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Notary Bulletin

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies And Notaries

gay marriageUPDATE 1-13-2015: As of January 6, 2015, Florida is now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and permitting Notaries to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies.

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.

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

View All: Laws & Regulations


Add your comment

Linda Paulsen

26 Aug 2014

This is all I found so far

Charles Tucker

05 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

Timothy Bailey-Blanton

13 Dec 2014

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


30 Dec 2014

What if a notary doesn't want to perform a same sex wedding for religious reasons - can they say no without risk of discrimination. Can a disclaimer be written

National Notary Association

30 Dec 2014

Hello Kevin. In order to make sure we provide you with information appropriate to you jurisdiction, can you please let us know what state you are commissioned in? Thanks.

Alvin Reynolds

01 Jan 2015

I am with Charles Tucker on this one. I live in Florida and the laws are changing on 1/5/2015. Some of the Clerk of Courts are no longer going to offer marriages in the office, but if told will issue the licenses. Can we perform the same sex marriage if they have the licenses?

National Notary Association

05 Jan 2015

Hello. Provided a couple provides you with a valid marriage license and all other state law requirements are met, you may perform the marriage. Be aware that Florida requires a three-day waiting period after a marriage license is issued before the ceremony may be performed. Please see this article for more information:

Pastor Anna Howard

06 Sep 2015

Who's law you gonna abide by God's or man God is above the law!

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