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Free Exercise Clause to the Rescue!!!

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  • Free Exercise Clause to the Rescue!!!

    Attorney John Martel said in a statement that “marriage performed by clergy is a spiritual exercise and expression of faith essential to the values and continuity of the religion that government may regulate only where it has a compelling interest.” In other words, a North Carolina law that makes it a misdemeanor to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony violates the religious freedom of clergy members who believe those unions are an expression of faith. In other other words, conservative opponents of same-sex marriage aren't the only religious people in the country.
    I love this! Especially in North Carolina, a state that, as a colony, had virtually the same law directed against Catholics. It was then illegal for Catholic priests to perform any rites of the Church, and for Catholics to own land.

    Gotta love those traditionalists.

    http://news.yahoo.com/religious-grou...202953258.html
    "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

  • #2
    In other other words, conservative opponents of same-sex marriage aren't the only religious people in the country.


    No. Just the loudest.
    Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

    Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
      I love this! Especially in North Carolina, a state that, as a colony, had virtually the same law directed against Catholics. It was then illegal for Catholic priests to perform any rites of the Church, and for Catholics to own land.

      Gotta love those traditionalists.

      http://news.yahoo.com/religious-grou...202953258.html
      I agree with the opposition. I don't think there can be a criminal charge for performing a religious ceremony, provided that the ceremony itself is not subject to criminal statutes (i.e. statutory rape, illegal drugs, bigamy, etc.). I don't think same sex relationships are subject to criminal prosecution anymore (maybe I'm wrong on that...), therefore performing a ceremony purporting to marry two people should not be a crime.

      I do not believe, however, that striking down the criminal provision should strike down the rest of the ban.
      Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
      Robert Southwell, S.J.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
        In other other words, conservative opponents of same-sex marriage aren't the only religious people in the country.


        No. Just the loudest.
        Only conservatives are opponents? Interesting. I've heard different.

        Comment


        • #5
          The first thing you go through when receiving your endowment for the first time is the washing and anointing. You strip naked and are given what is called a "shield" to wear. It's a big white oval of fabric, worn like a poncho, but open at the sides. It is true that you're not 100% naked, but I think that the difference is splitting hairs. (If you don't believe me, run out into the street with nothing one but a blanket over your head and see if they don't try to charge you with indecent exposure.)

          The washing and anointing both consist of various parts of the body being touched by the fingertips of the temple worker performing the ordinance. They use a drop of water or oil on their fingertips, hence washing and anointing. They say a sort of prayer for the good health and function of each of the involved body parts. Unlike other priesthood ordinances, men wash and anoint men and women wash and anoint women.

          The parts of the body include the head, each ear, the eyes (I think it was across the brow), nose (bridge), lips, neck (nape), shoulders, back, breast (center of chest if I remember right), arms and hands (touch in one motion along length of each arm), vitals and bowels (point on the side, I think), loins, legs and feet (touch in one motion along length of each leg). The loins are supposed to be done by touching the side of the person parallel to their genitals, but more than one man has reported that perverted temple workers directly rubbed down the front of their penises. They seem to try to get away with it more with first-time missionaries who are young and don't know better.
          The year's at the spring
          And day's at the morn;
          Morning's at seven;
          The hill-side's dew-pearled;
          The lark's on the wing;
          The snail's on the thorn:
          God's in his heaven—
          All's right with the world!

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think that they have much of a case, actually.

            They've couched in a very narrow manner that makes it sound like North Carolina has criminalized someone performing a same-sex marriage ritual. By that, I mean that they are making it sound like the act of someone standing up at an altar (or a dais or under a trellis in a garden or where ever) and saying "do you, John, do take Steve..." is a misdemeanor in North Carolina.

            Here's what they cite:
            § 51-7. Penalty for solemnizing without license.
            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, or after the expiration of such license, or who fails to return such license to the register of deeds within 10 days after any marriage celebrated by virtue thereof, with the certificate appended thereto duly filled up and signed, shall forfeit and pay two hundred dollars ($200.00) to any person who sues therefore, and shall also be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

            Sure sounds like that's what they're saying here, right?

            The broader context of the statutes paints a very different picture indeed. This whole article is laying out the process for how marriages are recorded by the registrar of deeds in each county. It's largely a bunch of stilted legal language, but what they are describing here is very similar to what happens when someone gets married in Tennessee:
            1. The happy couple goes down to the local county clerk's office. They declare that they intend to be married (Tennessee requires a formal declaration, under oath, that one intends to get married) in that county within 60 (I think) days.
            2. They plunk down the $35 or whatever it is for the marriage license fee.
            3. They provide proof of their identity (ZOMGOHSNOESTHATISRACIST!!!111!!1!!). In Nashville, there is a calligrapher on staff who does a very pretty job of writing the happy couple's name on the marriage license/certificate, which is a piece of nice, legal-size paper.
            4. The happy couple gets married by an officiant of their choice. They may pay the county clerk some pittance to perform the ceremony then and there, or they can go to their church, or have someone else authorized to officiate weddings perform the marriage ceremony (in Tennessee, certain people are automatically authorized to officiate weddings: any elected mayor, state judges and magistrates, and the county sheriff are a few).
            5. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the officiant then has the happy couple sign on the bottom portion of the piece of nice paper, along with the officiant and at least two witnesses, plus the date of the wedding, and the officiant explains how they are authorized to perform weddings on the back.
            6. The bottom 3" of the page is a tear-off coupon, so the officiant tears that off and is obligated to deliver it, either by mail or in person, to the county clerk. The happy couple keeps the remaining letter-sized piece of nice paper as their marriage certificate. They are officially married from the moment that the coupon is torn off the bottom of the license/certificate to leave only the certificate of marriage.
            7. The county clerk then matches that coupon up to the license issued from that office, and then logs the date of the marriage. The happy couple is then married from that date under the law for purposes of taxation, etc.



