New Ohio Bill Would Make It Legal for Atheists to Solemnize Wedding Ceremonies March 1, 2017

New Ohio Bill Would Make It Legal for Atheists to Solemnize Wedding Ceremonies

After successes in Indiana and Illinois, Secular Celebrants are fighting for the right to officially solemnize marriages in Ohio, and it hopefully won’t take a court order to resolve it this time. (As it stands, only religious leaders or government officials have the power to make a marriage official in Ohio.)


Ohio State Sen. Michael Skindell has introduced a bill, SB 52, that would allow anyone registered with the secretary of state to solemnize weddings. While the push came from Secular Celebrants, it would effectively apply to all atheists.

Members of the Northeast Ohio branch of the Center for Inquiry (CFI) — an organization that advocates for reason, science, and secularism — was instrumental in the development of this measure, speaking face to face with lawmakers to make the case for granting nonreligious Ohioans the same privileges enjoyed by members of religious groups.

There’s no reason anyone should block this… which means conservative legislators will inevitably find a way to fight it. But they shouldn’t, because this is sensible legislation. There’s no reason solemnizing a marriage should be open to religious leaders but not non-religious ones. In the case of Secular Celebrants, who obtain that title through training, it makes even less sense.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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