TN Lawmakers Banned Online Ordinations for Weddings. A Church Found a Loophole. June 20, 2019

TN Lawmakers Banned Online Ordinations for Weddings. A Church Found a Loophole.

Earlier this year, the GOP-dominated Tennessee legislature passed HB 0213, which banned people from officiating weddings if their ordination came from an online website.

While the state allows Humanist Celebrants to function as priests, a lot of couples that want a friend to do the honors just ask that person to pay a few bucks to get “ordained” online via places like the Universal Life Church. This bill blocks that option starting on July 1. (Why? Because it’s Tennessee and they don’t need a reason. That’s why.)

But have no fear! A non-profit church called American Marriage Ministries — which normally ordains people online for free — is making several in-person stops throughout the state next week in order to ordain anyone who needs it. Especially people who were scheduled to perform weddings in the next few months only to have this Republican law get in the way of it.

American Marriage Ministries is coming to Tennessee to ordain you in person so that you can perform weddings in compliance with the new marriage law that was passed last month! With thousands of ministers stranded by the discriminatory Public Chapter No. 415, we are rising to the challenge because our ministers and the communities they serve are entitled to wedding ceremonies that reflect their values and beliefs, despite what the Tennessee legislature says!

If you got ordained online, no matter what website you used, and plan on officiating a wedding in Tennessee, this event is for you!

June 21 – Clarksville, Tennessee
June 22 – Jackson, Tennessee
June 24 – Memphis, Tennessee
June 25 – Chattanooga, Tennessee
June 26 – Knoxville, Tennessee
June 27 & 28 – Nashville, Tennessee

It’s a wonderful service offered by a ministry that, as far as I can tell, has no theological agenda. Even if you’re not planning on officiating any weddings in the near future, you might as well get ordained because you never know.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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