            § 51-7 very clearly is a form of "consumer protection." It's obviously there to ensure that someone who is not familiar with the process can't get hosed by someone telling them that they are legally married when in fact they aren't if they haven't gotten a marriage license. If § 51-7 actually meant what the plaintiffs are claiming that it means, then we would see enforcement of that law. Every time some gay couple had a purely ceremonial wedding at the UCC in Asheville, we'd see the Buncombe County sheriff's department breaking down the door of the UCC and hauling someone two blocks away to the Buncombe County jail. Indeed, based upon these people's interpretation, even re-taking one's vows would be illegal. The enforcement of the law as the plaintiffs are claiming it reads simply does not happen. I guarandamntee you that we'd hear ALL about it if this law were being enforced as the plaintiffs are interpreting it.

            Thus, since no one is enforcing the law that way, it's quite clear that the state's intent with the law is very different indeed. It's clear that the far more reasonable interpretation, that illegally fooling someone into thinking that they're legally married when they actually aren't, is, unsurprisingly, illegal. They even provide a specific remedy for someone who does fail to properly perform a wedding ceremony in the same statutes.



            Now, Asheville had some kooky judges when I lived there, but even at that, I rather seriously doubt that this is ever gaining traction with the court.
            It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
            In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
            Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
            Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

            Comment


            • #7
              I think Nevada should legalize same sex marriage as it would be a boom to the Las Vegas economy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RobJohnson View Post
                I think Nevada should legalize same sex marriage as it would be a boom to the Las Vegas economy.
                You would think.

                I wrote to my legislators here in Florida some time ago to point out that there was a window of opportunity to pass marriage equality and be the first state with a good climate to do so. I predicted that that one law could have an enormous benefit to Florida: pulling the slack out of the housing market, pumping tax money into education without adding huge numbers of children, in essence a near perfect immigrant class.
                The year's at the spring
                And day's at the morn;
                Morning's at seven;
                The hill-side's dew-pearled;
                The lark's on the wing;
                The snail's on the thorn:
                God's in his heaven—
                All's right with the world!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Novaheart View Post
                  You would think.

                  I wrote to my legislators here in Florida some time ago to point out that there was a window of opportunity to pass marriage equality and be the first state with a good climate to do so. I predicted that that one law could have an enormous benefit to Florida: pulling the slack out of the housing market, pumping tax money into education without adding huge numbers of children, in essence a near perfect immigrant class.
                  So you were advocating that the participants be Florida residents, not just a group on a chartered junket to Key West to get married, spend a weekend on the beach and return to Milwaukee?
                  Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
                  and lost …
                  But the Republicans are racist.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gramps View Post
                    So you were advocating that the participants be Florida residents, not just a group on a chartered junket to Key West to get married, spend a weekend on the beach and return to Milwaukee?
                    Tourists are a major factor in the Florida economy. Also seasonal residents, who have homes in both places. It's all good. I don't think you can legally discriminate between residents and non-residents in the issuance of marriage licenses. My sister and her current husband, both residents of another state, decided to get married in Florida because that was where our parents lived. They had no problem getting a license.
                    "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
                      Tourists are a major factor in the Florida economy. Also seasonal residents, who have homes in both places. It's all good. I don't think you can legally discriminate between residents and non-residents in the issuance of marriage licenses. My sister and her current husband, both residents of another state, decided to get married in Florida because that was where our parents lived. They had no problem getting a license.
                      That's actually an interesting question.

                      A lot of places have a requirement that someone "reside" there for some length of time before getting a marriage license. Jamaica, for example, requires that someone be on the island for at least 48 hours before they will issue a license. This is obviously a blatant ploy for ensuring that they get revenue out of people who go there to get married in the form of hotel taxes, etc. I have to wonder if Florida could do the same thing: if you're not a resident of Florida, then Dade County will happily issue you a marriage license ... after you've spent at least two days spending tourist dollars on South Beach. States already do give all sorts of other preferential treatment to state residents (e.g. in-state tuition to state colleges and universities); why shouldn't they be able to also give preferential treatment to state residents in the form of marriage licenses? They're not denying anyone a license; they just have a requirement that you hang around the state for a couple of days before you get married.
                      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RobJohnson View Post
                        Only conservatives are opponents? Interesting. I've heard different.
                        Nope. Just the loudest.

                        Originally posted by Adam View Post
                        I don't think that they have much of a case, actually.
                        I don't either, but I do appreciate the novel approach. The best outcome I can see for this is a judge strikes down this particular law, which does nothing to promote or allow same sex marriages. It would just allow them to host commitment ceremonies or "marriages" without licenses, something some couples do anyway when they can't get legally married.

                        I just don't see how this will force a significant change if it prevails.
                        “Any sufficiently advanced capitalism is indistinguishable from rent seeking.” ~ =j

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