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A06300 Summary:

COSPNSRPaulin, Lavine, Gottfried, Rosenthal L, Hyndman, Simon, Pichardo, Dickens, Epstein, Rivera J, Cruz, Fernandez, Sillitti, McDonald, Gonzalez-Rojas, Gallagher, Jacobson, Burdick, Magnarelli
MLTSPNSRDinowitz, Hunter, Lupardo, McDonough, Steck, Thiele
Amd §§11, 12, 13 & 13-b, Dom Rel L; add §110, Exec L
Designates lay individuals as one-day marriage officiants in order to solemnize marriages.
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A06300 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 12, 2021
        Introduced  by  M. of A. GALEF, PAULIN, LAVINE, GOTTFRIED, L. ROSENTHAL,
          read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary -- recommitted to
          the Committee on Judiciary in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec.  2
          --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
          and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and  the  executive  law,  in
          relation to designating lay individuals to solemnize marriages
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 1, 1-a, 2 and 3-a of section 11 of the  domes-
     2  tic relations law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 95 of the laws of
     3  2011,  subdivision  1-a  as  amended  by chapter 96 of the laws of 2011,
     4  subdivision 2 as amended by section 1 of subpart E of part B of  chapter
     5  20  of  the laws of 2015, and subdivision 3-a as added by chapter 450 of
     6  the laws of 2014, are amended and a new subdivision 3-b is added to read
     7  as follows:
     8    1. A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the  senior  leader,
     9  or  any  of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the
    10  city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of  Manhat-
    11  tan,  or  by  the  leader  of  The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture,
    12  having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of  the  city  of
    13  New  York,  or  of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal
    14  office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of  Long
    15  Island,  having  its principal office in Nassau county, or of the River-
    16  dale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx  coun-
    17  ty,  or  by  the  leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated
    18  with the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or  minister
    19  as  defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6300--A                          2
     1  for Ethical Culture leader shall be required to solemnize  any  marriage
     2  when  acting  in  his  or her capacity under this subdivision.  [1-a.] A
     3  refusal by a clergyman or minister as defined  in  section  two  of  the
     4  religious  corporations  law,  or  Society for Ethical Culture leader to
     5  solemnize any marriage under this subdivision shall not create  a  civil
     6  claim  or  cause  of  action  or result in any state or local government
     7  action to penalize, withhold benefits or discriminate against such cler-
     8  gyman or minister[.]; or,
     9    2. The current or a former governor, a mayor of a  village,  a  county
    10  executive  of  a  county,  or a mayor, recorder, city magistrate, police
    11  justice or police magistrate of a city, a former mayor or the city clerk
    12  of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants or  any  of
    13  his  or her deputies or not more than four regular clerks, designated by
    14  him or her for such purpose as provided  in  section  eleven-a  of  this
    15  article, except that in cities which contain more than one hundred thou-
    16  sand  and  less than one million inhabitants, a marriage shall be solem-
    17  nized by the mayor, or police justice, and by no other officer  of  such
    18  city,  except  as  provided  in  subdivisions  one  and  three  of  this
    19  section[.]; or,
    20    3-a. A judge or peacemaker judge of any Indian tribal court, a  chief,
    21  a  headman,  or any member of any tribal council or other governing body
    22  of any nation, tribe or band of Indians in this state duly designated by
    23  such body for the purpose of officiating  at  marriages,  or  any  other
    24  persons  duly  designated  by such body, in keeping with the culture and
    25  traditions of any such nation, tribe or band of Indians in  this  state,
    26  to officiate at marriages[.]; or,
    27    3-b.  A  one-day marriage officiant, as designated by the secretary of
    28  state pursuant to section one hundred ten of the executive law; or,
    29    § 2. Section 12 of the domestic relations law is amended  to  read  as
    30  follows:
    31    §  12.    Marriage, how solemnized.  No particular form or ceremony is
    32  required when a marriage is solemnized as herein provided by a clergyman
    33  [or], magistrate, or one-day marriage officiant  as  designated  by  the
    34  secretary  of state pursuant to section one hundred ten of the executive
    35  law but the parties must solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman
    36  [or], magistrate,  or  one-day  marriage  officiant  and  the  attending
    37  witness  or  witnesses  that  they take each other as [husband and wife]
    38  spouses. In every case, at least one witness beside the clergyman  [or],
    39  magistrate, or one-day marriage officiant must be present at the ceremo-
    40  ny.
    41    The preceding provisions of this chapter, so far as they relate to the
    42  manner  of  solemnizing  marriages, shall not affect marriages among the
    43  people called friends or quakers; nor marriages among the people of  any
    44  other  denominations  having  as such any particular mode of solemnizing
    45  marriages; but such marriages must be solemnized in the  manner  hereto-
    46  fore  used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations,
    47  and marriages so solemnized shall be as valid as if this article had not
    48  been enacted.
    49    § 3. Section 13 of the domestic relations law, as amended  by  chapter
    50  95 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
    51    §  13.  Marriage  licenses.  It  shall  be  necessary  for all persons
    52  intended to be married in New York state to obtain  a  marriage  license
    53  from a town or city clerk in New York state and to deliver said license,
    54  within  sixty  days,  to  the  clergyman  [or],  magistrate,  or one-day
    55  marriage officiant as designated by the secretary of state  pursuant  to
    56  section  one hundred ten of the executive law who is to officiate before

