Friday, May 11, 2012

ACLU Says Indiana's Marriage Statute Is Unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is challenging the state's marriage statute as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Center for Inquiry, a secular group, and two longtime CFI-Indiana members from Kentucky who wish to marry in Indiana, claims the state's ordinance is unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment's Establishment Clause because it maintains that religions are the only groups with rights to have their beliefs recognized in marriage ceremonies."We are claiming this violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. The state is not able to prefer religion over non religion and here we have a clear example of the state doing exactly that,” said ACLU Legal Director Ken Faulk.
The ACLU also claims the statute violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it denies nonreligious groups their rights to spread their beliefs by performing marriage ceremonies, while allowing religious groups those same privileges."This case is more than just an issue of fairness," said ACLU of Indiana interim Executive Director Frank Young. "It's about respecting the rights of all who value marriage in Indiana.
All who wish to have their marriage commitments solemnized should be able to do so in accordance with their beliefs, whether those beliefs are religious or not."
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