Center for Inquiry Applauds Passage of Oregon Secular Celebrant Bill

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2017
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director - (207) 358-9785

The Center for Inquiry celebrated the passage of Oregon’s HB 2113 through both houses of the legislature. This bill authorizes nonreligious officiants to solemnize marriages in Oregon. Once signed into law by the governor, atheist, humanist, and religiously unaffiliated Oregonians will have the option of being married by a Secular Celebrant, such as those trained and certified by CFI.

“This is a great moment for Oregon’s nonreligious, who will soon have the opportunity to mark this deeply meaningful life milestone in a way that respects and celebrates their secular worldview,” said Robyn Blumner, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “We’re also very glad that this bill is the product of a civil legislative process, without the need for a costly court battle. We encourage Gov. Brown to quickly sign it into law.”

CFI’s Secular Celebrant program provides training and certification for those who wish to provide marriage, funereal, and other such services to those who wish to mark life’s milestone occasions in a secular, life-affirming way, but without the need for religious beliefs or rituals.

“We’re very proud of the leading role we’ve played in bringing this issue into the national spotlight with our excellent training program, our groundbreaking legal victories in Indiana and Illinois, and pioneering legislative work in states like Ohio and Oregon. Our sincere congratulations to our friends at the Secular Coalition for America, and all who are helping to make this a reality.”

The Center for Inquiry made history in 2014 when a federal judge ruled that the state of Indiana could not bar CFI’s Secular Celebrants from solemnizing marriages, with Judge Frank Easterbrook declaring it unacceptable that the nonreligious “are shut out as long as they are sincere in following an ethical system that does not worship any god, adopt any theology, or accept a religious label.” Early this year, CFI won another such victory when a U.S. District Court judge ruled that certified Secular Celebrants would be authorized to solemnize marriages in the state of Illinois.

In 2015, CFI helped shepherd the first incarnation of Oregon’s Secular Celebrant bill through the state’s House of Representatives, when 35 members voted in favor of the measure.

The Center for Inquiry has been a member organization of the Secular Coalition for America since 2010.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at