According to a recent article in Deseret News, most states across the country have restrictions in place regarding who is allowed to officiate weddings. The Center for Inquiry, a secular organization that advocates for keeping religion out of public policy, would like to ease those restrictions and allow secular celebrants to officiate. The group has filed a lawsuit as part of an ongoing effort to change marriage laws.
Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson, an expert in family law and religious liberty, says that states care about who can solemnize, or officiate, a wedding ceremony because marriage is also a business transaction - it comes with legal and financial benefits, like shared insurance coverage.
"Marriage is a vehicle for handing out so many benefits and protections," Wilson said. "If you had a free-for-all, with basically anybody being allowed to marry you, you'd have fraud concerns."
Read the full article at deseretnews.com.