State Representative Ron Travis, a Republican, said it was impossible to determine online whether a person had the “care of souls,” as the law states.
“Just because you pay $50 and get a certificate doesn’t mean you’re an ordained minister,” Mr. Travis said, according to WATE-TV.
The opposition in Tennessee reflects a clash with a growing trend in the United States to privatize marriage and personalize weddings by distancing them from the state or established religions.
Ministers ordained online can officiate at weddings in 48 states, with the exception of Virginia and some parts of Pennsylvania, according to the Universal Life Church Monastery, which says it has ordained more than 20 million ministers nationwide. But rules can vary by county, as in New York State.
Ministers ordained online can no longer solemnize weddings in Tennessee, a new law said. A lawsuit is challenging that. https://t.co/Z7mZp4HCGD
— NYT National News (@NYTNational) July 20, 2019