Here’s the Latest on What’s Happening with Tennessee’s Online Ordination Ban
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10th, 2019
Are you wondering what’s happening with the legal challenges to a law that prohibits ministers ordained online from officiating weddings in Tennessee? Here are the latest updates, and everything you need to know to be allowed to perform weddings in the state. But before we dig into the details, the bottom line is this:
You can still perform weddings in Tennessee if you got ordained online.
We’ve heard that some county clerks in Tennessee are turning ministers away because they got ordained online. While these reports are isolated, it is important to remember that you are still legally allowed to perform weddings in Tennessee, even if you were ordained online. It's also important to remember that the law here is clear, and that the weddings are legally valid. ...(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.
Tennessee and AMM: What Lies Ahead?
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 10th, 2019
Several weeks ago, American Marriage Ministries embarked on an in-person ordination tour across the state of Tennessee, stopping in six cities to offer ordinations in response to the state’s discriminatory marriage law that targeted ministers that were ordained online.
Now that we’re back in Seattle and have had time to collect our thoughts and recover, we want to express our gratitude to the nearly 2,000 individuals who took time out of their busy schedules to line up and get ordained with us in Tennessee.
Folks from every walk of life showed up at our events (some coming from across state borders). Countless Tennesseans volunteered their time and resources, places for us to stay, hot meals when we were too busy to leave our posts, space to host future ordination sites, and anything else we didn’t think of ourselves. ...(continued)
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Tennessee Federal Judge Sides with Online Churches
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 3rd, 2019
Great News, Ministers! A federal judge in Tennessee has frozen the implementation of a law that barred ministers ordained online from solemnizing marriage in the state. That means that if you got ordained online with American Marriage Ministries, you may officiate weddings this summer!
Chief District Judge Waverly Crenshaw said today that there are "serious constitutional issues" with the new Tennessee law that bans ministers ordained online from performing marriages. This means that ministers ordained online may continue to perform legal marriages.
“No Thanks, I Don’t Want a Stranger!” Chattanooga TN Ordination Tour Update
Published: Tuesday, Jun. 25th, 2019
“I called the county clerk and they told me that I can’t make an appointment, and that they don’t know who will perform the actual ceremony,” one bride told us during the Chattanooga stop of our Tennessee Ordination Tour. “This is the biggest commitment of my life,” she said. “No thanks, I don’t want a stranger.”
That's how poorly planned out Tennessee's discriminatory new marriage law is, and why it's going to be overturned, sooner or later!
This morning, we learned that opposition to the law is still growing. The Universal Life Church is getting involved now, filing a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee to prevent Public Chapter No. 415 from entering into force. ...(continued)