Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-07-2016, 12:51 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
I wonder what would happen if an Openly Atheist government official refused to give a marriage licence or officiate a marriage to a Christian couple because they were Christians.

What would happen if an atheist baker refused to sell someone a wedding cake because they were Christians. What would happen if that occurred?


My Youtube channel if anyone is interested.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEkRdbq...rLEz-0jEHQ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Shadow Fox's post
27-07-2016, 05:17 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(27-07-2016 12:51 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  I wonder what would happen if an Openly Atheist government official refused to give a marriage licence or officiate a marriage to a Christian couple because they were Christians.

What would happen if an atheist baker refused to sell someone a wedding cake because they were Christians. What would happen if that occurred?

[Image: fckoff.jpg]

Save a life. Adopt a greyhound.

[Image: anigrey.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2016, 06:28 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(27-07-2016 12:51 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  I wonder what would happen if an Openly Atheist government official refused to give a marriage licence or officiate a marriage to a Christian couple because they were Christians.

What would happen if an atheist baker refused to sell someone a wedding cake because they were Christians. What would happen if that occurred?

Never happen...

Atheists are smart enough to take the money, and keep their mouths shut....

It takes a devout moron to turn down business for the sake of an invisible buddy....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2016, 07:05 AM
RE: Kentucky Official Refuses To Marry Atheist Couple
(27-07-2016 12:32 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 12:08 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I'll correct you on several points.

First, judges don't issue marriage licenses. That's done by local bureaucracy. County clerks, in the case of Kentucky. However, marriage licenses aren't valid as issued. They must first be executed by an authorized individual -- "solemnized" is the word used in Kentucky law -- before the marriage becomes official. In other words, the license ALLOWS the couple to get married (usually with a minimal background check to make sure that, say, both are of age and they're not siblings), but the solemnizer actually marries them. Under Kentucky law, the only people allowed to solemnize marriages are ministers (or pastors, priests, whatever you call them), congregations/churches/whatever that don't have ministors/pastors/priests/whatever, and judges.

Kim Davis, a Kentucky counter clerk and 15-minutes-of-fame poster girl for tearing down the wall between church and state, got in trouble for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples when the courts (right up to the Supreme Court) had already ruled that the states, all of them, were required to let them marry. Kentucky law said, and still says, that same-sex marriages are not only not a right but illegal, but the federal courts overrode that law, ruling that Kentucky did not have the authority to enforce it because it violated individual civil rights. (Or maybe she was refusing to issue them to everyone so she didn't have to issue them to gay people? I forget.) She was imprisoned for a few days for contempt of a court order and eventually caved and let an assistant do it, satisfying the requirement that the licenses be issued while keeping her own hands, erm, clean, a solution that satisfied exactly zero people but at least let the marriage licenses be issued.

This case with the judge is different in many respects. First -- and this is something that I was arguing, and is debatable -- there's the question of how much that is a right of the judge rather than the duty. In Kim Davis's case, it was clearly a duty. Marriage is a fundamental right subject to some reasonable regulation and delays, which includes things like paying some fees and doing paperwork but does NOT allow a clerk to refuse to issue licenses at all. Second, the judge was willing to solemnize the marriage... he just wasn't willing to customize the ceremony by removing the god language. (And it's his ceremony. There's no official ceremony, just the one he uses. He could just sign the paper, collect signatures from everyone else, and say it's done if he wanted.)

Another factor is the category of protection afforded the victims in these respective cases. It took a very long and convoluted process -- that was almost as much political and social as legal -- to establish that the right to marry (already in place) extended to same-sex couples as well as all others. By and large, federal law does not forbid discrimination against the LGBT community in... well... anything. They can kicked out of their homes, fired, refused service, be denied access to governmental services if the official has even an ounce of discretionary power in their case, even refused psychiatric or medical care. Some states offer these protections in lieu of the federal government stepping in, and some don't. Kentucky doesn't.

