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Judge Refuses To Marry Gay Couple

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  • #46
    To repeat myself - there is no issue at all. The ceremony is mere window dressing - it has no effect in law. Sign the papers, congrats, you're married as far as the law is concerned. That's it - it's over.

    A judge's duty is to decide matters of law - and to recuse himself when there is a conflict that might affect his judgment. Declining to do something that has no effect in law is no abdication of duty whatsoever. Even if it had an effect, recusal is the appropriate response. A judge should never involve himself in matters of law where his impartiality may be rightfully questioned - which is why recusal exists.

    There. Is. No. Issue.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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    • #47
      Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
      Y'all are free to hop on whatever hobby horse you find most comfortable, but if you're going to quote my post when doing so, you really should respond to it. Apparently you're sensitive to charges of bigotry, so sensitive you defend yourself before any accusation has been made. Kinda telling, in the proverbial 28:1 kinda way.



      I'm vegetarian, dude. If you really wanted to go there, you should have asked if I sample all the dishes at the pot luck. No, I don't, but then again, neither does anyone else. Some of that stuff is just hideous.

      Now I've been told I'm welcome to pray in a mosque, but that's never been a requirement for admission. I do give alms to the monks in the temple, and light incense, though I don't go beyond a fairly minimal gesture of respect to the images of the boddhisatvas. I don't prostrate. I was once boxed into the prayer area in a mosque by a human swarm during a religious festival. There was no way to exit gracefully after their heads hit the floor; it was beyond packed. In the event, I sidled up to the nearest pillar, bowed my head and put my hand over my heart until they'd finished their raka'at. Similarly, when visiting my brother's church, I exit the pew with his parishioners, step aside while they head for communion, sit down, and then rejoin the queue to take my seat as they come back.

      All of these omissions attracted attention, but no one had any issues with them because I'd gone to to the minimal trouble needed to show sympathy for their beliefs. These were simple, painless, but otherwise unremarkable gestures of respect paid to adherents in their places of worship. If I didn't feel comfortable performing them, I wouldn't visit temples, mosques, or churches, a point you've artlessly elided here.

      A civil ceremony in front of a judge or a justice of the peace comes with a common expression for us yanks.

      We call it "not a church wedding."

      The judge in question here apparently feels the need to insert his religious meanings into our secular ceremony. This is wholly inappropriate. It's not his church, these are not his parishioners, and moreover to the contrary, this is the designated space in our society for a non-religious wedding. To give the guy the credit he's due, he did wish them well after finding someone else to perform the ceremony. Kudos for that, but considering his other duties, it's still quite troubling. If he's not willing to recognize our non-religious weddings, "So help me God," I'd question his ability to recognize my non-religious oath.

      We have an actual instance outside the conditional, though I expect it will vanish as the court becomes more familiar with the change in its duties. But leaving a couple hanging for forty minutes isn't acceptable. We can't single people out like that. It should be noted that if they hadn't been delayed, we wouldn't know about this, and if there are no further delays, we'll never hear about it again. The religious accommodation sought by the judge — to find someone else — is quickly becoming common practice. In this case, it just needs to be smoothed out.


      A more intractable issue arises with folks like Kentucky's Casey Davis who wish to make these delays official. I wouldn't object to his suggestion of putting marriage licenses online, especially if facilities and assistance were provided, but they're not online today, and same sex marriage is now the law of the land. We'll discover soon enough whether a county court clerk has to follow it.
      "The rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs," Beshear said in a statement. "The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest."
      So basically, you think other people should be forced to do things that violate their beliefs even though you yourself decline to participate in things that are at odds with your beliefs.


      And the ceremony thing is stupid - it has no effect in law and is not a judicial duty. It's window dressing - the signing is the actual marriage.
      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        So basically, you think other people should be forced to do things that violate their beliefs even though you yourself decline to participate in things that are at odds with your beliefs.
        You've misread me here, Laura. I don't prostrate, or perform raka'at, or take communion because that would falsely signal that I was a fellow adherent. That's basic honesty, and in line with the general theme of respecting their beliefs in their houses of worship.

