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Tennessee Federal Judge Sides with Online Churches

Published Wednesday, Jul. 3rd, 2019


Tennessee Federal Judge Sides with Online Churches

Great News, Ministers! A federal judge in Tennessee has frozen the implementation of a law that barred ministers ordained online from solemnizing marriage in the state. That means that if you got ordained online with American Marriage Ministries, you may officiate weddings this summer!

 

Chief District Judge Waverly Crenshaw said today that there are "serious constitutional issues" with the new Tennessee law that bans ministers ordained online from performing marriages. This means that ministers ordained online may continue to perform legal marriages.

 

AMM Minister Dylan Wall helping ministers get ordained in-person before the new law was to go into effect. 

 

That doesn't mean that the threat is over however. When the challenge goes to trial, lawyers will have to prove that the new law is unconstitutional. Tennessee's Attorney General has promised to fight the lawsuit, and has defended the legislature's actions.

 

Here's what we found interesting about the latest development. State lawyers argued that online ministries were "not investigating the individuals' integrity enough."

 

Chief District Judge Waverly Crenshaw (center)

 

We've pushed back against this assertion multiple times, arguing that any "investigating" that happens should be done by the couple, not the state. Crenshaw seems to see things our way too, telling the state's lawyers that they, "might learn something" if they were to question officials from those online ministries.

 

Guess what, they didn't. But here's our phone number if they want to call us: 206-395-9164

 

Here at American Weddings, we will be following the legal developments closely. Make sure to check in often, but for now, the good news is that you can say "Yes!" when couples ask you to officiate their weddings!


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