February 22, 2005
Marry me, Dianne!

Do you have everything in place for that fairy tale wedding of your dreams except for an officiant? You may be in luck - someday soon, your elected officials will be able to help.

Lawmakers and statewide elected officeholders would join priests, ministers, rabbis, religious organizations' officers and all kinds of judges on the list of those authorized to perform marriage ceremonies under a bill by Rep. Dianne Delisi, R-Temple.

Delisi said House Bill 1228 is a response to queries from constituents and friends who've wanted her or fellow officeholders to perform ceremonies and assume they already have that power.

She said among those who have been asked and would like to perform marriages is Gov. Rick Perry. His spokesman, Robert Black, said Perry's got no position on the bill.

The bill would authorize lawmakers and statewide elected officials, as well as those who retire after Sept. 1, 2005, to conduct marriage ceremonies.

It would forbid those in office from being paid for performing the ceremony or receiving a gift for the service greater than $50. Delisi said she will file a substitute bill to clarify that those same restrictions would apply after retirement from office.

My dad was a judge in New York for 14 years, and he performed quite a few weddings in his day. He always said it was one of the best parts of the job. I don't know how much demand there may be for, say, the Land Commissioner to do these services, but I can recommend the experience based on Dad's say-so. Meanwhile, In the Pink (here and here) and Pink Dome (here and here) have a little fun with the idea.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 22, 2005 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

OK, if this passes and Kinky Friedman gets himself elected governor, Tim and I are so renewing our vows and having the Kinkster perform the ceremony. That would be even better than renewing our vows in Vegas with an Elvis impersonator.

Posted by: Sue on February 22, 2005 12:55 PM

Ah, nothing more romantic than the notion of being married by a Railroad Commissioner.

Posted by: Michael on February 22, 2005 1:21 PM

Aren't you already married? :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on February 22, 2005 1:24 PM

My daughter was married late this past year and, through that, we learned of a quite nice provision of Massachusetts State law.

Adults can get a one-day license to officiate at a single wedding. I'm not familiar with the detailed requirements, but it meant that my daughter's best friend (who took the role quite seriously) could officiate. It meant that, rather than a stranger, someone who knew the bride and groom quite well did the honors.

Highly recommended.

Posted by: John on February 22, 2005 4:13 PM

We don't need no stinkin' bill! All you have to do is go to www.ULC.net, register to be an ordained minister, print out your certificate, and perform the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate!

Texas and Harris County do not have a set rule as to who can be an ordained minister. This church, like the Unitarian Universalists, have been challenged before, but they have come out victorious.

Actually, I've performed a couple of weddings. NO PROBLEMS!! So, if an elected official REALLY wants to have the ability to perform, it doesn't take much.

Posted by: Stace Medellin on February 22, 2005 10:58 PM