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04/10/2020 04:06 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=29651
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 23, 2019 04:32 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Civil Cellebrants
 
Couples preparing to marry in Pennsylvania deserve to have all their dreams met on that special day. On average, Pennsylvanians spend nearly $30,000 on the wedding of their dreams and the wedding industry generates $2 billion in annual sales.

Of the 73,304 marriages that occurred in Pennsylvania last year, 74% were held outside a religious institution, however, Pennsylvania law only permits religious leaders, judges, or mayors to solemnize marriages. This forces couples who do not wish to have a religious ceremony at the mercy of city hall schedule, seeking out busy judges, or opting to find someone who ascribes to their beliefs and gets ordained online.

New Jersey recently recognized the ability of trained, certified Civil Celebrants who craft personal ceremonies and are highly sought out by couples to solemnize marriages. It is time for Pennsylvania to do the same. However a couple chooses to declare their fidelity, the Commonwealth should recognize the witnessed, licensed, joining of two lives.

So please join me in sponsoring legislation to create a certification for civil celebrants to preside over weddings in Pennsylvania.



Introduced as SB833