Bill Would Allow Nonreligious People To Officiate Marriages

Senator Mike Skindell is sponsoring the measure

A bill under consideration in the Ohio Senate would allow atheists, secular humanists and other nonreligious people to officiate weddings.

Democratic State Senator Michael Skindell is partnering with the  Massachusetts-based Center for Inquiry on the legislation. He tells Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles the measure adds "secular celebrants" to the list of those authorized to officiate marriages.

A center spokesperson says the legislation marks the next  step toward achieving equality between nonreligious and religious Americans. The effort follows a June decision by a federal judge in Indiana that favored the role of secular celebrants. The legislation is unlikely to gain much traction in the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate. The center sponsored a secular summit at the Statehouse last month.