        Many Christian denominations, including my brother's, have a closed communion, and in many others taking communion as a non-believer could be considered a sacrilege. According to my host in Dakar, I could have prayed with the muslims in Touba, but I was there, and I know I couldn't have done so without attracting far too much attention. I was already the only white face in traditional garb in a holy city packed with a couple million sub-Saharan Africans in town for Le Magal.

        And the ceremony thing is stupid - it has no effect in law and is not a judicial duty. It's window dressing - the signing is the actual marriage.
        Only in the most narrow sense are you factually correct in claiming the ceremony has no effect in law. The signing, with witnesses, affirms the performance of a legally recognized ceremony conducted by a legally recognized officiant. If anything could be called window dressing in the eyes of the law, it's the pomp and circumstance that comes with a church wedding.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
          You've misread me here, Laura. I don't prostrate, or perform raka'at, or take communion because that would falsely signal that I was a fellow adherent. That's basic honesty, and in line with the general theme of respecting their beliefs in their houses of worship.

          Many Christian denominations, including my brother's, have a closed communion, and in many others taking communion as a non-believer could be considered a sacrilege. According to my host in Dakar, I could have prayed with the muslims in Touba, but I was there, and I know I couldn't have done so without attracting far too much attention. I was already the only white face in traditional garb in a holy city packed with a couple million sub-Saharan Africans in town for Le Magal.
          So you don't do things that don't align with your beliefs so others don't think you agree with their beliefs - but you think others should do things that don't align with their beliefs when they feel it would create a false impression - you're still saying one thing for you and another for others.


          Originally posted by Taoist
          Only in the most narrow sense are you factually correct in claiming the ceremony has no effect in law. The signing, with witnesses, affirms the performance of a legally recognized ceremony conducted by a legally recognized officiant. If anything could be called window dressing in the eyes of the law, it's the pomp and circumstance that comes with a church wedding.
          No, the law has no issue in either one - it just happens to be window dressing because it has no effect in law. The law couldn't care less.

          A church ceremony is a different matter - and the law again couldn't care less.

          BUT since the ceremony has no effect in law, it is NOT a judicial duty - and even if it were, recusal is the appropriate response to issues where impartiality is or may be in question. All the 'a judge should do his duty regardless' talk is nonsense. No such duty exists and a judge's actual duty where there is a conflict is recusal, not 'do it anyway'.
          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            So you don't do things that don't align with your beliefs so others don't think you agree with their beliefs - but you think others should do things that don't align with their beliefs when they feel it would create a false impression - you're still saying one thing for you and another for others.
            I know how important it is to you to find some hypocrisy in here, somewhere, but really, Laura, give it a rest. This won't work. I respect the religious context that's attached to holy places. There's no prestidigitation that's going to turn a failure to commit sacrilege into a lack of respect. Why bother trying?

            Religious meanings that occur in specific religious contexts lose those meanings when taken outside those contexts. Jesus in your church is a different creature from Jesus, the prophet of Islam, or from Jesus, the boddhisatva, and the change is implicit as you move from church, to mosque, to temple. The change is also implicit when you enter a courthouse which is, by force of law, constitutionally, not a religious space.

            To say that a judge performing a civil marriage ceremony performed in a courthouse would be creating a false impression is saying that the judge doesn't recognize civil marriage. That's quite the hole you're digging. Have fun pulling yourself out of that one.

            This is "not a church wedding." Not only is there no implicit expectation that this marriage ceremony is religious, but to the contrary, this is where you go to have a marriage ceremony that's not. That's the implication when you get married in front of a judge.

            No, the law has no issue in either one - it just happens to be window dressing because it has no effect in law. The law couldn't care less.
            When you or a witness swear that a ceremony has taken place, and it hasn't, that's called fraud. Contrary to your wishes, perhaps, the law does care about that, and in fact, takes a very dim view of that behavior.

