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The Other Marriage Debate: Who Gets To Perform The Ceremonies?

As the debate over same-sex marriage moves through the courts, a quieter legal challenge is also under way: Who should have the legal right to perform marriage ceremonies?

In some states, it can be difficult to legally get a wholly secular official to perform your marriage ceremony. Judges are often available, but they may be able to officiate at marriages only during limited hours. For people who want to celebrate with their family and friends on a weekend, a judge may not be an option. Read more

Family Feuds: Societal Changes Continue To Irk Religious Right

I have what the Religious Right calls a “traditional family.” My wife and I have been married for nearly 20 years and have two children. The four of us live (along with two cats) in a house in the suburbs. From a demographic point of view, we couldn’t be less interesting.

But I’m keenly aware that not all families are like mine – and it doesn’t take more than a walk around my neighborhood to prove that. Read more

Props On Prop. 8 Decision: In His Marriage Ruling, Judge Properly Divorced Church And State

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker gave us an excellent tutorial on why the debate over marriage rights for same-sex couples is as much about church-state separation as it is about equality for all Americans.

In his decision striking down Proposition 8 -- California’s constitutional ban on gay marriage -- he explained that our laws, including those governing marriage, cannot be based solely on private moral or religious beliefs – they must also have a secular purpose. Read more

Snow Job: Religious Right Pastor Has No Truck With D.C. Same-Sex Marriage Law

Over the weekend, Washington was slammed by a treacherous snowstorm that dumped two feet of snow in some areas.

Since I grew up in Ohio and went to college in Syracuse, N.Y., the snow didn't really bother me much. But for others here, the blizzard was a difficult experience. Read more

Unholy Alliance: Marriage Laws Should Separate Church And State

Spring seems to finally be making an appearance here in Washington, D.C.   Besides the flowers, warmer temperatures and upbeat moods, one other thing spring brings is the start of the wedding season.

I spent four days in Cleveland last week celebrating the wedding of a close friend. She had a Hindu ceremony with all the bells and whistles — from the groom arriving on a horse, to henna on her hands, to guests wearing colorful saris. Read more