Freshman Michigan Tea Party state reps Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat have introduced a trio of anti-gay marriage bills, two of which are so theocratic that you just have to laugh. Via Eclectablog:
House Bill 4731 changes the current law covering the ability of a couple to get married in secret (“without publicity”) to make that option available only to opposite-sex couples. It actually explicitly refers to a person’s “marriage to a person of the opposite sex”. The mention of “clergy” is important because a second bill, House Bill 4733, would restrict the issuance and signing of marriage licenses only to “clergy” which they define as “a minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner.” Finally, House Bill 4732 would make it illegal for anyone who is not a “minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner” to perform a marriage. So: No secret gay marriages. Only clergy can issue and sign marriage licenses, and only clergy can perform weddings. No government officials involved, marriage becomes the exclusive bailiwick of religion. Atheists can just suck it up.
In the extremely remote possibility that these bills were to be approved, it seems like an awful lot of gay folks would suddenly declare themselves to be members of the clergy. Not that there’s a shortage of gay-friendly churches that would be delighted to be able to issue marriage licenses.
RELATED: In April, Gamrat was kicked off of the Michigan House Republican caucus, apparently for violating confidentiality rules by commenting on Facebook about a pending issue. Unrelated to that, this is from her campaign site: “Our nation was built upon a Judeo-Christian foundation and has been blessed by the hand of Providence. I will stand STRONG for religious freedom against any attacks that may come it’s way.”