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ACLU Suit Could Legalize Notary-Officiated Weddings In Nevada

The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing to allow Notaries in Nevada to officiate at weddings. The civil rights organization recently filed a federal lawsuit against the state and Clark County seeking to have the religious affiliation requirement for people solemnizing marriages declared unconstitutional.

Currently, state law requires non-government officials presiding over weddings to be affiliated with a religion. ACLU of Nevada officials say that violates the U.S. Constitution. As recently as 2009, the ACLU lobbied to have the law changed to permit Notaries to perform weddings.

The lawsuit claims that too few secular, government officials — such as justices of the peace — are available to preside at non-religious ceremonies.

Currently Notaries in three states are authorized to officiate at weddings: Maine, Florida and South Carolina. (UPDATE: Maine Notaries will no longer be able to perform marriages as part of their Notary duties effective July 1, 2023.)

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