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How Online Ordination Facilitates Marriage Equality in Rural America

In person tenn

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. 

 ...(continued)

Tags: 1st-amendment, freedom-of-religion, lgbtq-weddings, minister-rights, tennessee




An Open Letter to Members of the Tennessee Legislature

Screen shot 2019 06 05 at 8.45.11 am

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 5th, 2019

Dear members of the Tennessee Legislature,

I am writing because effective July 1, 2019, thousands of our Tennessee ministers will be stripped of their right to perform weddings for their friends, family, and neighbors. Over the next few months, thousands of Tennessee weddings will be thrown into confusion, with couples and ministers deprived of the opportunity to build community and create memories together. Furthermore, HB0213 threatens Tennessee’s multi-million-dollar wedding industry, and could send couples elsewhere to find ministers with whom they have a relationship and shared history – their friends and family. ...(continued)

Tags: tennessee, freedom-of-religion, 1st-amendment, online-ordination






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