Preferences for clergy in solemnization of marraige
VOLOKH at mail.law.ucla.edu
Mon Jan 28 12:01:58 PST 2002
> Utah Code 30-1-6 states that marriage certificates may be solemnized
> by only a limited set of people, including clergy who are "in regular
> communion with any religious society," but excludes clergy who are
> ordained "through application over the Internet or by mail."
> The court upheld this rule under the Free Exercise Clause, the
> Establishment Clause, and substantive due process, but struck it down
> under the Equal Protection Clause because it could not "conceive of any
> ground upon which" the distinction between "ministers whose applications
> were received over the Internet or through the mail, and ministers whose
> applications were received via fax, telephone, or in person by another . .
> . minister" "could be rationally related to the State's interest in
> protecting the integrity of marriage." Universal Life Church v. Utah,
> 2002 WL 87560 (D. Utah Jan. 17).
More broadly, though, I wonder: Should the statute survive
Establishment Clause scrutiny? (The plaintiff didn't fully press this
theory, but the court did confront it and pooh-pooh it.) First, while the
preference for religious practices is modest, the justifications for it are
very slight as well. But second, there seems to be a discrimination here
among religions, between those religions that involve "regular communion
with . . . religious society" and those that are essentially purely
individualistic. Any thoughts on this?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Religionlaw