Humanist Celebrants Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage

Humanist Celebrants Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage

This post, written by Rachael Berman, originally appeared on TheHumanist.com on July 9, 2015. On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled that the US Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry in all fifty states. Some same-sex couples rushed to their local courthouse to become some of the first “legal” married same-sex couples in their states. However, even now, several judges and county clerks from the thirteen states with same-sex marriage bans prior to the June 26 ruling are still refusing to perform officiant duties that would honor same-sex couples’ federal right to marry. Luckily, humanist celebrants continue to be an importance resource for individuals who want a personalized, nonreligious ceremony. I reached out to several humanist celebrants asking them to share stories of same-sex marriage ceremonies they’ve officiated and the obstacles they’ve faced—their accounts are below.   California California first began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in June 2008. However, four months later the passage of Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry, gay marriage licenses were no longer being issued. Humanist celebrant Jason Frye of San Diego managed to sneak one in anyway: In July of 2008, Californians celebrating LGBT-pride had reason to add wedding cake to the usual American summer diet of cold beer and anything grilled outdoors. A month prior, our state Supreme Court ruled that our constitutional ban on marriage eligibility for same-sex couples was constitutionally verboten. The following month was our city’s annual Pride Parade. There was the usual assortment of gay bars, bankers, and incumbents seeking reelection. There was also a humanist celebrant...
Pinning Your Way to Celebrant Success

Pinning Your Way to Celebrant Success

This post, written by Rachael Berman, originally appeared on TheHumanist.com on February 20, 2015. Traditionally, thick magazines filled with beautiful ads for dresses, venues, and honeymoon destinations were the go-to advice manuals for the “perfect wedding.” These days, individuals are increasingly turning to online resources for event planning, especially weddings, because there are countless free online resources that are easy to access and extremely customizable. One popular resource for couples planning a wedding is Pinterest, a virtual scrapbook-like platform that describes itself as “a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your interests and projects.” Many wedding planners use Pinterest to their advantage by advertising examples of beautiful weddings and ceremonies they’ve planned to demonstrate the quality and style of their work to potential clients. In addition to their websites, humanist celebrants can and should use Pinterest as another advertising resource to promote their secular, personalized ceremonies. Celebrants can save and sort their favorite “pins” by categories, known as boards, to create a diverse and detailed Pinterest page. Examples of “boards” on a humanist celebrants’ page include: Local Wedding Locations, Secular Wedding Vows, Planning Tips, Cakes, Aisle Décor, and so on. Several humanist celebrants have already developed Pinterest pages chockfull of all things wedding related. Terry Plank, a humanist celebrant from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, includes examples of popular wedding locations on his Pinterest, sorting them into San Francisco Bay weddings, outdoor weddings, coast-side weddings, and more. Donna Forsythe, a humanist celebrant from Pennsylvania, uses her Pinterest to also suggest unique themes and special ceremonies like how to incorporate a handfasting...