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Bill of the Day: Legislators...

Bill of the Day: Legislators officiating weddings

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 1, 2024

Magnolia Tribune brings you a Bill of the Day for the 2024 Mississippi Legislative Session that just may pique your interest.

Today’s Bill of the Day comes from State Representative Hank Zuber (R) who believes elected lawmakers in the Mississippi House and Senate should have the authority to officiate weddings.

According to HB 148, state Representatives and Senators could function like that of an ordained minister or judge and perform legally binding weddings.

Other individuals recognized to solemnize marriages include Rabbi’s, pastors, other religious leaders and judges. Justice court judges and members of the board of supervisors can also oversee officiating weddings within their respective counties.

State Rep. Hank Zuber

Rep. Zuber, the bill’s author, said several lawmakers have been approached in the past with requests to perform weddings.

“Unless you’re a licensed preacher, you cannot do it and I thought this would help our constituents,” said Zuber.

If the bill passes, you could have your own lawmaker officiate your wedding as early as July 1, 2024.  

Fellow Coast legislator State Senator Jeremy England (R) chimed in regarding their thoughts on the potential new responsibility.

“It would be an honor to be involved in what is supposed to be such a long lasting, binding agreement between two people,” said Senator England. “I would question why there wouldn’t be a better option than me but if people want me to see them bound in holy matrimony, I would be honored.”

In 2022, the New York Times reported an uptick in weddings at 2.5 million expected for the year, the first time that number has been reached since 1984. A large factor in wedding planning was restrictions placed on large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: