Secularizing Marriage Celebrant Law

The ability to legally solemnize marriages is, in many states, a privilege reserved exclusively for government officials and religious clergy. The Center for Inquiry has been at the center of challenging this privilege. Hear about the legal issues, past victories, and upcoming fights. Find out what you can do if your state law is discriminatory.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. CDT, Sunday April 15

To submit a question for the Q&A of this panel, please leave a comment below. Questions that are actually questions will receive priority.


Nick Little is the Vice President and General Counsel of the Center for Inquiry. In this role, he oversees both the Center’s in-house legal work, and its outside litigation. He’s worked for the recognition of secular celebrants across the country, as well as submitting amicus briefs on CFI’s behalf to the Supreme Court in cases including Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, Obergefell v. Hodges, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, Zubik v. Burwell, and Trinity Lutheran v. Pauley, as well as circuit and district court cases.

Reba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana.She started The Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana in 1999 which became the Center for Inquiry Community of Indiana in 2005. She is co-director of CFI’s Secular Celebrant program and was the plaintiff in the case that allowed nonreligious marriage officiants in Indiana. She retired after 37 years in public education in 2005.

Galen Broaddus is a writer and a certified Secular Celebrant with the Center for Inquiry. As the child of a Baptist minister, and he served as a choir director and worship leader and even filled the pulpit on several occasions for a Baptist church before leaving religion. His lawsuit allowed nonreligious marriage officiants in Illinois.

Jennifer Beahan is the Executive Director for CFI–Michigan. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CFI–Michigan and is working to build a secular community throughout Michigan. Her interests include volunteer management, program development and evaluation, secular activism, and women’s rights.

Stephanie Zvan is the associate president of Minnesota Atheists, on the board of Secular Woman, and one of the organizers of Secular Women Work conferences and workshops. She writes at Almost Diamonds on The Orbit network, and she’s not afraid to tackle the occasional taboo.

Secularizing Marriage Celebrant Law
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!