            A church ceremony is a different matter - and the law again couldn't care less.
            Some places, perhaps, but most places, you need to be officially licensed to perform the ceremony. Seeing as law could end the issuing of those licenses, it's clear the law actually could care less.

            BUT since the ceremony has no effect in law, it is NOT a judicial duty - and even if it were, recusal is the appropriate response to issues where impartiality is or may be in question. All the 'a judge should do his duty regardless' talk is nonsense. No such duty exists and a judge's actual duty where there is a conflict is recusal, not 'do it anyway'.
            Starting from a false premise, any false premise in fact, it's possible to prove anything. There's a truth table for that.

            Now, I'd be the first to acknowledge a judge doesn't have to do his duty when he's dead, or otherwise incapacitated. But even if he's dead, the duty remains, so someone has to do it if we are going to continue to have civil marriages in this country. It doesn't much matter to me who officiates, or where, but it does matter to me that civil marriage remains available without impediments specific to a citizen's beliefs or lack thereof.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
              Do you pray facing Mecca? Or abstain form pork? Or, if your workmate was a Muslim, would you likewise fast during Ramadan?

              If you go to a Buddhist temple do you give alms to the monks, light some incense,bow and pray to the Buddha image?
              Not relevant questions. To respect other beliefs does not require anyone to believe in nor observe the requirements of other religions. The obligation is to perform civil acts based on secular law the requirements of that law not to discriminate.

              In the past inter racial marriage was illegal and some churches oppose inter racial marriages. Today, fortunately such laws have been found unconstitutional. Can those who consider inter racial marriage immoral refuse to perform an inter racial marriage if they are a civil servant?

              As in the history of churches and religions clergy in the USA, within sanctity of their church they can limit who may married within the church and they are guaranteed that right under the pretty firmly and established interpretation of the Constitution of the United Sates of America.
              Last edited by shunyadragon; 07-10-2015, 06:47 PM.
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                I know how important it is to you to find some hypocrisy in here, somewhere, but really, Laura, give it a rest. This won't work. I respect the religious context that's attached to holy places. There's no prestidigitation that's going to turn a failure to commit sacrilege into a lack of respect. Why bother trying?
                Actually, I was pointing out the incongruity - I don't think I'd agree that it was hypocrisy since I don't think you realize the parallel exists. More like a double standard, really.

                And I said nothing at all about 'lack of respect' - not sure where that came from.

                Religious meanings that occur in specific religious contexts lose those meanings when taken outside those contexts. Jesus in your church is a different creature from Jesus, the prophet of Islam, or from Jesus, the boddhisatva, and the change is implicit as you move from church, to mosque, to temple. The change is also implicit when you enter a courthouse which is, by force of law, constitutionally, not a religious space.
                Um, other than the 'force of law, constitutionally' part which is nonsense - nothing in the Constitution says a court can't be held in a religious building and historically, churches often served as schools and courtrooms as needed - this is essentially correct - and completely beside the point.

                To say that a judge performing a civil marriage ceremony performed in a courthouse would be creating a false impression is saying that the judge doesn't recognize civil marriage. That's quite the hole you're digging. Have fun pulling yourself out of that one.
                No prob - because that wasn't what I said. F minus on the reading comprehension there. I specified that the others in question were being asked to do things contrary to their beliefs "when they feel it would create a false impression". Go look again - you even quoted it. It's not necessary to establish that they would create a false impression (similar to slander and libel laws in kind) but that they believed they might. Public impressions are a function of speech rights (think branding and slander) and therefore a person has the right to protect them (slander and libel laws again).

                This is "not a church wedding." Not only is there no implicit expectation that this marriage ceremony is religious, but to the contrary, this is where you go to have a marriage ceremony that's not. That's the implication when you get married in front of a judge.
                Uh, granted - so the heck what? It has no effect in law and cannot therefore be considered a judicial duty. If it's not a duty, the judge has no obligation as a judge to perform the thing. It doesn't do anything, isn't a duty and therefore the 'he has a duty' argument is crap.