In contrast, freedom of religion and barring the establishment or persecution of religion is one of the longest standing rights in this nation. People are allowed to hold whatever stance they want on whatever religious stance they want, and the government may not punish them for it, period. Similarly, the government may not show preference to people of one set of convictions on religious subjects over another, or preferentially put impediments in the way, or.... lots of barriers. Even private entities are subject to a lot of anti-discrimination laws as employers, open-to-the-public busineses, and so on. Even when there's a sensible reason for having something discriminatory, there is a requirement to make reasonable accommodations whenever possible. It gets complicated, but the bottom line is that religious discrimination is something the government can't do.

So the question is, in what persona is the judge acting when he refuses to modify his service. If he is acting as part of the government in his role as judge, then as such he is required to make a reasonable accommodation for the religion of the couple, which changing the service would count as. Otherwise it establishes a single religion as endorsed by the government and persecutes everyone not a member of it, which violates the First Amendment of the federal Constitution. (Which is a HUGE one. People care about it, unlike, say, the Third Amendment.) If, however, he is in the role of a private citizen with the power to marry... and if he is not in the role of an open-to-the-public business... then he is not. At least, that's my opinion. I was debating this a lot with everyone else.

This contrasts strongly with ministers in two ways. First, the ministers are not part of the government and so aren't affected by the First Amendment and its limitations on government's ability to establish or persecute on religious grounds. And second, most of the laws about private entitites providing equal access and not discriminating don't apply to churches, who may discriminate on the basis of religion. While this is common-sense in some ways (not hiring a Muslim to fill the role of head pastor in a Christian church, for example), it causes a lot of problems in others (not hiring the Mulsim to be a janitor). That's an argument for another time. In short, private ministers and judges are two very different animals under American law.

But another significant question is how much the state of Kentucky is on the hook for this, because judges are the only possibly-secular option for solemnizing a marriage under Kentucky law. Even if -- especially if -- this judge is not required to modify how he performs his service, Kentucky may be in major violation of the First Amendment by essentially forcing everyone, even atheists, who want to get married to go through religious services. If even the secular option of judges can't be relied upon to make reasonable accommodations, then religion has been established as effectively holding a monopoly over marriage (a fundamental right) and the government is excessively entangled in it, which is a major civil rights issue. Regardless of who's actually at fault here, be it the judge or the state government, someone has screwed atheists over in a way that is HUGELY illegal. (I suspect it's the state and that the best course of action is to force the state to expand its laws to include explicitly secular options, but again that was a point of debate.)

Thank you for clearing that up. it is very much appreciated. Question, is he refusing to do a straight solemnization, as in just a simple sign here solemnization, or is he refusing to participate in an actual ceremony?

He is willing to solemnize and do a ceremony. But it's the same standard ceremony he always does, with god-language in it that this atheist couple found objectionable and did not want to be in their special day. He refused to modify the ceremony to accommodate their non-belief. I don't know if the subject of a simple sign-here solemnization ever came up between them.

(27-07-2016 12:51 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  I wonder what would happen if an Openly Atheist government official refused to give a marriage licence or officiate a marriage to a Christian couple because they were Christians.

What would happen if an atheist baker refused to sell someone a wedding cake because they were Christians. What would happen if that occurred?

Religious categories (including atheists and Christians) enjoy far more protections under the law than sexual-orientation categories (such as straight or gay). That kind of discrimination is illegal under federal (and usually also state) law both by public officials and by open-to-the-public businesses. In contrast, discrimination against same-sex couples is barred in many states but permitted in many more, with federal law being mute on the subject.

Legal ramifications aside, there would obviously be an uproar. The county official would probably face court orders and jail time for violating them, same as Kim Davis did. Depending on the state they might get fired. Davis couldn't really be fired because she was elected. There might have been a potential impeachment process, though. The bakery would definitely be in violation of non-discrimination laws and subject to fines and possibly loss of business license. Also, a bakery like that which shunned well over 70% of its clientele would have to either occupy a very particular niche, or it would go out of business very, very quickly.

(Yes, only roughly 70% of the population are Christians, but any particular marriage that isn't both Christian still have a decent chance of having at least one Christian in it, and I'm guessing Christians are a bit more likely to want to get married in the first place, though I could be wrong about that.)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: