Schiff Pro Bono Win Secured Secular Marriage Celebrants in Michigan

News

Schiff Pro Bono Win Secured Secular Marriage Celebrants in Michigan

News Release |

Schiff successfully secured the rights of secular celebrants to officiate and solemnize marriages in the state of Michigan.

Our client, the Center for Inquiry, challenged Michigan’s marriage laws in May 2018 for granting authority to solemnize marriages to religious ministers while denying it to secular non-religious celebrants. Although Michigan originally fought zealously to defend this exclusion, a new state administration that took office in 2019 chose to interpret the existing statue as permitting secular celebrants to solemnize marriages. This change in position allowed Center for Inquiry-certified secular celebrants to legally solemnize marriages in Michigan.

Schiff’s team included J. Michael Showalter, Jessica Sprovtsoff, Ashley Thompson, and Stephan Wazny, with assistance by former summer associate Heather Sanborn.