        A. 6300--A                          3
     1  the marriage ceremony may be performed. In case of a marriage contracted
     2  pursuant to subdivision four of section eleven  of  this  chapter,  such
     3  license  shall  be  delivered to the judge of the court of record before
     4  whom  the acknowledgment is to be taken. If either party to the marriage
     5  resides upon an island located not less than twenty-five miles from  the
     6  office  or  residence of the town clerk of the town of which such island
     7  is a part, and if such office or residence is not on  such  island  such
     8  license  may  be obtained from any justice of the peace residing on such
     9  island, and such justice, in respect to powers and  duties  relating  to
    10  marriage  licenses,  shall  be subject to the provisions of this article
    11  governing town clerks  and  shall  file  all  statements  or  affidavits
    12  received  by  him while acting under the provisions of this section with
    13  the town clerk of such town. No application for a marriage license shall
    14  be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same, or  a  differ-
    15  ent, sex.
    16    § 4. Section 13-b of the domestic relations law, as amended by chapter
    17  306 of the laws of 2021, is amended to read as follows:
    18    § 13-b. Time within which marriage may be solemnized. A marriage shall
    19  not  be  solemnized  within  twenty-four hours after the issuance of the
    20  marriage license, unless authorized by an order of a court of record  as
    21  hereinafter  provided,  nor shall it be solemnized after sixty days from
    22  the date of the issuance  of  the  marriage  license  unless  authorized
    23  pursuant  to  section  three  hundred fifty-four-d of the executive law.
    24  Every license to marry hereafter issued by a  town  or  city  clerk,  in
    25  addition to other requirements specified by this chapter, must contain a
    26  statement  of  the day and the hour the license is issued and the period
    27  during which the marriage may be solemnized. It shall be the duty of the
    28  clergyman [or], magistrate, or one-day marriage officiant, as designated
    29  by  the  secretary  of state pursuant to section one hundred ten of  the
    30  executive  law,  performing the marriage ceremony, or if the marriage is
    31  solemnized by written contract, of the judge before whom the contract is
    32  acknowledged, to annex to or endorse upon the marriage license the  date
    33  and  hour  the marriage is solemnized. A judge or justice of the supreme
    34  court of this state or the county judge of the county  in  which  either
    35  party  to  be  married resides, or the judge of the family court of such
    36  county, if it shall appear from an examination of the  license  and  any
    37  other  proofs  submitted  by  the  parties that one of the parties is in
    38  danger of imminent death, or by reason of other emergency public  inter-
    39  est  will  be promoted thereby, or that such delay will work irreparable
    40  injury or great hardship upon the contracting parties, or one  of  them,
    41  may,  make  an  order  authorizing  the  immediate  solemnization of the
    42  marriage and upon filing such order with the clergyman [or], magistrate,
    43  or one-day marriage officiant performing the marriage  ceremony,  or  if
    44  the  marriage  is  to  be solemnized by written contract, with the judge
    45  before whom the contract is acknowledged, such  clergyman  [or],  magis-
    46  trate or one-day marriage officiant may solemnize such marriage, or such
    47  judge  may  take such acknowledgment as the case may be, without waiting
    48  for such three day period and twenty-four hour  period  to  elapse.  The
    49  clergyman,  magistrate  [or],  judge,  or one-day marriage officiant, as
    50  designated by the secretary of state pursuant to section one hundred ten
    51  of  the  executive law, must file such order with the town or city clerk
    52  who issued the license within five days after  the  marriage  is  solem-
    53  nized.  Such  town  or city clerk must record and index the order in the
    54  book required to be kept by him or her for recording affidavits,  state-
    55  ments,  consents  and  licenses,  and  when  so recorded the order shall
    56  become a public record and  available  in  any  prosecution  under  this

        A. 6300--A                          4
     1  section.  A  person  who shall solemnize a marriage in violation of this
     2  section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor  and  upon  conviction  thereof
     3  shall  be  punished  by a fine of fifty dollars for each offense, and in
     4  addition  thereto,  his  or  her  right to solemnize a marriage shall be
     5  suspended for ninety days.
     6    § 5. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 110 to  read
     7  as follows:
     8    §  110.  Designation of one-day marriage officiant.  The secretary, or
     9  his or her designee, shall issue one-day marriage officiant designations
    10  to laypersons over the age of eighteen regardless of state residence who
    11  intend to perform a marriage solemnization ceremony  within  the  state.
    12  Such  designations  shall  only  be  issued  after an applicant remits a
    13  completed application form and fee, both to be determined by the  secre-
    14  tary.  The  application form shall require the following information and
    15  be accompanied by legal proof  of  identification.  From  the  applicant
    16  requesting  designation:  applicant  name, date of birth, legal address,
    17  email address and telephone number.   The application  form  shall  also
    18  require  the  names,  addresses  and  birth  dates  of the parties to be
    19  married as they appear on the application for a marriage license  issued
    20  by  a  town  or  city  clerk in the state, the name of the city, town or
    21  village in which such solemnization will be performed and the exact date
    22  of the solemnization. The application and fee must be  received  by  the
    23  department  at  least  thirty  days before the date of the ceremony. The
    24  department shall notify the applicant of approval of such designation no
    25  later than seven days prior to the date of the marriage ceremony  stated
    26  on  the application. Such designations shall only be valid for the cere-
    27  mony stated on the application and shall expire upon completion of  such
    28  solemnization.
    29    §  6.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    30  have become a law.    Effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment
    31  and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
    32  of  this  act  on  its  effective  date  are  authorized  to be made and
    33  completed on or before such effective date.
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