Tennessee λ (6) Ʃ

Ministers, Officiants & Notaries Public


State Marriage Laws

Same-Sex Marriage History

Ʃ - Appellate Case Pending
Ϯ - Legal Case Filed

A Magical World
(865) 771-0634 (Knoxville, TN) I'm honored & committed to helping you make your special day all that you've ever dreamed it to be. I will assist you in creating a ceremony that is a true reflection of each of you and a true expression of the love.

Distinctive Wedding Ceremonies
(423) 636-1003 (Greenville, TN) Your ceremony is truly the heart of your wedding day. If you are like most couples, you are devoting a lot of time and effort to insure that everything about your wedding turns out just right. We are here for you.

Inclusive Love Wedding Officiant Services
(931) 494-4843 (Clarksville, TN) I provide wedding officiant services in TN and KY as well as open to traveling to other states. Please see my Facebook page for additional information on services, photos, etc.

One Spirit Wedding
(317) 687-4200 (Noblesville, IN) Your wedding is your special day to be remembered.You get everyone to the place and we will get them through it! Let us worry about the ceremony. IN, KY & TN.

Reverend Chip
(513) 884-2618 (Cincinnati, OH) "I consider it an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in one of the most important days of your lives!" Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Serving Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky & 28 other states.

Stephanie J Batterman, Notary Public
(207) 449-2497 (Bath, ME) Your Mid-Coast Maine Ceremony Your Way! All couples deserve a wedding ceremony that reflects their taste and their hope for committed and loving relationship. Let me help plan your ceremony.

The God Squad Wedding Ministers
(901) 754-4700 (Memphis, TN) The GOD Squad Wedding Ministers service: Memphis & Jackson TN, Kansas City, Topeka & Lawrence KS, Kansas City, Springfield, Branson & Joplin MO, Tulsa OK, Fayetteville & Fort Smith AK, Ozarks areas.


2010 Tennessee Code

Title 36 – Domestic Relations

Chapter 3 – Marriage

Part 3 – Ceremony

36-3-301 – Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(a) (1) All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls, and all members of the county legislative bodies, county mayors, judges, chancellors, former chancellors and former judges of this state, former county executives or county mayors of this state, former members of quarterly county courts or county commissions, the governor, the speaker of the senate and former speakers of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and former speakers of the house of representatives, the county clerk of each county and the mayor of any municipality in the state may solemnize the rite of matrimony. For the purposes of this section, the several judges of the United States courts, including United States magistrates and United States bankruptcy judges, who are citizens of Tennessee are deemed to be judges of this state. The amendments to this section by Acts 1987, ch. 336, which applied provisions of this section to certain former judges, do not apply to any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office.

(2) In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act.

(3) If any marriage has been entered into by license issued pursuant to this chapter at which any minister officiated before June 1, 1999, such marriage shall not be invalid because the requirements of the preceding subdivision (2) have not been met.

(b) The traditional marriage rite of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), whereby the parties simply pledge their vows one to another in the presence of the congregation, constitutes an equally effective solemnization.

(c) Any gratuity received by a county mayor, county clerk or municipal mayor for the solemnization of a marriage, whether performed during or after such person’s regular working hours, shall be retained by such person as personal renumeration for such services, in addition to any other sources of compensation such person might receive, and such gratuity shall not be paid into the county general fund or the treasury of such municipality.

(d) If any marriage has been entered into by license regularly issued at which a county executive officiated prior to April 24, 1981, such marriage shall be valid and is hereby declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “retired judges of this state” is construed to include persons who served as judges of any municipal or county court in any county that has adopted a metropolitan form of government and persons who served as county judges (judges of the quarterly county court) prior to the 1978 constitutional amendments.

(f) If any marriage has been entered into by license regularly issued at which a retired judge of this state officiated prior to April 13, 1984, such marriage shall be valid and is hereby declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

(g) If any marriage has been entered into by license issued pursuant to this chapter at which a judicial commissioner officiated prior to March 28, 1991, such marriage is valid and is declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

(h) The judge of the general sessions court of any county, and any former judge of any general sessions court, may solemnize the rite of matrimony in any county of this state. Any marriage performed by any judge of the general sessions court in any county of this state before March 16, 1994, shall be valid and declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

(i) All elected officials and former officials, who are authorized to solemnize the rite of matrimony pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a), may solemnize the rite of matrimony in any county of this state.

(j) If any marriage has been entered into by license issued pursuant to this chapter at which a county mayor officiated outside such mayor’s county prior to May 29, 1997, such marriage is valid and is declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

[Code 1858, § 2439 (deriv. Acts 1778, ch. 7, § 2; 1845-1846, ch. 145, § 7); Acts 1879, ch. 98, § 1; 1889, ch. 134, § 1; Shan., § 4189; Code 1932, § 8412; Acts 1949, ch. 251, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 8412; Acts 1970, ch. 440, § 1; 1973, ch. 66, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 7; Acts 1979, ch. 87, § 1; 1981, ch. 211, §§ 1, 2; 1983, ch. 331, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-415; Acts 1984, ch. 516, § 1; 1987, ch. 146, § 1; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 4, 5; 1988, ch. 471, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 86, § 1; 1992, ch. 911, § 1; 1993, ch. 50, § 1; 1994, ch. 619, § 1; 1995, ch. 94, § 1; 1995, ch. 128, § 1; 1997, ch. 295, §§ 1, 2; 1998, ch. 745, §§ 1, 2; 1999, ch. 526, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2003, ch. 376, § 3; 2005, ch. 21, § 1.]