                When you or a witness swear that a ceremony has taken place, and it hasn't, that's called fraud. Contrary to your wishes, perhaps, the law does care about that, and in fact, takes a very dim view of that behavior.
                What are you babbling about? There's no reason to allege a ceremony - nor is the judge in question alleged to have falsified one. No idea where 'my wishes' got into this fantasy of yours but the stupid ceremony is NOT a judicial duty. Never has been, isn't now and unlikely to ever be.



                Some places, perhaps, but most places, you need to be officially licensed to perform the ceremony. Seeing as law could end the issuing of those licenses, it's clear the law actually could care less.
                Again, so what? The law doesn't care if you have the thing or not - in both secular and sectarian cases, the marriage happens when the paper gets signed. Licensure has to do with the couple's expectations - the law couldn't care less if the ceremony is performed as it has no effect in law. Neither one of them do.

                The limited case where it might matter would involve couples marrying under extreme circumstances (stranded on a deserted island for example). In that limited case the law might well regard the ceremony as the instigation rather than the signing. But you'd be hard pressed to find a case where this actually matters much.


                [QUOTE]
                Starting from a false premise, any false premise in fact, it's possible to prove anything. There's a truth table for that.
                Good thing I'm starting from a true premise. The ceremony is not a judicial duty. Period. By definition, since judges in the American jurisprudence deal primarily with issues of law (unlike other systems where they deal with issues of fact - which is a rarity in American jurisprudence).


                Now, I'd be the first to acknowledge a judge doesn't have to do his duty when he's dead, or otherwise incapacitated. But even if he's dead, the duty remains, so someone has to do it if we are going to continue to have civil marriages in this country. It doesn't much matter to me who officiates, or where, but it does matter to me that civil marriage remains available without impediments specific to a citizen's beliefs or lack thereof.
                A judge has no duty to officiate in a matter that has no effect in law. Period. The civil marriage occurs at the signing - the clerk oversees more legal weddings than the Justice of the Peace does. Any judge can handle the paperwork if necessary (not sure on the specifics but pretty sure they vary by government in the US) so at most, you have a legitimate reason for recusal. The judge down the hall probably didn't even blink when and if it was brought for signature.

                A judge with a conflict has a duty to recuse so even if you were correct - and you aren't - the judge in question acted properly.
                "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                My Personal Blog

                My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  Not relevant questions.
                  I don't really care what you think, since you have no idea why I was asking.
                  ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                    Y'all are free to hop on whatever hobby horse you find most comfortable, but if you're going to quote my post when doing so, you really should respond to it. Apparently you're sensitive to charges of bigotry, so sensitive you defend yourself before any accusation has been made. Kinda telling, in the proverbial 28:1 kinda way.



                    I'm vegetarian, dude. If you really wanted to go there, you should have asked if I sample all the dishes at the pot luck. No, I don't, but then again, neither does anyone else. Some of that stuff is just hideous.

                    Now I've been told I'm welcome to pray in a mosque, but that's never been a requirement for admission. I do give alms to the monks in the temple, and light incense, though I don't go beyond a fairly minimal gesture of respect to the images of the boddhisatvas. I don't prostrate. I was once boxed into the prayer area in a mosque by a human swarm during a religious festival. There was no way to exit gracefully after their heads hit the floor; it was beyond packed. In the event, I sidled up to the nearest pillar, bowed my head and put my hand over my heart until they'd finished their raka'at. Similarly, when visiting my brother's church, I exit the pew with his parishioners, step aside while they head for communion, sit down, and then rejoin the queue to take my seat as they come back.

                    All of these omissions attracted attention, but no one had any issues with them because I'd gone to to the minimal trouble needed to show sympathy for their beliefs. These were simple, painless, but otherwise unremarkable gestures of respect paid to adherents in their places of worship. If I didn't feel comfortable performing them, I wouldn't visit temples, mosques, or churches, a point you've artlessly elided here.

                    A civil ceremony in front of a judge or a justice of the peace comes with a common expression for us yanks.

                    We call it "not a church wedding."

