Notary Bulletin

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies And Notaries

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies And Notaries Recent court decisions and new state laws permit same-sex couples to legally marry in some jurisdictions — but currently only one state authorizes Notaries to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Notaries are permitted to serve as wedding officiants in three states — Maine, South Carolina and Florida. In December 2012, Maine enacted legislation legally recognizing same-sex marriages and Maine Notaries Public may solemnize legally binding same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Notaries in Florida and South Carolina cannot officiate same-sex weddings because same-sex marriages are prohibited in both states by constitutional amendments.

With California's Proposition 8 overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the Golden State. Though a California Notary commission does not include the power to conduct weddings, some Notaries are authorized to issue confidential marriage certificates and may do so for same-sex couples. Notaries who are ordained ministers or are otherwise permitted to officiate at weddings may conduct a same-sex wedding ceremony in California. Lisa Phillian, an ordained minister and Notary in Los Angeles, says she is receiving more requests for both wedding ceremonies and confidential marriage certificates since the Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8.

Additional Resources:

State Law Primers

NNA Reference Materials

Related Articles

Notary Officiants Barred From Saying No To Same-Sex Weddings

Proposed Law Could Permit Notaries To Officiate Weddings

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

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