Published: Thursday, Dec. 30th, 2021
We've added a new update since this article was published:
American Marriage Ministries remains engaged and supportive of the effort to protect the rights of online-ordained ministers in Tennessee. As we head into 2022, let’s take a quick look at what’s happening there.
First, AMM Minister ordinations are still recognized in the state. The discriminatory law passed in 2019, which would ban internet-ordained ministers from conducting marriage rites, is still suspended by order of U.S. District Judge Crenshaw.
This order will remain in place indefinitely, until a pending lawsuit challenging the validity of the law is finally decided by the court. The lawsuit was first filed in 2019, shortly after American Marriage Ministries held a multi-city ordination tour to ordain hundreds of ministers in-person and safeguard their rights as members of the clergy.
Most recently, additional arguments were made in court by the online church responsible for bringing the case (Universal Life Church Monastery Storehouse Inc.; also known as ULC or ULCM).
Progress is slow but steady. As we head into the new year, our team continues to keep a watchful eye on any new developments.
The law is clear on this. Judge Crenshaw’s order to maintain the status quo allows all ministers ordained online to continue solemnizing marriages, and it remains in place until the case has been decided.
Unfortunately, there are reports of online-ordained officiants being turned away by county clerks, despite this being illegal. Bring a copy of this order with you, just in case.
A copy of the order can be found here.
(Click Download this PDF at the top of the page.)
We will send you a letter from our lawyers stating your rights as a recognized ordained minister, which you or your couple can provide to the clerk in question.
Contact American Marriage Ministries:
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Monday - Friday | 10am - 5pm PST
Friends and family members can officiate wedding ceremonies in Tennessee: Become an ordained minister with AMM's free online ordination -- it only takes a minute to complete.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!