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To Wed is Human, To Do So Lawfully, Divine


The New York Times, in the Sunday Style section (8/5/07, byline, Devan Sipher), ran a funny (intentional or otherwise) story, “Great Wedding! But Was it Legal?”


“Somehow forgotten is that marriage is a legal contract. And three states besides Connecticut — Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — as well as other jurisdictions, prohibit weddings performed by ministers who do not have active ministries.

Even in Las Vegas, that city’s no-holds-barred image notwithstanding, it is illegal for individuals to perform a marriage if they do not have a congregation, according to Lynda Foresta, the Clark County division manager of marriage services. Yes, Elvis may be in the house, but he may face up to six months doing the “Jailhouse Rock” unless an authorized minister is there to sign the license.”

To find out if your Oregon wedding was lawful, here’s a link to the Oregon Revised Statutes 2005. (The 2007 laws won’t be codified and printed as the ORS until early 2008, but you can find them here.)

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