(Closed) Iowa LGBTQ Officiant Need Information

posted 8 years ago in LGBTQ
Post # 3
3315 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You’re right to be concerned.  In some states, a statute, court decision, or opinion of an attorney general has held that using a ULC-ordained minister will invalidate a marriage.  In others, a statute, court decision, or opinion of an attorney general indicates that a marriage performed by a ULC-ordained minister is valid.  Iowa doesn’t fall into either of those categories.  Thus, there is at least some risk that a later court decision could invalidate a marriage performed by such a person.

If the couple is domiciled in Iowa, the risk is minimal, inasmuch as Iowa is one of the few states remaining that recognizes common law marriage.  Thus, even if a court later held that a ULC minister was not a proper officiant, the ceremony and subsequent cohabitation would fulfill the requirements for a common law marriage.

If not, it’s really up to you and the couple involved whether the risk is worth it.  The big problem is that they wouldn’t have an answer when the marriage licnese was filed; any issue would be determined when and if the status of the marriage was an issue in a court case (e.g., on death, divorce, or bankrupty), at which point it would be too late to fix any issues that existed.  The ris wouldn’t have been worth it for us, because after waiting so long to be legally married, we wanted to be sure it was legal, but obviously they are not us. One compromise might be to have a quick civil ceremony just for paperwork purposes, and then have your husband officiate at a bigger ceremony with all their guests.

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