DoctorE

Turtles all the way down

Atheists sue Washington County over denial to perform marriages

Posted by doctore0 on October 24, 2014


A Washington County manager’s refusal to register an atheist seeking to solemnize marriages has led to a lawsuit contesting Minnesota law as unconstitutional.

Atheists for Human Rights (AFHR) and Rodney Michael Rogers allege that state law and county policy deprived the organization and Rogers of “equal protection of laws” guaranteed in the 14th Amendment. Their suit also said that “content-based discrimination” violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

“When the statute clearly permits recognition of a marriage celebrant whose religious credentials consist of nothing more than a $20 ‘ordination’ obtained from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster … the requirement is absolutely meaningless in terms of ensuring the qualifications of a marriage celebrant,” Golden Valley attorney Randall Tigue wrote on behalf of AFHR.

Attorneys for the county responded by saying that employees had to follow state law and said the atheist organization had acknowledged that online: “We have to wait until the November elections are over before we proceed with legislation to amend the Minnesota marriage statutes to include celebrants other than court personnel and clergy.”

Rick Hodsdon, an assistant county attorney, said he didn’t see any allegations in the complaint that the county had misinterpreted the law. The state isn’t named as a defendant.

“This is an orchestrated effort to use Washington County as a test case,” Hodsdon said Thursday.
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But, but FSM is real.. see

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