We supported a bill which was introduced to streamline the process for individuals to gain the authority to solemnize certain marriages in Rhode Island. Currently, the inefficient process requires the acquisition of a legislative sponsor to allow individuals to solemnize marriages – this legislation would provide for an avenue to do so which does not depend on the General Assembly’s approval. While we supported the bill’s overall goal, we recommended that the bill remove the requirement that an individual must be eligible to vote in RI in order to solemnize a marriage, and we encouraged amendment of the provision which allows the Governor discretion to deny the ability for an individual to officiate.  At the committee hearing, the bill's sponsor agreed to amend the bill to eliminate the voter eligibility requirement and allow any person over the age of 18 to qualify. This bill passed with our amendments included.



Representative Katherine Kazarian and Senator Michael McCaffrey





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