Schiff Hardin is working with the Center for Inquiry (CFI) to change outdated statutes to allow non-religious individuals to solemnize marriages. CFI, with members across the country, is a secular organization that offers a non-religious template to guide people in pursuing fulfilling and humane lives without reliance on religious faith. CFI provides a secular celebrant training program for individuals to solemnize marriages.
State law governs who is authorized to solemnize a marriage. In numerous states, these outdated statutes often only give authorization to religious personnel, public officials, and/or court personnel.
In Illinois, Schiff filed a lawsuit on behalf of CFI alleging that the marriage solemnization statute violates the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Illinois’ statue was declared unconstitutional in January 2017.