New Tennessee Law Prohibits Those Ordained Online from Officiating Weddings

As of July 1st, anyone that has been ordained online will no longer be able to officiate weddings in the state of Tennessee, thanks to House Bill 213 [which was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on May 21st]. You'll need a pastor, police chaplain, city council member, or state legislator to say "I Do."

"What Tennessee is doing is taking us back to our historical roots. The Bible tells us marriage is not to be entered into lightly, marriage is a commitment that people are making with one another, a deep commitment," Pastor Bruce Raley told Fox 17 Nashville. "I think this is a good thing because it adds value to weddings and the marriage itself."

Naturally, the law is not being received well by Tennesseans, as it messes with pretty much everyone.

What happens if you're not religious? What if you're a member of the LGBTQ community, and you're unable to find a pastor that will perform the ceremony given their religious beliefs? What if you just want to give a family member or friend the honor of performing your ceremony? What happens if you can't find a city council member or state representative that's willing to take time out of their busy schedule to marry you?

"You have to examine the constitutionality of it and whether or not it is a form of control," said Brian Sullivan, a man who was ordained online and has since married 3 couples. "People who are divorced, gay couples who maybe feel like the church is going to reject them. You don't want to start off your big day, planning it, right off the bat, with rejection."


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