No Solemnity Without Religion; or, Why Can’t Atheists Perform Weddings?
By limiting authority to state actors and clergy, the state forces an irreligious couple to make a choice: conform to the hegemonic idea of marriage as a sacred institution; or implicitly acknowledge that their union is a matter of bureaucratic paperwork. Either way, the experience of the irreligious is trivialized.
I’ve been thinking this about the Indiana Court decision since the news broke. Why do leaders of religious groups get the privilege of “solemnizing” marriages while trained secular celebrants who do not associate with a religious organization do not? The more I think about it, the less sense it makes.