Saturday, October 25, 2014

Suit Challenges Refusal To Approve Atheist To Perform Marriages

MPR News reports on a lawsuit filed last month in a Minnesota state court by an organization of atheists challenging Washington County, Minnesota's refusal to grant official certification to perform marriage ceremonies to a member who was granted a credential to perform marriages by Atheists for Human Rights. Three other counties have accepted the credential, but Washington County says it does not meet the statutory standard of being issued by a religious organization. Plaintiffs say this refusal violates the Establishment Clause as well as their free expression and equal protection rights. Atheists for Human Rights says that the alternative is obtaining online ordination in a phony religion. A bill to specifically permit atheist groups to perform weddings has been introduced in the state legislature, but has not yet passed.