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July 2022 Marriage Legislation Roundup: Proposed & Passed legislation impacting weddings and marriage laws in your state

Published Thursday, Jul. 28th, 2022

There’s no denying that the past few months have been a busy time for marriage legislation in the U.S. From heated discussions in Congress to codify same-sex and interracial marriage, to free marriage licenses in New Jersey, and proposed ends to child marriage in Massachusetts and elsewhere – there’s a lot going on! 


As July comes to a close, here’s a look at some of the important marriage legislation that’s currently being discussed or that was recently decided across the country.


For information on other current events affecting wedding officiants and ordained ministers in your state, visit AMM’s News Page. 




In California, 
Recognition of Loving Day


Assembly Concurrent Resolution 197 
Purpose: To officially recognize July 12th as Loving Day in the state of California
Status: Passed on July 12 2022 (effective immediately)


Related: 5 Ways to Celebrate National Loving Day This Year & Every Year


In Delaware, 
Marriage access for parolees and individuals on probation


Delaware Senate Bill 345
Purpose: Among other changes to probation laws, to repeal the law the prohibits adults who are on parole or probation from marrying without first filing with a clerk of the peace or obtaining consent from a parole officer 
Status: Assigned to Senate Executive Committee


In Illinois,
Proposed ban on child marriage


Illinois Senate Bill 3418
Purpose: To prohibit the marriage of any person under the age of 18
Status: Co-sponsor added; Waiting in Assignments Committee 


In Massachusetts,
Proposed ban on child marriage


Massachusetts House Bill 4701 & House Bill 5050
Purpose: Along with fiscal appropriations for the year, the relevant portions of the bill would amend current laws to prohibit a marriage officiant from solemnizing the marriage of a minor, and a clerk from issuing a license to a minor (this would prohibit child marriages in the state)
Status: Enacted and awaiting Governor’s approval 


Massachusetts Senate Bill 937 & Massachusetts House Bill 1709
Purpose: To ban child marriage and raise age of consent to marry to 18 years old without exceptions
Status: Being discussed in House and Senate, Judiciary Committee study ordered


In Michigan, 
Recognition of same-sex marriage & proposed ban on child marriage


Michigan House Resolution 329
Purpose: A resolution to affirm that Obergefell v. Hodges was rightly decided
Status: Referred To House Committee On Judiciary


Michigan Senate Bill 1115 
Purpose: To raise the age of consent to marry to 18 years old, without exceptions 
Status: Referred to Senate Committee On Judiciary And Public Safety


In New Hampshire, 
Changes to marriage license application process 


New Hampshire House Bill 1130
Purpose: Creates a new provision to allow couples to apply for a marriage license without appearing in person at the clerk’s office, with the help of a justice of the peace.  
Status: Passed on July 7 2022 (effective 1/2023)


In New Jersey, 
Free marriage and civil union licenses & proposed elimination of waiting period


New Jersey Senate Bill 2861 & Assembly Bill 4400
Purpose: Waives the fee to apply for a marriage license or civil union license for the fiscal year 2023 (Applying for a marriage license in NJ will be free for one year) 
Status: Passed on June 30 2022 (effective 7/1/2022 through 6/30/2023)


New Jersey Assembly Bill 4137
Purpose: To eliminate the waiting period to marry after applying for a marriage license, so that a wedding ceremony can be held as soon as possible after a marriage license is issued. 
Status: Pending Assembly State and Local Government Committee


In New York, 
One-day designation for lay marriage officiants 


New York Senate Bill 739A and Assembly Bill 6300
Purpose: To establish a one-day designation for marriage officiants in the state, in which lay people can complete an application and pay a fee to the Secretary of State for the one-day authority to solemnize marriage
Status: Passed the Assembly and Senate, awaiting Governor’s approval


Related: NY’s one-day marriage officiant license awaits final approval from Governor


In Ohio, 
Updates to licensing process for out-of-state ministers


Ohio House Bill 203 & Senate Bill 131
Purpose: To clarify and update the licensing requirements and registration process for out-of-state ministers (and others who must be licensed to provide services in the state)
Status: Passed individual chambers



In Pennsylvania, 
Proposed elimination of marriage waiting period 


Pennsylvania House Bill 2580 
Purpose: To eliminate the waiting period to marry after applying for a marriage license, so that a wedding ceremony can be held immediately after a marriage license is issued. 
Status: Awaiting discussion in the House


In Rhode Island, 
Proposed changes to marriage license return period & return by mail 


Rhode Island House Bill 7402
Purpose: To amend the law to require that a marriage certificate be returned to be filed within 2 business days after the ceremony, and validate the common practice of filing the return by mail
Status: Approved by House and referred to Senate Judiciary


And in the U.S. Congress, 
Repealing Defense of Marriage Act & codifying federal protections for interracial marriages


US Congress House Bill 8404 & Senate Bill 4556
Purpose: ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ ; To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); to repeal and replace provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman with provisions that recognize any marriage that is valid under state law; to repeal and replace provisions that don’t require states to recognize same-sex or interracial marriages from other states (or any out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin); allows the Department of Justice to bring a civil action and establishes a private right of action for violations
Status: 8404 has passed in the House, being discussed in the Senate, placed on Senate Legislative Calendar; 4556 was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


(Related bill US Congress House Resolution 1232)


US Congress House Bill 8396
Purpose: ‘Loving v. Virginia Codification Act of 2022’; Codifies federal protections for interracial marriage; prohibits any state from enacting a law or regulation that infringes on an individual’s right to marry a person of another race; allows the Department of Justice to bring a civil action for violations, and establishes a private right of action (allows individuals to sue government employees or officials for violating this constitutional right)
Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary


Related: A Look at Loving Day -- A Celebration of Love & Interracial Marriage



For more news & current events visit AMM’s News Page 



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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