, “God.” Every time the judge refers to him as “God”, the wedding attendants should shout out, “Praise his holy name, Satan!”

Make sure to invite the 6:00 news to share in the nuptials.
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17-07-2016, 11:30 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(17-07-2016 08:47 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  ... okay, having done a minimal amount of research on this...

This isn't quite a Kim Davis case. It's still bad, but not that bad.

1) Unlike with Kim Davis, marrying people is not part of the judge's job. He is empowered to perform marriages, but it's optional for him. If he decided to never perform a marriage, that would be legit. If he decided to perform marriages only for his daughter and cousin, that would be legit. Nor is this a power tied to the office -- he would retain it even after he retires and leaves public service.

2) Unlike Kim Davis, who had a lock on the county clerk's office, he is not the only provider of this service in the area.

3) Unlike Kim Davis with same-sex couples, he is not imposing a blanket refusal to marry atheist couples. He is quite willing to perform this marriage. He is simply refusing to modify the language he uses in the ceremony to remove all mention of God.

So the legality of this is a lot more questionable than a clear-cut case like Kim Davis. In particular, the fact that it's not a requirement of his job and that this is something the judge has been empowered to do selectively, in his private persona rather than his public office, makes me think it likely IS legal... at least for him.

It would be fairly easy to see if this particular judge performed weddings in the past. if he has, then refusing to marry a couple who doesn't want God to be part of the marriage ceremony is actually against the law.

If he is considered a justice of the peace, then actually it is part of his duties. He also specifically said he wouldn't marry them without mentioning God. The judge in this case didn't simply say he doesn't do weddings. He said specifically he won't marry atheists. Huge difference. According to this article he's the only judge in the area.

http://www.weekendcollective.com/kentuck...-atheists/


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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