Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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Church State Issues

Homophobic government bureaucrats can refuse to perform gay marriages???

Mar 1, 2014

Arizona Republic

This law will allow homophobic government bureaucrats who hate gays to refuse to perform marriages???

Posted on February 28, 2014 9:46 am by EJ Montini

They wouldn’t dare, would they?

They wouldn’t dare. Or would they?

Fresh off the national embarrassment that was SB 1062 the Arizona legislature wouldn’t dare proceed with an equally divisive, unnecessary and, most likely, unconstitutional bill, would they?

Don’t answer that.

They’re considering HB2481.

This particular piece of legislation, known as the We-Can’t-Get-Enough-Bad-Publicity Bill, would prevent government from requiring ordained clergy and judges to “solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent with the minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Of course, the government already cannot compel a clergy member to perform a marriage ceremony. Where the bill strays a loooong way into the weeds is when it defines a minister as “an individual who is authorized to solemnize a marriage” under state law.

That would include judges, justices of the peace, and others.

Those people work for the government, and swear an oath to uphold the law. In other words, when same-sex marriage becomes legal in Arizona (as it certainly will someday) they would have to perform those ceremonies, or find another cushy government job.

As it is, HB2481 has not yet been heard by the full House.

It can, and should, die.

Now.

They wouldn’t dare let it go any furthers, would they?

Like I said, don’t answer that.