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Rabbit087

Officiate Weddings In Schoharie County, Ny

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My fiance and I are having a problem with finding out if the person we have chosen to officiate over our wedding can actually legally do it. He has been ordained with ULC at our request because the vows we have chosen are Buddhist and there aren't any Buddhist Temples or Monks anywhere near our location. I checked the list of registered ministers and there are a couple located within my county. I messaged one to ask about the legalities of being ordained through ULC and officiating a wedding but got no reply. I'm in desperate need of answers. I have called both my town and county clerk and they couldn't help either. I have not bothered to call the state offices seeing as the county clerk told me that the state won't even give them answers about this. I'm at a loss and this the most important part of my ceremony. Any kind of information is welcome and appreciated, thank you.

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if i'm reading this right,unless the ulc minister has a church in your state,we cannot legally officate.

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Disclaimer: I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in NY or any other state. opinions stated are mine and mine alone based on my understanding of the existing statute and case law.

NYS Statute

Marriage

1. A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader,

or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the

city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of

Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture,

having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of

New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal

office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long

Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the

Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx

county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated

with the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or minister

as defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society

for Ethical Culture leader shall be required to solemnize any marriage

when acting in his or her capacity under this subdivision.

Religious Corporations

The term "clergyman" and the term "minister" include a duly authorized

pastor, rector, priest, rabbi, and a person having authority from, or in

accordance with, the rules and regulations of the governing

ecclesiastical body of the denomination or order, if any, to which the

church belongs, or otherwise from the church or synagogue to preside

over and direct the spiritual affairs of the church or synagogue.

Case Law

Ranieri v RanierMarriage annulled on basis that ULC minister lacked qualifications under New York Statutes: no congregation and not appointed by head of ecclesiastical order.

Ravenal v Ravenal Marriage annulled on basis ULC minister lacked actual church or stated meeting place.

Rubino v City of New York New York City right to deny license to ULC ministers upheld.

http://www2.erie.gov/clerk/index.php?q=faqs-frequently-asked-questions

http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all

As with my esteemed colleague Mark 45 pointed out, I am concur that without a physical church (not a building, just a actual group that meets). Now your best option (without going through a lawsuit) is to have a civil service done by a Judge/Mayor or other authorized person and then your religious service done after.

Edited by Dorian Gray

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