Federal appeals court rules secular humanist celebrants can solemnize Indiana marriages



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INDIANAPOLIS — A federal appeals court says secular humanists can preside over marriages in Indiana just as pastors, rabbis and other clergy do.

The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals ruled Monday that a federal judge in Indianapolis should issue an injunction allowing secular humanist celebrants to solemnize Indiana marriages.

The Center for Inquiry had challenged an Indiana law that allows only clergy and public officials to solemnize marriages. U.S. District Judge Sara Evans Barker upheld the law in 2012.

Center for Inquiry Executive Director Reba Boyd Wooden said the ruling "is a big step forward in recognizing the rights of nonreligious persons." The group believes in fostering a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (ZEHL'-ur) says he might appeal Monday's ruling.

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