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Manala Next Door
American In Berlin
Lady of the House
27 5, 8:53pm
Asatru has official recognition in the United States, too. Since we (I'm American) have the First Amendment, recognition isn't official in the same way as it is with other countries. It would be illegal for Congress to pass some sort of resolution officially recognizing it, for instance. It's usually a bunch of more subtle things, like tax status. For instance, The Troth carries the tax status of a non-profit religious organization. The Army has said that they will allow soldiers to identify as Asatru or Heathen, though there's been some difficulty with implementing that. Already, the family of deceased soldiers can select an armed forces-provided tombstone with a hammer of Thor symbol. There was a court case involving Asatru prisoners, and the ruling was that the prison system, as a government entity, cannot deny the prisoners an emblem of their belief. While anything involving prisoners is always a little dicey for heathens (given connections in the prison system to white nationalism), it does show government recognition of Asatru believers having the same First Amendment rights as other believers.
Who can legally wed someone varies by state, since marriages licenses are managed at the state level instead of the federal. However, I would be shocked if any state prohibited a gothi from conducting a legally binding marriage for reasons of belief. They'd probably just have to jump through a few legal hoops and pay a fee to get licensed, the same as a Christian minister.
Of course, the same can also be said for Scientology, so it isn't like the US government is particularly picky!
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