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Atheist Group Sues Indiana Over Marriage Statute

November 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles, World News

Atheist group sues Indiana over marriage statute

An atheist organization claims Indiana’s marriage statute is unconstitutional  because it doesn’t allow nonbelievers to be married by their own leaders, but  state officials say the group is divorced from reality.

The New York-based Center for Inquiry claims in a federal lawsuit that  Indiana Code 31-11-6-1 violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment  since it sets clear preference for religious individuals over those devoted to  the “pursuit of ethical alternatives to religion.” The group says it filed suit  on behalf of members John Kiel and Michelle Landrum, who plan to wed in the next  six months.

“You can have a ceremony as a nonreligious person and have the marriage solemnized by someone in the government, but the issue is that a person of faith can have a leader of their world view solemnize that marriage that the nonreligious do not have,” said Paul Fidalgo, communications director for The Center for Inquiry. “They are looking to win that right, to have it solemnized. That’s the key word.”

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