I can’t believe people don’t get it: It’s an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state and is a violation of the equal protection clause as well.
A magistrate is funded and entitled to perform the services by a/the government. The government must treat everyone equally, therefore this magistrate must treat people equally. He is an employee of the taxpayers, and as such must service all taxpayers and even potential taxpayers equally.
In addition, he has no right to impose his own religious standards on taxpayers: That violates the separation of church and state. Just remember, if you will, all of the craziness around the supposed “plans” to impose Sharia law and outrage and craziness about the imposition of religious law on Americans. This is the same thing: the imposition of a specific religious belief on Americans. It’s unconstitutional!
It doesn’t matter if two magistrates share an office, and one will perform a marriage, and the other won’t on the basis of religious beliefs, because it’s still unconstitutional!
And where will it stop here in the “the Civil War isn’t really over” South? Mixed-race marriages, mixed-religion marriages, mixed-age marriages, Northerners marrying Southerners (the Civil War never really ended after all, and my religion says that [an] abolitionist should never marry a Southerner), or how about the magistrate who thinks that only tall, blond Arians should be able to marry each other? How has that worked out in the past?
— Michael Beech