Tennessee Lawmakers move to strip same-sex couples of marriage equality (again)
Published: Thursday, Feb. 6th, 2020
Just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower, a group of Tennessee lawmakers introduced yet another bill that aims to strip non-traditional couples of their constitutional right to marriage and equal treatment under the law.
But this time around, two Republican lawmakers Janice Bowling and John Ragan are coming at it from a different angle – arguing that supporting same-sex marriage is a violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause which prohibits the government from "respecting an establishment of religion." ...(continued)
Ordination vs. Government License: Do You Need to Register to Officiate Weddings in Your State?
Published: Thursday, Feb. 6th, 2020
If this is your first time officiating a wedding, your first concern might be, “how do I make sure the wedding is legal?” The good news is, it’s actually pretty easy. But, you’ll need to figure out the following: Do you need a government minister license, or is your online ordination sufficient?
Let’s start by breaking down the difference, and then learn about which states require a government license or some other form of registration.
An ordination is the first, and often only requirement to officiate weddings in all 50 states. Ordination grants someone the authority to perform certain acts as a “minister” or religious authority, sanctioned by a religious institution. When you get ordained by American Marriage Ministries, it empowers you to legally join couples in marriage and sign the marriage license as an AMM minister. You don’t need to hold any specific beliefs. All that is re...(continued)
Is Virginia about to get rid of its discriminatory marriage officiant laws?
Published: Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 2020
After years of preventing online-ordained ministers (and many other Virginians) from officiating weddings, lawmakers in Virginia might soon allow regular folk to officiate weddings for friends and family members. This development is part of an update to the state’s marriage law currently making its way through Virginia’s legislature.
If passed, the law would make it much easier for American Marriage Ministries' (AMM) Ministers to officiate weddings in the state. It would also represent a step towards marriage equality in a state where county clerks routinely prevent ministers from registering as wedding officiants.
Here’s a summary of 2020 Virginia House Bill No. 863:...(continued)
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A Catholic Ordination Controversy Underscores the Importance of Online Ordination
Published: Thursday, Jan. 16th, 2020
An online petition titled “Stop Ordination of Female Episcopalian ‘Bishop’ at Catholic Church” is making its way around the internet in an effort to prevent a Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia from consecrating Rev. Susan B. Haynes as the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.
Petitioners argue that ordaining a woman is against the rules. They say the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize Anglican ordinations, and that this isn’t legit. However, Bishop Barry Knestout, who supports the ordination, has responded to criticism by saying that it is an “offer of hospitality to a Christian neighbor in need.”
If you’re wondering why we’re talking about this here on our blog, then keep on reading because here at American Marriage Ministries, we have...(continued)
How Online Ordination Facilitates Marriage Equality in Rural America
Published: Friday, Nov. 15th, 2019
It’s been more than half a century since we put a man on the moon, but in some parts of the US, same-sex and interracial couples are still routinely discriminated against. It’s also un-American. That’s why months after getting ordained by American Marriage Ministries, Tim Hooker found himself in demand to officiate weddings for couples that were turned away by mainstream churches in his area.
I visited Tim earlier this year to talk about his experiences. Driving into Cleveland Tennessee, the first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of churches. It seemed like there was one on every corner, but they weren’t of much use to same-sex or interracial couples looking to tie the knot.
“In Southern Appalachia, the ministers probably weren’t going to do it,” Tim said.