A US atheist group wants the law changed to allow atheists to perform marriages.
Atheists for Human Rights (AFHR) issued a law suit after one of its members was denied the right to perform marriages in the state of Minnesota in April.
The member was initially approved by the county, only to be turned down three days later when an email from taxpayer services division manager Steven Grandsee said members of atheist organizations do “not meet the statutory requirement” of the state of Minnesota, according to the suit.
The atheist group’s communication director, Maria Alena Castle, said in an affidavit that online ordinations in obscure or fake religions were commonly accepted as certification by Minnesota counties.
“These included the Universal Life Church and the Church of the Latter Day Dude, a religion of the Big Lebowski,” Castle said. “Many atheists who want to be certified as marriage celebrants do not want to engage in the hypocrisy of pretending they are ministers of phony churches.”
“When the statute clearly permits recognition of a marriage celebrant whose religious credentials consist of nothing more than a $20 ‘ordination’ obtained from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the requirement is absolutely meaningless in terms of ensuring the qualifications of a marriage celebrant,”