A new bill has been introduced in the Minnesota state legislature that would allow secular celebrants to officiate weddings and sign marriage certificates, which would be a bit step forward for diminishing religious privilege and advancing equal rights for the non-religious.
Minnesota state Sen. John Marty (D) introduced a bill on Friday to amend the state’s existing statute on civil marriages to allow atheists and humanists to preside over wedding ceremonies.
The bill would grant “solemnization authorization,” which includes legally signing marriage certificates, to secular celebrants appointed by atheist or humanist organizations.
Under current state law, “ministers of any religious denomination … are authorized to solemnize a civil marriage” after filing documents from their spiritual assembly with the local county registrar.
The measure, SF 2958, aims to add “any other celebrant,” specifically identifying atheists or humanists, to the law’s existing statute on civil marriages.
This needs to pass, not only in Minnesota but in every other state as well. It is absurd that we automatically grant to ministers the right to solemnize marriages and ignore those who would like their wedding to be performed by someone who shares their views.