Tuesday, July 15, 2014

7th Circuit: Indiana Must Allow Secular Humanists To Solemnize Marriages

In Center For Inquiry, Inc. v. Marion Circuit Court Clerk, (7th Cir., July 14, 2014), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Indiana's statute specifying who may solemnize marriages unconstitutionally discriminates among religious and ethical beliefs.  It allows religious officials of various religious groups to perform marriages, but not equivalent officials of secular groups like humanist societies. Also, unlike some states, Indiana law does not give humanist officials the option of officiating by becoming notaries. The court instructed the district court to issue an injunction allowing certified secular humanist celebrants to solemnize marriages without risk of criminal penalty. Religion News Service reports on the decision.