Are Self-Uniting Ceremonies Legal In NY?
First of all, what is a Self-Uniting Ceremony?
According to Wildly Collective, "Self-Solemnization, also known as a self-uniting marriage is one in which the couple are married without the presence of a third-party officiant. The couple can essentially perform the legal solemnization of their own marriage, which will be recognized as a legal marriage throughout all of The United States... In order to have a legally recognized self-solemnized marriage, the couple must check with each state within which they live regarding their individual requirements in order to make sure they fill out and file the right paperwork."
In Pennsylvania, self-uniting ceremonies are considered a Quaker ceremony. Philadelphia Magazine describes it like this:
"Quaker weddings — also known as self-uniting ceremonies — (offer) flexibility, options and accessibility for those who don’t want to go the standard church-wedding route. Case in point: No officiant is actually required to be present at the ceremony; two witnesses and their signatures are all you need. And you can get hitched wherever it suits your personality and style (assuming venue, city, county and state ordinances allow)."
What is the history of Self-Uniting Ceremony?
Philadelphia Magazine further reports, "Self-uniting marriage licenses have been legally valid since 1861 in Pennsylvania, according to the ACLU. There has been some dispute over whether you needed to prove you were part of the Quaker or Bahá’í faiths — in 2007, for example, the ACLU filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a couple in Allegheny County who were denied a self-uniting marriage license because of their religion. After that case, many counties in Pennsylvania began providing self-uniting licenses regardless of a couple’s religion."
Interesting Right? Are Self-Uniting Ceremonies Legal in New York?
The short answer is No. The long answer is No also.
The states which allow self-uniting ceremonies including Colorado, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.