Published: Friday, Jan. 28th, 2022
As we head into 2022, here’s a quick look at some of the marriage and wedding related legislation introduced in states so far.
Here at AMM, we follow these developments closely, so that we can keep our ministers up-to-date and make sure we and you are always compliant. It’s just one more reason to check this blog regularly!
It’s important to note that this is an incomplete list. Some measures aren’t included here, and new measures will continue to be introduced in the coming weeks and months.
Still, this roundup provides a pretty good look at the issues that are most important to legislators, wedding officiants, and engaged couples right now.
A quick overview of the top issues:
Lawmakers in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Vermont introduced measures to raise the legal age to marry in the state. Bills in Florida and Virginia seek to codify same-sex marriage. And other states consider virtual marriage ceremonies, minister registration, who can solemnize, marriage license application guidelines and return periods, and covenant marriage.
In Florida, lawmakers have proposed a bill repealing Section 741.212 of the Florida Statutes, removing a defunct state ban against same-sex marriage, and one that will place a measure on the general election ballot to amend the state constitution, codifying same-sex marriage. Learn more in this recent AMM article.
In Maryland, a proposed addition to current laws would allow couples in Anne Arundel County to apply for a marriage license and get married using video-conferencing technology. Learn more in this recent AMM article.
In Michigan, a proposed change would add “a supervisor of a township” to the list of people who can solemnize marriage in the state, so long as a marriage takes place in the county in which that township is located. (HB 5675)
In Missouri, new legislation would codifying same-sex marriage and create new provisions for covenant marriages. Learn more in this recent AMM article.
In Mississippi, a proposed amendment would add military court judges to the list of people authorized to solemnize marriage in the state. (HB 993)
Another Mississippi bill would require a previously married applicant to provide certified copy of their divorce or annulment decree when applying for a marriage license, if their previous spouse is still living (or if they are unsure if they are still living.) (HB 1277)
In Oklahoma, a proposed change would allow out-state-ministers and other officiants to submit a sworn affidavit stating their credentials, as an alternative to the current requirements for registration, which include providing a copy of their ordination credentials (provided by their church or synagogue). (HB 3472)
Another Oklahoma bill would repeal existing provisions that make it possible for children under 16 to marry, raising the legal age to marry in the state to 16 (with custodial permission). (HB 3974)
A third Oklahoma bill would update the guidelines for registering as an officiant, returning a marriage license, and submitting a name change: It would eliminate the requirement for ordained ministers and other officiants to file their ordination credentials with the county clerk, instead allowing officiants to certify that they are authorized on the marriage license; extend the return period to 60 days from the day of the ceremony, and provide a place to submit a name change on the marriage certificate. (HB 3075)
In Vermont, a bill titled “Act to Ban Child Marriage,” would raise the legal age to marry in the state from 16 to 18, with no provisions for parental permission for minors. (HB 631)
Another Vermont bill would simplify the process of applying for a marriage license, allowing couples living in the state to be issued a license by any town clerk in the state, regardless of their county of residence. It would also update § 5131 with gender-neutral language. (HB 680)
And in Virginia, lawmakers are working to codify same-sex marriage with a proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution that formally recognizes the fundamental right of all people to marry, regardless of their gender. Learn more in this recent AMM article.
You might also like :
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!