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East ender

Ulc Not Allowed To Marry In Southampton Ny

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I've been a ULC minister since 2007 & registered in NYC to marry. But I live in Southampton & now the Marriage Equality passed, I want to also register to marry people there. However the license app (on the Town's site) says ULC marriages are illegal !!!

Town's website (http://www.southamptontownny.gov/filestorage/760/762/792/1054/1422/MarriageLicenseApp.pdf) has at the bottom, a note which says:

"NOTE: Ship Captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State and universal life ministers are not recognized. THESE MARRIAGES COULD BE LEGALLY CHALLENGED"

Yet the Code for NY State Domestic Relations does not contain any language beyond ship captains not being authorized.

What to do!!!

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It is not too difficult or expensive to file an action in small claims court. Find out if your local small claims court will accept a "Judicial Determination" (JD) filing. This means you sue the county barring you from performing marriages and seek a "Judicial Determination" on whether they have standing to keep you, a Universal Life Church minister, from marrying others. Let the judge decide if the county's rule or "law" violates your consitutional rights. That order may then be filed with the country recorder and presented to the agency barring you.

If your local small claims court does NOT allow JD filings, sue the county for loss of income/revenue up to the maximum they allow in small claims court. Your cause of action is simple: They are discriminating against you using selective enforcement; only ULC ministers are not allow to marry others (and maybe sea captains?). What does the law say? Can you prove you have been damaged? What is the amount of your damages? Show them the law and how it "their" actions violate it, how it damages you; you are not allowed to marry others and make a living, and finally, the amount of money you have lost as a consequence of their actions.

NOTICE: I am NOT an attorney. I have studied the law as a hobby. (see jurisdictionary.com) The above suggestions are merely my opinion as to a possible remedy to your question. You have a right to go to court as a Pro Se (without an attorney) and present your case and cause. If you feel you cannot, you should seek an attorney that understands your position, concern and loss.

Good luck.....

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I think I'd go to the town/county clerk and ask to see the statute/code for the exclusion of ULC ministers. If they are just arbitrarily making the decision on their own, then they are in the wrong.

They've probably not had anyone challenge it to get it fixed. I would suspect, tho, that with the new changes in law up there, there's gonna be an influx of people asking about it...

I would also forward emails of your contacts with the town to Andre at Headquarters.

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Bro Daniel was building a case against New York with the idea of suing them halfway to Mars. He would then probably settle for enough to retire. Other things got in the way though... :devil:

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Certainly sounds like a local influence and/or fear tactic. Yes, we may not be officially "recognized" by the town of Southampton, and sure, we "COULD" be legally challenged... but it doesn't sound so much like a legal restriction as a measure to dissuade.

Nobody expected this to be a clean victory. Perhaps it's just a clerical (no pun intended) oversight and the documents have not been updated to reflect the changes, or it's a response to a local problem with some ULC ministers of low character? Whatever the reason for that clause, personally I would advocate performing your duties in regards to same-sex marriages, as your faith and wisdom commands, since there is now nothing that I have found in either state or local statutes that specifically forbids you. Still, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties remain stubbornly resistant. As long as they say "it's not clear" instead of "it's illegal" they are within their rights to defend their values. But it won't annul the ceremonies you perform. Ranieri v. Ranieri settled that long ago.

Edited to add that the the case I mentioned was lost (or won, depending on perspective) on the grounds of the ULC being unauthorized, but the domestic relations laws have changed many times since then...

Edited by Kingfisher

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Yeah, all any attorney needs to cite is the Establishment Clause -- and this is gone. And yeah, if he gets this in court, he's gonna get enough in damages for the Church to build a whole new wing, twice the size of the current one. LOL

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I sent the town clerk an email and cited the appropriate NY state law authorizing ULC ministers to perform marriages in New York state and asked that they remove that language from the application. We'll see what I hear back.

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