theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Judges, legislators consider getting governments out of weddings entirely



Some state legislators and judges are considering getting out of the marriage business entirely – refusing to offer licenses to anyone – in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision Friday that legalizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Mississippi State House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, told the Jackson Clarion Ledger he’s still reviewing the Supreme Court ruling, but one possibility could be for the state to quit issuing licenses.
“One of the options that other states have looked at is removing the state marriage license requirement,” Gipson said. “We will be researching what options there are. I personally can see pros and cons to that. I don’t know if it would be better to have no marriage certificate sponsored by the state or not. But it’s an option out there to be considered.”
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage “usurps” states’ rights to self-governance. He also said he’s reviewing the state’s “options.”
“Gov. Bryant will continue to do all that he can to protect and defend the religious freedoms of Mississippi,” spokeswoman Nicole Webb told the Jackson Clarion Ledger.
The idea also surfaced in Oklahoma this year, where the House passed a bill that would remove state judges and county clerks from the whole process, leaving clergy and notaries to sign marriage papers.
And in Alabama, two probate judges have pulled the plug on weddings altogether.
Probate Judge Wes Allen, who issues marriage licenses in Pike County, Alabama, said in a statement: “My office discontinued issuing marriage licenses in February, and I have no plans to put Pike County back into the marriage business. The policy of my office regarding marriage is no different today than it was yesterday.”
Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision, Judge Allen argued, didn’t void the Alabama law that says “marriage licenses may be issued by the judges of probate” in the state.
“The word ‘may’ provides probate judges with the option of whether or not to engage in the practice of issuing marriage licenses,” Judge Allen said, “and I have chosen not to perform that function.”
Also, in Geneva County, Alabama, Judge Fred Hamic declared, “I will not be doing any more ceremonies.”
Hamic told a Washington Post reporter, “If you read your Bible, Sir, then you know the logic. The Bible says a man laying with a man or a woman laying with a woman is an abomination to God. I am not mixing religion with government, but that’s my feelings on it.”
As for now, residents of those counties seeking to get hitched will need to get their marriage licenses from the state’s other probate offices.
As WND reported in October, Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick told Radio America’s Greg Corombos he was seriously considering legislation to get the state government out of marriage entirely because he fears churches will be the next target in the aggressive homosexual agenda.
Vick admitted eliminating state sanctioning of marriage would be a big step, and he said he was only beginning to explore that option.
“I have discussed it with just a few people,” he said. “I don’t have a bill drafted or anything. I have discussed it at some of the town halls I’ve been at. It actually seems to be fairly well-received. In my opinion, if we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.”
The senator said these are the kind of things states must consider since the will of the voters has been rejected in the federal courts. He believes efforts to force believers into approving and participating in same-sex weddings are already targeting the church itself.
“I believe the next step will be to say that churches themselves cannot discriminate,” he said. “They cannot discriminate, and the church will have to marry same-sex couples and not be allowed to say anything. Clearly they’re going after the freedom of the church’s speech through the hate-speech statutes.”
Also in the news Friday, the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas reported, “The Denton County Clerk Juli Luke refused two same-sex couples an applications for a license Friday, saying she needed to receive legal guidance from the district attorney’s office.” Another same-sex couple claimed they called other county offices and were refused licenses.
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said same-sex marriage won’t be offered or recognized in their state, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“Current state law is still in effect until the courts order us otherwise,” said Mike Reed, Jindal’s spokesman in the governor’s office.
Upon hearing the Supreme Court decision Friday, Jindal released a statement declaring, “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthy court can alter that.”


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