The Right to an ‘Outdoor Secular Ceremony in a Romantic Location of Your Choosing’?

by William C. Duncan

The ACLU of Nevada is challenging Nevada law on who may perform marriages. Currently, the law allows clergy, judges, “commissioners of civil marriages,” and the deputy commissioner to perform marriages. This, it seems is not enough to satisfy the five individuals (shouldn’t that be an even number?) suing Clark County and the state. They would prefer the state allowed any person, regardless of religious affiliation, to be given the authority to solemnize a marriage. More exactly, they believe they have a constitutional right to this policy.

The injury they have suffered in the absence of their preferred approach? The news article quotes their complaint: “They would like to have an outdoor secular ceremony in a romantic location of their choosing; however, because the current law grants the authority to solemnize marriages to only a handful on non-religiously affiliated state officials, they are having extreme difficulty finding a secular individual to perform their solemnization ceremony.”

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