House passes Whip Kazarian’s bill that changes solemnization of marriage process
STATE HOUSE – Tonight, the House of Representative’s passed Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian’s (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) legislation (2021-H 5034A) that would authorize the governor to designate any person to solemnize a marriage.
Currently, legislation must be passed by the full General Assembly in order for an ordinary citizen to preside over a marriage ceremony.
“This bill will modernize the process by placing it online and ensuring that it’s available to all Rhode Islanders year round,” said Whip Kazarian. “Some time ago, I was contacted by a constituent in July about their nuptials scheduled for September. Unfortunately, the General Assembly had already concluded its session for the year and there was no other alternative possible. It broke my heart when I had to tell my constituent there was nothing more that I could offer to ensure their perfect wedding with the officiant of their choice and this is why passing this legislation will modernize our system and make the process more accessible and customer-friendly for all Rhode Islanders.”
The act would allow the governor to designate any person who is eligible to vote to solemnize a marriage within the state on a particular day and within a particular city or town. The authorization would expire upon completion of the marriage. A fee in the amount of $25 would be a prerequisite and would be payable to the secretary of state, or a fee of $20 for applications that are submitted electronically.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration where Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) has sponsored the identical legislation (2021-S 0014B).
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903