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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 10, 2019 01:31 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Performance of Marriage Ceremonies to Include Legislators
Like me, I am sure you have been approached by constituents to participate in their marriage ceremonies. I have been informed that certain states include legislators among the “public officials” who may perform civil marriage ceremonies. Just this past year, our neighbors in New York had legislation signed into law to allow members of their legislature to officiate civil ceremonies.

I intend to introduce legislation to add members of the General Assembly to the list of those persons authorized by state law to solemnize marriages. There are numerous ways in which couples can unite in civil marriage in Pennsylvania. Indeed, the current list of possible officiants is long and varied: any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of a regularly established church or congregation; judges and magisterial district judges; and mayors of cities and boroughs. In fact, couples can even unite in marriage without the presence of an officiant.

I believe members of the General Assembly also should be able to preside over such occasions. Therefore, my bill will add current members of the General Assembly to the list of public officials who may perform these civil ceremonies. However, my proposal is to make this optional for members. In order to qualify, a member first will have to register with the Chief Clerk (and will have the option to de-register).

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation

Introduced as HB1777