Humanist celebrants show solidarity with safety pins
MissMarieMK/Twitter, honoraye/Twitter

In response to Donald Trump’s election, many LGBTQ, immigrant, and minority watch-dog groups have gone into high alert. To support these communities in such precarious and uncertain times, humanist celebrants can offer the “comfort and security some desire through marriage to the one they love,” says Rachael W. Berman, Grassroots and Celebrant Program coordinator for The American Humanist Association (AHA), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Part of the AHA is The Humanist Society, which endorses humanist celebrants across the country to perform secular marriages, funerals and other life cycle ceremonies for those who prefer no religion. Such celebrants are recognized in every state as the legal equivalent of a minister of faith.

On the initiative of a group of four humanist celebrants, they have started offering free wedding ceremonies to members of disenfranchised communities in their area. The Humanist Society has begun to emulate their efforts by calling upon celebrants who are able to join its public campaign to offer free wedding services to members of marginalized communities between now and Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017.

Humanist celebrants are listed on the Humanist Society website, where a complete listing can be found for celebrants in almost every state. Those who are willing to perform the ceremony for free will have a safety pin icon, a current symbol of solidarity and alignment with victims of racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination, next to their contact information.

The anticipated announcement and program launch for this campaign is scheduled for Monday, November 21.

The safety pin emerged with renewed vigor after Donald Trump’s election. Trump attacked members of marginalized communities throughout his campaign, and threatens to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Someone who wears a safety pin on their clothing is making a visible statement that “You are safe with me.”

Concrete actions, of course, speak louder than safety pins, such as signing petitions, volunteering for and donating to progressive change organizations, participating in protests, writing letters to the editor, helping neighbors who are threatened or harassed, speaking out, and reporting to this online news site about local activism.

It is precisely the concrete action of performing a marriage for free that the humanist celebrants can do.

Editor’s note: The author is participating in this program in Los Angeles.


CONTRIBUTOR

Eric A. Gordon
Eric A. Gordon

Eric A. Gordon is the author of a biography of radical American composer Marc Blitzstein, co-author of composer Earl Robinson’s autobiography, and the translator (from Portuguese) of a memoir by Brazilian author Hadasa Cytrynowicz. He holds a doctorate in history from Tulane University. He chaired the Southern California chapter of the National Writers Union, Local 1981 UAW (AFL-CIO) for two terms and is director emeritus of The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring Southern California District. In 2015 he produced “City of the Future,” a CD of Soviet Yiddish songs by Samuel Polonski.

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