A non-religious couple is claiming discrimination from a western Kentucky county official who refuses to marry the couple without a religious ceremony.
Jon and Mandy Heath arranged to marry at the Trigg County Courthouse this month, but say they were informed by Judge Executive Hollis Alexander that he won’t perform the secular ceremony they requested, only a religious one.
According to the couple's complaint, Alexander told them "I include God in my ceremonies, and I won't do one without him."
Andrew Seidel, an attorney with the Minnesota-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, says he sent a letter to Alexander emphasizing that any requirement of a religious ceremony is unconstitutional. “There is a separation of church and state in this country," said Seidel. "Our government cannot require citizens to have a religious ceremony, to say religious language, to engage in any form of religion whatsoever. And that is what this judge was trying to do here.”