Washington, DC now allows for a Secular Celebrant or a Civil Celebrant to perform marriages.
Heretofore, only religious ministers, judges and clerks in the Marriage Bureau office could perform marriages.
5 IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
9 To amend An Act To establish a code of law for the District of Columbia to establish the
10 authority of a civil celebrant, a temporary officiant, the Mayor, and the parties to the
11 marriage to solemnize a marriage.
13 BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this
14 act may be cited as the “Marriage Officiant Amendment Act of 2013.”
15 Sec. 2. Section 1288 of An Act To establish a code of law for the District of Columbia,
16 approved March 3, 1901 (31 Stat. 1391; D.C. Official Code § 46-406), is amended as follows:
17 (a) Subsection (a) is amended by adding new paragraphs (3) and (4) to read as follows:
18 “(3) “Civil celebrant” means an individual of a secular or non-religious
19 organization who performs marriage ceremonies.
20 “(4) “Temporary officiant” means a person authorized by the Clerk of the Court
21 to solemnize a specific marriage. The person’s authority to solemnize that marriage shall expire
22 upon the filing of the marriage license, pursuant to section 1293.”.
23 (b) Subsection (b) is amended to read as follows:
24 “(b) For the purpose of preserving the evidence of marriages in the District of Columbia,
25 a marriage authorized under this chapter may be solemnized by the following persons at least 18
26 years of age at the time of the marriage:
27 “(1) A judge or retired judge of any court of record;
“(2) The Clerk of the Superior Court or such deputy clerks of the 1 Court as may, in
2 writing, be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge;
3 “(3) A minister, priest, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination
4 or society;
5 “(4) For any religious society which does not by its own custom require the
6 intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages, a marriage may be solemnized in the
7 manner prescribed and practiced in that religious society, with the license issued to, and returns
8 to be made by, a person appointed by the religious society for that purpose;
9 “(5) A civil celebrant;
10 “(6) A temporary officiant;
11 "(7) Members of the Council;
12 "(8) The Mayor of the District of Columbia; or
13 "(9) The parties to the marriage.".
15 (c) New sections (b-1) and (b-2) are added to read as follows:
16 “(b-1) All persons authorized by subsection (b) of this section to solemnize marriages
17 shall comply with the requirements of section 1293.
18 “(b-2) The Court shall charge a reasonable registration fee for authorization to solemnize
19 marriages; provided, that the registration fee for a temporary officiant shall not exceed $25.”.
20 Sec. 3. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report 1 as the fiscal
2 impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act,
3 approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02 (c)(3)).
4 Sec. 4. Effective date.
5 This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the
6 Mayor, action by Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional review as
7 provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December
8 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of