Mitch the marrier?

January 31, 2007

It’s such a pain having to round up a priest or minister to perform the marriage ceremony, isn’t it? What if you could just snag the nearest member of state government? Here’s the full text of an Associated Press story that has moved over the wire:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The governor, lieutenant governor and members of the Indiana General Assembly could officially perform marriages under a bill endorsed Tuesday by a Senate panel.

The Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters approved the bill 7-4 and sent it to the full Senate.

State law allows marriages to be solemnized by members of the clergy, judges, mayors within their counties, a clerk or clerk treasurer of a city or town within that jurisdiction, clerks of circuit courts and imams, along with four specific churches.

Republican Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford, chairman of the committee, said the late Gov. Frank O’Bannon once performed a marriage by getting permission to be a judge pro tem for a day.

Steele said one of his sons wanted his father to conduct his marriage a couple of years ago, and Steele discovered that the law did not specify that he could.

“I’ve had a lot of people in the Legislature ask if they could do this and thought they ought to be able to do this,” Steele said.

It is a myth, by the way, that captains of ships can perform marriage ceremonies, which is too bad, really. It’d be kinda cool to be married by the captain of the Blue Chip right after you’ve lost your life savings. Oh, and I discovered this about Indiana marriage law:  First cousins may marry, as long as they’re both at least 65.

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5 Responses to “Mitch the marrier?”

  1. Kenn Gividen Says:

    ► THE HEART OF THE MATTER IS LICENSURE

    If the twosome who are engaging in holy wedlock wish to have someone other than a licensed reverend officiate the ceremony, that should be there prerogative, not that of the government.

    Supposing, for example, a couple prefers their fathers (or mothers) officiate?

    The notion that a license should be required to enter into a marriage contract is as foolish as requiring a license to to have children.

    The notion that a license should be required to be a minister is a flagrant disregard of religious liberty.

    Where a government license exist, freedom is diminished. If it’s an inalienable right, why do we need a license?

  2. Steve Towsley Says:

    Kenn –

    If I may play devil’s advocate for a moment, I have often found it remarkable, when watching immature, abusive parents pass their crappy habits on to yet another generation of their ill-used kids, that we have no criteria at all for training in the most basic parenting skills before letting anyone and everyone breed like rabbits.

    All you have to do is recall almost any episode of COPS to see that, nationwide, we have too many parents with no earthly idea how to raise kids humanely.

    Our schools, at least, should be tasked to spend a little time teaching our young people how not to traumatize their kids with immature behaviors that owe more to inherited incompetence than loving support for young and innocent developing personalities.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all our kids got at least a minimal shot to grow up without the mental and emotional damage inflicted upon them by mothers and fathers with no more understanding of parenting than a 10 year old playmate?

  3. Kenn Gividen Says:

    “Wouldn’t it be nice if all our kids got at least a minimal shot to grow up without the mental and emotional damage inflicted upon them by mothers and fathers with no more understanding of parenting than a 10 year old playmate?”

    Yes.

    Government has an obligation to defend the defenseless. Is licensure the answer? I doubt it.

    Time for analogies…

    • Fire is vital to life, but when allowed to creep out of the fireplace it becomes devasting. Government is also essential, but must be kept in check.

    • Government is to be referee; not the player and not the coach. When we allow government to assume the roll of surrogate parenting, the abuse often becomes worse.

    Kids get bullied and abused in government schools. Licensure does nothing to help.

  4. Steve Towsley Says:

    Kenn –
    I did not mean to imply licensure is the answer to woeful parenting skills. The subject simply sparked my related comments.

    Nobody thinks Americans would stand for parent licenses, least of all me. But the fact that licenses are required for lesser pursuits does imply, I think, that a country as well off as America should be far more dedicated to guaranteeing that our young people have the necessary education before they ever have a chance to ruin their kids out of pure ignorance and tragic hand-me-down habits.

    I treat my dog better than some people seem to treat their kids. But then, I have bothered to learn how to communicate in useful, respectful ways.

    I don’t have any kids (yet), but I have a keen interest in seeing innocent kids get the shot they deserve, without abuse, belittlement, degraded confidence, dashed hopes and aspirations, messages of low self-worth, and all the other knee-jerk damage done to innocent hearts and minds by people who are usually aping the ignorance of their own parents.

    Guess I got a little too raw there, but I’m perfectly sincere on it.

  5. Kenn Gividen Says:

    “I have a keen interest in seeing innocent kids get the shot they deserve, without abuse, belittlement, degraded confidence, dashed hopes and aspirations, messages of low self-worth, and all the other knee-jerk damage done to innocent hearts and minds by people who are usually aping the ignorance of their own parents.”

    Yep


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