Can my friend get ordained to officiant our same-sex wedding?

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Can my friend get ordained to officiant our same-sex wedding?
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My girlfriend and I are getting married in November 2018. We want our friend to get ordained so that he may marry us.

What are the steps for same-sex couples getting married? – R

Congrats on your upcoming wedding! The good news is that it's pretty much the same no matter who is getting married.

There are two considerations for online ordination when having a friend officiate your same-sex wedding: that the online ordination website allows same-sex ceremonies and that online ordination is considered legal in your state/city/county. In both cases, you're likely not to run into too many issues, but check everything twice, especially when it comes to the legality of it. It has less to do with the fact that it's for a same-sex wedding than it does local municipalities excluding online ministers in general.

Let's look at both issues…

Make sure it's legal

We've talked extensively about how to research your local area to make sure that friend officiants can legally officiate your wedding. Here's a tip from this post

First and foremost, make sure it is legal. Call the registrar in the township where you will be getting married to see what needs to be done by your officiant to ensure that they can legally solemnize your marriage. This not only varies by state, but can also vary by municipality within the state. Just because someone is an internet ordained minister does not automatically let them perform marriage ceremonies everywhere — marriage laws are governed at the state level, not the federal level.

If you are doing research online regarding marriage law, only trust sources that are the legitimate website of the government in question — not a blog and not a compilation site. Some states will require your officiant to register or apply for a one-day solemnization. Some states will be fine with a simple internet ordainment. Some states will be different — for example, in New York City, all officiants must register with City Hall. However, New York State has different marriage licenses and no registration.

What online ministries allow same-sex ceremonies?

There are lots of online ordination sites that will allow you to officiate same-sex weddings. These were the ones where I was able to confirm it via their FAQs, but I suspect almost all of them do if you check in with one you are considering. This list will get you started…

Once you've crossed your Ts and dotted your Is on the legality and your chosen online ordination site, you should be good to go! And then it's all about crafting the ceremony with your new officiant and having fun with it…

Friend officiant resources

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