Nevada sued over marriage ceremony rules

Sept. 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The county government in Las Vegas says a lawsuit challenging Nevada laws dictating who can perform wedding ceremonies should be thrown out.

The lawsuit, filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleges Nevada's requirement that non-governmental officials be affiliated with a religion in order to perform marriages violates the constitutional separation of church and state, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Michael Foley, a deputy district attorney for Clark County, said Monday the county and the state have a legitimate interest in ensuring marriages are conducted properly.

"If you allow every Elvis impersonator to go around marrying people, you're going to have some problems with paperwork and so forth," he said.

Foley said the issue should be left to the Legislature.

Plaintiffs Raul Martinez and Michael Jacobson, members of the American Humanist Association, say they were denied certificates to perform marriages because they are not affiliated with a religious organization, the newspaper said.

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