Last fall two extremely far-right Tea Party types got elected to the Michigan legislature, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Courser is now proposing three bills that would essentially eliminate the possibility of having a non-religious wedding ceremony.
State Rep. Todd Courser today introduced legislation that ends government involvement in performing wedding ceremonies and puts that responsibility in the hands of religious leaders.
Rep. Courser, R-Lapeer, introduced House Bills 4731, 4732 and 4733, which place the officiating of marriages back in the realm of churches.
“In anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, I believe the timing is right for this legislation. These bills take our public officials on all levels out of the equation and frees them from sanctioning marriages that go against their beliefs,” Rep. Courser said. “I stand wholeheartedly and unequivocally for traditional marriage, and feel the definition of marriage should not be within the realm of the federal government. The contract that has been in place for thousands of years is between a man and his wife on one side and God on the other side.”
Under the legislation, the licensing components of marriage would remain a government responsibility, but municipal and judicial officials would no longer have the ability to perform wedding ceremonies. The bills protect public officials from being forced to perform same-sex marriages.
“These various entries into marriage by government inserted the secular power of the state into a spot it was never intended to be by our Founding Fathers,” Rep. Courser said. “This legislation will strengthen the concept of religious freedom and liberty upon which America was built.”
There’s really no point in asking him about the rights of the non-religious to have a wedding presided over by someone who isn’t clergy; in his mind, we don’t exist, and if we do we don’t matter. Courser is a genuine theocrat and I have no doubt this is just one of innumerable bills he will submit that will make me facepalm.