How one local organization is getting around the new online minister law


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – People are speaking out about a new law involving ordained ministers.

One person posted “I always believed online ordination is a scam.”

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Another person called it a “ridiculous law.. more government control.”

Starting July first, anyone who is an ordained minister through an online service will not legally be allowed to marry people.

News 12s Kaylee Nix spoke to some people in the Chattanooga area who feel like the law unfairly targets them.

Mercy Junction is a local group doing quick, in person ordinations for anyone who wants to avoid the new limits on being ordained online.

“We wanted to make sure that people who have been doing this, people who want to continue doing this, to continue serving their community, were able to do so.”

Members of the LGBTQ community feel this law paints a target on their backs, forcing them to use traditional or non secular officiants in their wedding ceremonies.

“Many members of our community feel that this decision is particularly targeted at LGBTQ people and they’re angry… and they’re scared. There’s even been questions of whether or not the marriages they’ve already had conducted by people who are ordained online are still valid, and yes they are. But there’s a lot of fear that people are going to lose their marriages… that that’s where were heading.”

Having to take the extra step of getting ordained in person can be difficult for some people, and put stress on a happy occasion.

“I have personally been affected by this. A very close friend of mine had asked me to officiate her wedding to her fiance in the coming year and then of course we got word of what the legislature decided. This of course puts her and her fiance in a state of anger and confusion and upheaval, because it was meaningful for me to officiate for them as i have done for other people in the past.”

That’s why Mercy Junction is so committed to making the process easy. Its so simple, I did it today in less than a minute.

“This ordination is an ordination in four words: may you bless others. That’s all it takes. A willingness, show up, give me your name, and be willing to stand up for your community.”

Mercy Junction will be hosting events for online ordination regularly and dates can be found on their facebook page.

In Chattanooga, Kaylee Nix News 12 now.