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Good News Alert: Virginia Counties Remove Racist Language From Marriage Application!

Published Monday, Sep. 16th, 2019

Last week we reported that couples were suing counties in Virginia for requiring them to disclose their ethnicity in downright racist terms such as "Aryan," "Octoroon," "Quadroon" and "Mulatto."


Good news, folks! The state’s Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that couples no longer have to disclose their race on their marriage application.


"These changes will ensure that no Virginian will be forced to label themselves in order to get married," Herring told local media. "I appreciate the courage these couples showed in raising this issue, and I wish them all the best in their lives together."


While applications will still ask for race, couples are free to decline. And presumably, they won’t be asking whether or not they are “Quadroons…” or other derogatory designations. 



Richmond Virginia, where it's all going down!


What’s interesting about this whole debacle is the way in which language and requirements varied on a county-by-county basis. That’s also a reason why we recommend calling in advance to see what the requirements are. 


Our state minister registration pages are a great place to start.


We’re also adding city pages, where you can look up how to officiate a wedding in your city. And if you don’t see your city listed yet, shoot us an email at [email protected] and let us know. 


We’re also looking for city-specific tips to include, for everything from parking to the name of your favorite county clerk! So if you have some insider info to share, send it our way.


Related: These City Guides tell you how to officiate a wedding in popular locations across the U.S. – and we’re adding more every day!




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Want to perform a wedding in Virginia? 


Ministers ordained online routinely face difficulty and discrimination when attempting to comply with Virginia’s registration requirements. We disagree with this practice wholeheartedly, and encourage you to apply for the authority to perform marriage -- a privilege the Code of Virginia grants to all ministers. We’ll provide you with the appropriate registration documents you need at no charge


Get ordained online for free,
And order our Virginia Minister Ordination Package.



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Lewis King
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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