From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, it sounds as if there’s a pile of measures coming with regards to how the state interacts with private individuals in the arena of marriage.
County officials apparently count on taxing marriage as revenue, but that’s not going to stop proposals to just take the state out of it:
A Sioux Falls lawmaker who introduced legislation that would have ended state licensing of marriages says he will likely make another run at the issue next year.
Instead of licensing, married couples would submit a certificate of marriage to their county register of deeds. The certificates would come from churches or those who officiated weddings.
County officials originally opposed Haugaard’s bill, in part because they didn’t want to lose revenue.
But an effort to end state licensing of marriages won’t be embraced by all groups that support traditional marriage. Dale Bartscher, the executive director of the Family Heritage Alliance, said he appreciated Haugaard’s thinking on the issue, but ultimately he said his group couldn’t support the bill.
What do you think? With the recognition of same-sex marriage, is it time for the state to just get out the marriage license business, and let counties serve as a filing agency?
And as noted by Representative Scott Craig in the article, does there need to be “protection provided to government employees – judges and clerks who declined to perform marriages or issue licenses based on First Amendment objections?”
We probably need to look at whether there is an easy way (or any way) to balance our First Amendment rights to freedom of religion against the 14th Amendment rights of equal protection of the law, on which the same-sex marriage rights are based. (Given the Supreme court’s position, we probably can’t get into a discussion on state’s rights anymore.)
Or is seeking both a fair and equitable balance between religion and rights just wishful thinking that’s never going to happen?