                    The judge in question here apparently feels the need to insert his religious meanings into our secular ceremony. This is wholly inappropriate. It's not his church, these are not his parishioners, and moreover to the contrary, this is the designated space in our society for a non-religious wedding. To give the guy the credit he's due, he did wish them well after finding someone else to perform the ceremony. Kudos for that, but considering his other duties, it's still quite troubling. If he's not willing to recognize our non-religious weddings, "So help me God," I'd question his ability to recognize my non-religious oath.

                    We have an actual instance outside the conditional, though I expect it will vanish as the court becomes more familiar with the change in its duties. But leaving a couple hanging for forty minutes isn't acceptable. We can't single people out like that. It should be noted that if they hadn't been delayed, we wouldn't know about this, and if there are no further delays, we'll never hear about it again. The religious accommodation sought by the judge — to find someone else — is quickly becoming common practice. In this case, it just needs to be smoothed out.


                    A more intractable issue arises with folks like Kentucky's Casey Davis who wish to make these delays official. I wouldn't object to his suggestion of putting marriage licenses online, especially if facilities and assistance were provided, but they're not online today, and same sex marriage is now the law of the land. We'll discover soon enough whether a county court clerk has to follow it.
                    "The rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs," Beshear said in a statement. "The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest."

                    There are some things you won't do because they clash with your principles. But you try as far as you are comfortable to be gracious and show respect for others beliefs. That's admirable. I don't see that the judge acted that much differently than you.
                    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I think the real issue is how far should people be compelled to live and act in public according to the currently prevalent secular mores? Maybe a secular state should compel judges to officiate at all ceremonies, even if that offends their religious beliefs. And bakers should be forced to provide services for ceremonies they feel are morally wrong, and pastor should not be able to tell their congregations that the Bible says that homosexual behaviour is a sin. And so on.

                      My concern is that this kind of approach sets a precedent of the currently politically dominant worldview imposing it's values and practices on society as whole. Secularists find that approach extremely objectionable when religious rulers take it (Saudi Arabia, etc), I don't know why they don't see that they are effectively doing the same thing.

                      If - as some might say - doing such a ceremony is 'No big deal' because it's meaningless, or because morals are relative, or whatever, then why the insistence that people must kow-tow to the currently fashionable moral ethos? Surely it's also 'No big deal' if a judge excuses himself, or a baker says that they don't supply cakes of that specific kind, or whatever. Right?
                      ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
                        I don't really care what you think, since you have no idea why I was asking.
                        I do not think you knew what you were asking.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                          I do not think you knew what you were asking.
                          Yeah, right.
                          ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            You're projecting again.

                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                            I do not think you knew what you were asking.
                            r
                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                            Quill Sword

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
                              The bolded sentence is itself a belief that others may not share: in fact, for many religious people there is no, and can be no, separation between 'public' and 'private'. You are imposing your own belief on such people.
                              If one is unable to perform the duties that pertain to his job, then he has no right to that job. If part of the job is performing marriages, and the employee, due to his beliefs, refuses to perform this task, then the employer has no obligation to accomodate said employee. Reasonable accomodation doesn't mean that the employee doesn't have to do his job.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Abigail View Post
                                This position would ultimately end in discrimination of Christians because on the one hand they are not allowed to opt out of duties, say performing abortion, because of religious conviction and on the other they would not be allowed to open their own Christian hospital because if someone came in wanting an abortion and they said 'no' then that would be discrimination as per progressives. In other words there is nowhere where the Christian is able to work as a doctor and he/she is in effect barred from that position.
                                No it is not discrimination, private institutions, Christian hospitals, are not required to perform abortions and so an employee of that hospital is not required to either. If an Obstetrician works for a public hospital then he can't opt out of performing the job requirements that he knowingly signed on for. Its their job, its not discrimination. If they have issues with the job then why on earth would they sign on in the first place, and why would the hospital even hire them. It's like saying that an auto mechanic who is not hired because he refuses to do certain aspects of the job he is applying for was discriminated against.

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