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ACLU challenges Nevada's marriage officiant requirements

By J. DeVoy

The ACLU is suing the State of Nevada and Clark County – where Las Vegas is located – over laws that require non-governmental marriage officiants to have a religious affiliation.  While anyone can perform a marriage in Nevada, he or she must obtain a certificate to solemnize the marriage based on the fact that he or she has a religious affiliation.

One of the plaintiffs, Raul Martinez, claims to be an atheist and member of the American Humanist Association.  If successful, the suit would end – or at least compromise – the state-and-religious duopoly over marriage in Nevada.

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Allen Lichtenstein, is a friend of the blog, and we wish him success in this case.  In addition to many other First Amendment and civil liberties-related cases, Allen was recently involved in litigation for handbill distributors, political activists, street preachers and impersonators, so that they could continue their activities on the Las Vegas strip’s casino-owned sidewalks.

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