Letter | Blessings of marriage are given freely to all couples
March 14, 2012 · 1:48 PM
I wish to congratulate our state legislature and our governor for enacting marriage equality legislation. Further, I wish Jodi and Maddy, whom you profiled in a recent edition, every bit as much happiness in their marriage as my wife and I enjoy in ours.
I agree with our representative, Glenn Anderson, that a marriage contract is a matter for the state and that religious bodies can offer their blessing on those legally married couples who request such a blessing.
There are three steps required for a marriage to exist in the sight of the law, I believe, application, solemnization and registration.
A couple intending to marry applies to the state for a marriage license (application).
The marriage is solemnized by an agent—civil or religious—in behalf of the state (solemnization).
The agent who solemnizes the marriage must return the signed license to the state within a set period of time or face a fine. The marriage is legally transacted once it is registered in state records (registration).
Though I have been retired for nearly 20 years, I have happy memories of solemnizing the marriages of couples who presented themselves to me through 30 years of ordained ministry. In every case, I sought to meet the requirements of the state while offering the services of the church through which God’s blessing was bestowed.
When I attended the marriage of a same-gender couple in Iowa a couple of years ago, and saw how effectively this couple was nurturing their three adopted children, I became firmly convinced that God’s blessings are given freely to all committed, loving couples who desire them.
The Rev. Dr. James T. Elliott