Humanists in Fight for Right to Perform Nonreligious Marriages

Humanists in Fight for Right to Perform Nonreligious Marriages December 24, 2019

This is from the American Humanist Association:

Attorneys at the American Humanist Association (AHA) just filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the legitimacy of secular wedding officiants.

The case in question, now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, centers on Texas’s decision to enforce a law that limits the authority to solemnize marriages to judges and clergy and excludes nonreligious and secular celebrants.

The filing, written by AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel Monica Miller, notes that, “history cannot justify laws, such as Texas’s marriage statute, that categorically discriminate against atheists.” It goes on to remind the court that, “there is no rational basis to sustain Texas’s discrimination against nonreligious couples and celebrants.”

The results of this case may have far-reaching impacts. The Humanist Society, an adjunct of the AHA, endorses humanist celebrants for weddings and other life celebrations, providing a nontheist alternative to traditional faith-based services. The Humanist Society currently has almost 400 celebrants, across 44 states and 3 countries, with 19 officiants in the state of Texas.

Read today’s brief, co-signed by the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, here.

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