Secular group loses bid to perform marriages

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A secular Indianapolis group has lost its bid to perform marriage ceremonies.

The Center for Inquiry had filed a lawsuit seeking to have its members legally authorized to perform marriages and sign marriage certificates.

Current law allows public officials and anyone ordained as clergy to perform marriages. Center for Inquiry Executive Director Reba Boyd Wooden told The Indianapolis Star her group wanted a clear statement that persons officiating at marriages didn't need to be clergy or government bureaucrats.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled that granting clergy the right to perform marriages is the kind of accommodation of religion the First Amendment protects. She says it isn't a denial of rights to the nonreligious.

American Civil Liberties Union Indiana attorney Ken Falk tells WIBC he's disappointed by the ruling.

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