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Notary Bulletin

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies And Notaries

gay marriageRecent 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.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Comments

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Timothy Bailey-Blanton

13 Dec 2014

This page needs updated as well, as South Carolina now has Same-Sex-Marriage.

Charles Tucker

06 Dec 2014

I have been a Florida Notary for Over 40 years and still like to serve. Come January 5th the laws Change in Florida. We will need to know the verbiage we need to use to perform same sex marriages and if the State is allowing Notaries to perform them. Thanks

Linda Paulsen

26 Aug 2014

This is all I found so far

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