(Updated July 30, 10:50 am)
American Humanist Association Represents Ensign Refused Humanist Wedding
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC – July 30, 2013)—U.S. Naval Academy administrators have denied a request from a recent graduate to hold his planned humanist wedding in the academy’s chapel, declaring that the chapel is only to be used for Christian ceremonies.
The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter sent yesterday to United States Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller and Senior Chaplain Commander Michael Gore asking the decision be reversed and confirm that it is not the policy of the Naval Academy “to forbid non-Christians from using the Chapel for their wedding ceremonies.”
“This discriminatory policy is unconstitutional,” the letter states. “The Naval Academy cannot deny use of its publicly owned facilities on the basis of the religious views of those wishing to do so.”
“Weddings performed by humanist celebrants are legal everywhere in the country, as are weddings performed by many other non-Christian officiants,” said Appignani Humanist Legal Center Coordinator Bill Burgess. “There is no valid reason the U.S. Naval Academy’s chapel can’t be used by all of them.”
The letter, found here, asks for an immediate response.
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The American Humanist Association (americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington D.C., its work is extended through more than 170 local chapters and affiliates across the United States. Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and The Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.