Inspired by a conversation with a friend: Should church ministers be allowed to apply for state licenses to grant LEGAL marriages?
Could whoever down voted the question explain why?
Yes, they should. If they do, however, they must follow whatever legal legislation may dictate for persons in such a position.
I agree. They should be allowed to do whatever they want in the ceremony, but when it comes to filing the government paperwork they should be required to follow the law if they want to keep their license. Same thing goes for the Elvis impersonators who do weddings.
If a minister applies and is granted to perform legal marriages, he cannot refuse anyone, correct?
No, (s)he can refuse anyone. The assumption is that they will perform a church service and then file the gov paperwork also. People who don't want the church service will probably want to get their marriage somewhere else anyway.
Remember they are doing these marriages at their church.
Hmm. But legally, can they refuse if someone comes to them
For a legal
I realize that sounds repetitive. It's late and I'm not sure if my question sounded logical.
They can because they are not a legal official of the state. They have just been granted the legal authority to file one form.
My friend saw this as a major "separation of church and state" issue. I saw it as a way to not flood the courts with such a routine and non contested proceeding.