Am I Legal In (City/state)?


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Universal Life Church ministers officiate marriages in all 50 states, as well as many places outside of the U.S. However, since local laws vary widely, and are subject to change, you should verify current information with your local authorities. You will find a listing of the various wedding requirements, arranged according to state, on our website:+

You may refer to this information as a general guideline within the United States, as well as guidelines on whom to talk to in your area for more information.

You may contact the public official listed for the state of interest for confirmation of the latest requirements for ministers officiating marriage. A good way to approach this question is to call the office of the official listed and ask the following question: "I am a minister of an established church in California and plan to officiate a marriage ceremony in (STATE). Will you tell me what is required in your state (or county)?" As a follow-up question, you may ask, "Are the requirements any different for non-resident ministers than they are for residents of (STATE)?"

You will find more information on this topic, as well as some good material for preparing and planning the ceremony at the following links:

Wedding Laws By State:

Certificates: (Marriage, Affirmation of Love and Re-newal of Marriage)

Universal Textbook, and other manuals with selection of ceremony scripts and wedding sermons.

The Universal Life Church of Modesto, California, is a real church. Weekly services are held in the historic church building each Sunday morning. It is very much a real church, which has been verified time and again in past legal challenges. Within the U.S., freedom of religion is absolute as it pertains to peaceful activity. There are millions of ULC ministers engaged in spiritual efforts worldwide.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(First Amendment, U.S. Constitution)

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that NO official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us."

United States Supreme Court (1943)

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 US 624.

Neither this Court, nor any branch of this government, will consider the merits or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. Were the Court to do so, it would impinge on the guarantees of the First Amendment.

James F. Battin, U.S. District Judge

Universal Life Church vs U.S. (1974)

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