36-3-302. Formula not required.

No formula need be observed in such solemnization, except that the parties shall respectively declare, in the presence of the minister or officer, that they accept each other as husband and/or wife.

[Code 1858, § 2440; Shan., § 4190; Code 1932, § 8413; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-416.]

36-3-303. Return of license to clerk Penalty for failure to return Society of Friends.

(a) One authorized by § 36-3-301 who solemnizes the rite of matrimony shall endorse on the license the fact and time of the marriage, and sign the license, and return it to the county clerk within three (3) days from the date of marriage. Every person who fails to make such return of the license commits a Class C misdemeanor.

(b) The functions, duties and liabilities of the party solemnizing marriage as set forth in this part shall, in the case of marriages solemnized among the Religious Society of Friends, be incumbent upon the clerk of the congregation, or in the clerk’s absence, the clerk’s duly designated alternate.

[Code 1858, § 2443 (deriv. Acts 1815, ch. 47, § 1); Acts 1879, ch. 98, § 2; 1889, ch. 134, § 2; 1915, ch. 109, §§ 1, 2; Shan., § 4193; mod. Code 1932, § 8421; Acts 1963, ch. 68, § 1; 1970, ch. 440, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-417; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.]

36-3-305. Solemnizing marriage between incapable persons Misdemeanor.

Any such minister or officer who knowingly joins together in matrimony two (2) persons not capable thereof commits a Class C misdemeanor and shall also forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars ($500), to be recovered by action of debt, for the use of the person suing.

[Code 1858, § 2446 (deriv. Acts 1778, ch. 7, § 5); Shan., § 4196; mod. Code 1932, § 8423; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-419; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.]

36-3-306. Marriage consummated by ceremony not invalidated by failure to comply with law Restriction.

Failure to comply with the requirements of §§ 36-3-104 36-3-111 shall not affect the validity of any marriage consummated by ceremony. No marriage shall be valid, whether consummated by ceremony or otherwise, if the marriage is prohibited in this state.

[Acts 1937, ch. 81, § 6; C. Supp. 1950, § 8414.6; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-420; 1996, ch. 1031, § 4.]

36-3-307. Nickname in license does not invalidate marriage.

Any marriage that may have been or may be celebrated between persons, by license regularly issued, is valid, and the issue thereof is declared legitimate, although the baptismal name of either party may be omitted in the license, or a nickname be used instead thereof; provided, that the parties have consummated the marriage by cohabitation, and can be identified as the persons between whom such marriage was solemnized.

[Acts 1870-1871, ch. 100, § 1; Shan., § 4200; mod. Code 1932, § 8425; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-421.]

Same-Sex Marriage History

On June 16, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled hearings for five marriage cases in four states on August 6, 2014, the Washington Blade reports:

 In four separate notices on Monday, the Sixth Circuit, which is located in Cincinnati, announced that arguments for the cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee will take place on August 6, 2014, at 1 pm.

James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT project, said his organization welcomes the developments for each of the cases. His organization is assisting with litigation in the Ohio case.

“We’re happy to see the Circuit taking up this issue so quickly,” Esseks said. “All the cases together reinforce how sweeping and widespread are the harms that come from the marriage bans.”

Every case seeks same-sex marriage recognition rights of some sort, except the case from Michigan, which seeks to win the freedom for gay couples to marry in the state.

According to Equality on Trial:

Michigan: Arguments in DeBoer v. Snyder will be one hour, with 30 minutes per side.

Ohio: Arguments in Henry v. Himes and Obergefell v. Himes will be one hour, with 30 minutes per side.

Kentucky: Arguments in Bourke v. Beshear will be 30 minutes, 15 minutes per side.

Tennessee: Arguments in Tanco v. Haslam will be 30 minutes, 15 minutes per side.

In related news, DOMA attorney Roberta Kaplan had filed a motion to intervene in the Ohio case but she has been denied:

According to the eight-page notice handed down from the court, Kaplan was denied the ability to participate because the cases is too far advanced at this point.

The state of Ohio and the ACLU had objected to Kaplan’s motion to intervene.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is lining up the cases for a pretty impressive combo score on August 6th and will be hearing six discrete marriage equality cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.


From the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

On August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear oral argument in six marriage equality cases–the most marriage cases that any federal circuit court has ever heard in a single day, and the fourth argument to be heard by a federal circuit court since the United States Supreme Court’s decision last summer striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Federal Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah L. Cook will hear the challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing plaintiffs in Tennessee, American Civil Liberties Union is representing plaintiffs in Ohio, and Lambda Legal is representing plaintiffs in Ohio.

Oral arguments will begin at 1pm ET at the Potter Stewart Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.