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Self-uniting marriage: Wikis


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A self-uniting marriage is one in which the bride and groom are married without the presence of a third-party officiant. Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a "Quaker Marriage".

Although most states do not offer self-uniting marriage as an official option, Pennsylvania has recognized such marriages for centuries (due to its Quaker origins and history of religious tolerance) and has offered licenses for these marriages for decades. [1] These marriages only require the signatures of two witnesses in place of an officiant.

The issuance of self-uniting marriage licenses is controversial, however. Some Pennsylvania counties do not offer this form of license at all. [2] Others only allow such marriages when license applicants can prove they are members of a recognized religion without clergy, such as Quakers, the Amish, and the Bahá'í faith. [3] In 2007, a Federal judge ruled that a Pennsylvania couple which was denied a self-uniting marriage on the basis of their secular beliefs must be allowed such a license. [4]

Wisconsin also allows self-uniting marriages, without asking questions, but a form must be signed which states that the government issuing the marriage license cannot guarantee that the marriage will be recognized in all contexts.

See also


  1. ^ See U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Temporary Restraining Order, Knelly v. Wagner.
  2. ^ Marriages by ministers ordained online in question.
  3. ^ Knelly v. Wagner, Federal Court, Western District.
  4. ^ Judge says couple can have self-uniting marriage.


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