Smith County, Texas, Judge Randall Lee Rogers overstepped his bounds when he ordered a man charged with assault to write Bible verses and marry his girlfriend as an alternative to jail, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Several media outlets have reported that Rogers ordered Josten Bundy to write Bible verses as a condition of his probation. Bundy was on trial for assaulting his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
It was also reported that Rogers ordered Bundy to marry the girlfriend, 19-year-old Elizabeth Jaynes. Under duress, the couple did marry. Read more
A Toledo, Ohio, judge who refused to serve a same-sex couple violated that couple’s constitutional rights, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
In a letter sent today, Americans United explained that government employees responsible for performing duties related to marriage are not permitted to serve opposite-sex couples exclusively. Read more
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
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
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
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
It appears Cyprus is to the Middle East what Las Vegas is to the United States.
Well, sort of. Just as Sin City has become the destination for many American nuptials, Cyprus apparently has a booming wedding industry as well – but for a completely different reason. Read more
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