"Kim and Bill Wedding" by Stephen Graham / CC BY 2.0

Atheists Can Now Solemnize Marriages in Michigan After State Drops Opposition

Apr 3, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

Here’s some good news in the midst of our national chaos.

It starts with a question: Who has legal authority to perform a wedding ceremony?

In most states, the answer includes certain government officials like judges (if you’re getting married in court) or religious ministers. It’s not like your best friend could pronounce you man and wife and have it “count.” (Well, they could do it, but someone else would have to sign the paperwork later.)

Some people have gotten around this problem by getting an instant online “ordination” at places like the Universal Life Church, but that only highlights a discrepancy: Someone who pays a few bucks to become a “minister” online has the legal right to solemnize your marriage, but someone who goes through a non-religious training course to provide the same ceremony does not.

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